Your car or phone answering your queries does not seem weird anymore. Artificial Intelligence has entered our everyday lives. Merging the voice interaction with digital touchpoints plays an important role in customer interaction.
Speech recognition system has already reached a comfort level that can change the way how business-consumer relationships are built.
With speech recognition software companies now applying for banking licenses, the battle for retail banking is intensifying.
Enterprises are changing their business models and product distribution to rethink the role of several banking branches. They aim to make an effort to address how consumers interact and use their financial products.
Automatic speech recognition is not the future, it is here today. Several voice-capable devices are now becoming pervasive.
Over 90 million Alexa equipped devices have been sold within the first three years of product availability. Roughly 80% of the customers are satisfied using Voice Technology for their queries.
Also between 20 to 30% of the mobile phone searches are done by voice and this is estimated to increase to over 50% by 2020.
Success in today’s environment requires a forward-thinking and smart strategy. Banks are now evolving customer experience through innovative solutions and revaluation.
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Voice Technology in Banking
Speech recognition is an artificial intelligence-based technology that automatically allows software programs to recognize speech.
It is an AI-enabled capability with a software algorithm to match the identity of a customer to their voice. Banks are now stepping out for testing security features using AI-based automatic speech recognition.
This voice technology can easily confirm the identity of a customer, the moment they call into customer contact centres.
Using this technique, customers of the banks can simply ask aloud for a service they require. For example, transferring money, making payments, reporting stolen or lost ATM, etc.
Through this, you can receive an accurate response from an assistant on your smartphones. Banks have been into voice-activated consumer banking back in 2014.
By 2018, several banks introduced pilot projects on voice capabilities using voice technology. Deep insights were gained through integration with Amazon Alexa.
Similarly, other financial institutions are merging their products and services with voice services such as Siri or Google Assistant.
The products of the AI approach is based upon AI algorithms that can make its value proposition possible. Speech recognition API specifies how several software components should interact.
It allows for an application program interface that are used while programming Graphical User Interface (GUI) components.
Speech recognition include approaches like Natural Language Processing (NLP) computer vision, anomaly detection, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.
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Among all the AI product offerings that you can consider, NLP (speech recognition) seemed to be highly getting a grip at the moment accounting for 2.06% of the vendor product offerings.
Along with speaker recognition like Alexa, banks are using Siri to launch voice recognition systems. Several payments companies like PayPal, Venmo have allowed for payments to be done through conversations with Siri.
AI vendors like Indian TTS, an Indian based RPA solutions provider company are equipped to help banks establish the voice and speech-based services.
Indian TTS products provide high-end banking solutions to several users. It aims to roll out high-quality innovative technology to existing ATMs to convert text to a natural clear voice with limitless vocabulary.
Regardless of how the solutions are developed, artificial intelligence will be significant for banks to lower costs, increase revenue, reduce risk and deliver better experiences. Machine learning plays a critical role in enabling voice assistants to learn customer behaviour, relate it to the current situation and provide relevant advice.
Do Banks use Voice Recognition?
On February 2019, HSBC becomes the first bank to use voice recognition for banking customers. It has taken a revolutionary leap towards the initiation of biometric banking.
According to the official statement of the bank, mobile banking customers will no longer have to remember a password and dates to access accounts.
The move comes weeks before the launch of Atom Bank, that will allow its customers to log in using face recognition system.
Multinational banks are among the leading financial institutions exploring with voice technology to increase security measures for their customers.
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) tool can help banks to track the status of the queries the customers and work for customer engagement into different financial services.
Voice-based Account Servicing
One common example of voice-based banking is to allow customers to use speech to check account balances, transaction history, and other specific details.
Recently, Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia has launched a new Amazon Alexa Skill titled the Westpac Live.
According to the bank, a team from the Westpac Digital Labs worked and researched alongside a team from Alexa.
This is just the beginning, with speech recognition software users can check their account details from Alexa supported devices.
The technology reportedly was natural language processing to convert customer queries from voice to text and to automate some of the back end processes.
Voice Activated Transactions
Apart from just solving customer general queries, some banks have also added voice-activated features that allow customers (users) to proceed financial transactions by simply talking to a voice-enabled device.
For example, a subsidiary of global bank BBVA called the Garanti Bank has launched a voice-based assistant called the MIA (Mobile Interactive Assistant) that allows customers to make financial transactions by simply saying.
Voice Activated Transactions answers questions related to account activity, transfers, buy or sell of foreign currency, or to find out the exchange rate anticipate users needed to analyze their habits.
What Banking Leaders can Introspect?
With high-end AI-enabled products, creating a successful voice-activated banking product from scratch will help in seamless customer experience.
This is the vital reason for which banks are now trying up with companies like Apple and Amazon to add voice-activated banking architecture.
Irrespective of which bank you prefer, AI projects are heavily capital intensive. On the other hand, when a successful product is developed banks can save costs in terms of the number of employees they have at branches to handle customer requests and queries.
Banking leaders must understand that this technology has great potential in coming times. To develop a successful product, banks will require data infrastructure to support such solutions.
Early adopters of such technologies might have an added advantage in terms of the fact that these voice-enabled services will get accurate with more number of calls from the customers.
Most of the customers will be new to voice-activated banking services. Any kind of new technology needs to come with proper explainer or guide. The customers should know what kinds of questions they can ask and get answered.
When the speech recognition software faced with a question that appears challenging. It seems to suggest a probable answer rather than sending an error message.
Banks which have started to engage in such projects need to start small. For example, an initiation such as fetching account details, predicting what questions customers might ask and require a deeper data competency from financial situations.
Speech recognition services are regulated differently in different geographical regions. Example, In China and the USA, banks are allowed to offer transaction services whereas in Europe services like Siri and Alexa are not allowed to enable financial transactions owing to banking security standards.
As a security measure, voice recognition is hailed as the safest for banks that have launched these speech activated services. However, achieving a secure voice recognition might take a lot of time, effort, and capital.
Customers might prefer to perform similar banking tasks on their smartphones through voice-based services. Voice-enabled services are famous among the millennials who are tech-savvy. For new-age customers speed, convenience on the mobile interface is very important while offering personalised digital services.
With customers becoming more comfortable with digital assistants like Google Assistant and Siri the acceptance voice technology for banking services is likely to notch up in future.
Voice-driven customer services can complement staff and increase customer satisfaction. In today’s world technology can understand conversational linguistics, dialects, accents, intonation, intention and enunciation.
This means that the technology can be used in several ways to ensure that customer queries are dealt with quickly and effectively. Leading voice based banking technologies will enable businesses to take the leap of faith and embrace the future of customer communication. It is time for banks to leverage this technology for high yielding future benefits.