Chatbots, AI in NBFCs
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The great American academic Erik Brynjolfsson shared his thoughts on artificial intelligence and its usefulness in routine work life. He said there are lots of examples of routine, middleskilled jobs that involve relatively structured tasks and those are the jobs that are being eliminated the fastest. Those kinds of jobs are easier for our friends in the artificial intelligence community to design robots to handle them. They could be software robots; they could be physical robots.
AI = PRODUCT + SERVICE
Motilal Oswal Financial Services uses artificial intelligence in multiple places for analysing customer behaviour in terms of customers’ needs and preferences reflected by interacting with them using different channels and touchpoints. This helps the company to design the products in a better manner, which are highly relevant to the audience. It also helps to customize the advice given to the customers.
Arun Chaudhry, head - Online Business & Product Development at the company, reveals the details about the use of AI in the organisation: “We are extensively using AI in building automated advisory products wherein the entire process from risk profiling, investment suggestion to tracking is automated with limited human intervention.”
Rajiv Rai, chief digital officer at Edelweiss Financial Services says AI is seeing multiple deployments and use cases. “It is being used for reading customer emails, categorising them and auto responding (to some category). We are also using AI to enable credit decisioning on-the-fly by being able to read and analyse various documents provided by the customers like bank statement, P&L statement, salary slips, etc,” he adds.
Customer service, sales and human resources are the top 3 areas in which NBFCs uses chatbot platforms. The platform is useful for product stream, infrastructure, technology, insurance, lending, office management, customer account handling, etc. According to Sudip Banerjee, CTO at Reliance Capital, the company mainly uses the chatbot platform for providing effective customer service, the queries handled by call center is transferred to chatbot as it does not require human efforts to do the job. “Unfortunately, voice recognition is not possible in India, as customers ask questions in ‘hinglish’,” he says.
Edelweiss Financial Services started using chatbots by deploying them for its employees. This brought 2 advantages. It is able to finetune the chatbot strategy by deploying it on a controlled set of users. Says Rajiv Rai: “Chatbot service has become an integral part of our service, offering it both for our employees as well as customers.”
Motilal Oswal Financial Services uses chatbots for solving all kinds of routine requests - for ledger statements, contract notes etc. More than 50 such requests are addressed directly by the chatbot. The core idea is to circumvent a typical IVR and get straight to the point by giving the required responses. “We can enhance the customer experience by providing instant and accurate responses to the customer queries which would have otherwise involved
a rather long and manual process”, says Arun Chaudhry.
He adds on the customer response received from the chatbot platform: “Our chatbot MO Genie is a 100% internally developed self-learning system, which today is capable of handling 50 different types of client queries. Till date MO Genie has been able to address more than 1 million queries, which were raised by more than 70,000 unique users; it covered more than 70% of the overall customer queries. We have noticed a more than 30% increase in the count of queries handled by Genie in the last 6 months, which now processes more than a lakh requests each month.”
TECHNOLOGY & LANGUAGE
The chatbot platform is mainly in used in English language by the NBFCs in India. Some of the companies now intend to expand the scope of the chatbots, introducing other Indian languages as well. Edelweiss Financial Services uses natural language processing and neural networkbased algorithms to develop these services.
“We have not seen any particular usage bias. People are using the service from both mobile phones and computers. What the customers love about these services is that there is no lead time in response and these questions can be answered at any time of the day or night. We use a panel of service providers from Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore for the chatbot and AI services. We also have a dedicated team in-house whose efforts are supplemented by these partners”, says Rajiv Rai.
Reliance Capital mainly uses technology of the startups and fintech companies. The company also uses Microsoft, IBM Watson and Amazon technology for AI and chatbot.
There will be 3 kinds of bots primarily text-based, speech-based and video-based. Almost all the major NBFCs are now likely to create a conversational app, where even voice can be used for authentication. Chatbots and conversational lending are the way forward. These will make whole process easier and frictionless for the NBFCs and their customers.