STOCK Chatbot
Chatbots may have not convinced enough users, but with conversational AI, it's a different ballgame. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The adoption of digital solutions in financial services has long depended on bridging the gap between the customer and service provider. Chatbots were once seen as the means to automate the solution, but their limitations meant a failure to engage customers effectively.

An always on ‘digital assistant’

Now, conversational AI offers an altogether different scenario, especially for digital payments. Payment apps are seen as merely transactional tools, and not a replacement for a human financial advisor. However, conversational AI offers a real-world scenario where automation can adapt to be a personal financial advisor.

Many advisory bots have been available in the market for some time, but by assimilating historical data, global trends, and currency fluctuations, conversational AI offers wider accessibility among a diverse set of users. For example, in the case of cross-border payments, AI generated responses around best exchange rates - as well as the best time to remit - will help otherwise transactional apps see users engage and communicate with it more than just once or twice a month when they usually send money.

Then there is the advantage of inclusivity. One of the eagerly awaited expectations, especially in the GCC, is how conversational AI can deal with the language barrier and maintain a sense of personal interaction with diverse users, from behind the veil of a conversational bot. By understanding and responding in multiple languages, service providers who integrate this feature can offer a seamless experience for existing users and those transitioning to digital across different age groups.

Get to know users better

Another benefit is around customer experience. Generative AI, with its capability to self-learn, can help build bespoke user journeys. This will boost the already growing embedded finance segment and change the way user authentication and compliance procedures are met.

Companies are already integrating sophisticated machine learning algorithms to make sense of financial datasets on their platforms. This is just the tip of how various stakeholders of the financial services sector will eventually be able to offer customers a personal concierge.

The potential breakthrough in conversational AI though will be the integration of voice support that can seamlessly adapt to any dialect and accent. Studies indicate more than 70 per cent of respondents in the Middle East are comfortable using chatbots for customer service, and the addition of this technology layer will take the payments experience to an altogether level.

Going by the advancements we are seeing, that reality doesn’t seem too far away.