How do you feel about chatbots? 🤖

Yadda yadda yadda! :speaking_head: :speech_balloon:

Whadda ya think about chatbots? We wanna know!

Have you used a chatbot recently? :robot:
Do you like or dislike chatbots? :+1: :-1:
Do you think they’d be helpful in a banking situation? (e.g. learning about loan products, naming the actual “thing” you might want to borrow money for etc.) :thinking:
What industries do you think they work in?

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Depending on the kind of chat system they could be very useful in the banking sector.

The simplest chat-like system implement would of course be one that simply works off of a flow chart of responses, in which case it’s just a presentation layer guiding people to an item. I would argue though that those types of systems aren’t really chatbots, since you aren’t actually chatting! However, I do think that this kind of system could be useful in a banking situation, since the “domain” size is fairly limited in scope and thus this would be easiest for both consumers (since they can’t confuse it) and developers (since it doesn’t have fuzziness)

A chatbot would have to be something you could converse with in one or two short sentences. I don’t think the domain of banking is large enough for this kind of system though.

I guess you are more thinking of a blend of the two? Like a system in which I could type “I want to know about credit cards”, or “What is a credit card”, and it would pick out the terms “credit card” and “what” and respond with something about how a credit card works?


nup … call me old fashioned but I find that they have limited capabilities as things stand. Just an FAQ on legs. I guess they do work better than they used to though.


If it saves you money (long term when factoring in some brand damage a chatbot will cause) and some of that is passed onto shareholders, then I’m all for it!

  • If they add value to the customer then I’m all for them :smiley:
  • If they’re just a way to save money by not hiring real people and they decrease the customers experience then I’m completely against them :rage:

Good chat bots use AI to continually evolve. Another company I’ve invested in specialises in an AI chat product and they’ve had most success with insurance companies, so that industry seems to be a good use case. ie. move through the process of opening the correct policy or making a claim via the bot.

I’m not sure about how it would go in the banking industry. Generally if I need assistance from my bank, which is rarely if I’m being honest, then I’d prefer to just pick up the phone and speak to a person.


@propoke24: What do you think of @brett’s thoughts on AI chatbots? He’s got a great example of how they’ve been used in the insurance industry.

@uvtube: Do you have an example of something you’d like to be able to do using a chatbot that they can’t do right now? :thinking_face:

One chatbot I’ve used is the Raiz chatbot. You can ask basic account stuff like your balance, returns, etc. I think it’s really helpful that you can ask how much you saved, how much you spent on a category, how long until you save $xxxx.

It’s a little simple: you can only ask certain questions but if it was powered by AI, that’d help it feel more “chat” than “bot” :slight_smile:

I suppose it’s slightly different between a bank and insurance. Insurance there are many different tiers of policies and cross comparing them is hard for some people. Banks however have basically two storage container types and a few loans that are either not backed by an asset, backed by a depreciating asset, or an asset you hope appreciates. ~Maybe~ the bank splits these further into large and small versions, and they may also have a version of the appreciating one for a non-tangible asset like a business. Not sure that a chat bot is too helpful there…
If you’re talking about asking for balances of accounts, or telling the bank that when Emily pays for dinner I’m paying half of it (with it automatically splitting it with her if she’s also with Xinja), I’d rather see that integrated with Google Assistant (and Siri for iOS).


Hi @QuirkyXinja

Depends on the sophistication of the chatbot. a couple of use cases I have are:

  • If it’s able to authenticate me through a series of challenges then enable it to answer questions about recent transactions I see in the app: e.g. I need assistance with why the conversion rate changed for a transaction changed from X to Y when I did a pre-auth to settlement
  • Answer the question “what do you think about my spending habits in the last month” then the chat bot gives a rating out of 10 and explains why.

Welcome Bob!

#2 captures me - I know many banking apps will categorize spending and tell you whether you spent more or less than last month, so integrating this into a chat bot can’t be too much further than that coding wise!

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Ooh! Number 2 is a good one. That would require a lot of learning, but that could be so cool. How would we teach it though?

Perhaps those that are willing could volunteer to have their transactions (say, a week’s worth) reviewed by others who give it their rating out of 10 and write a reasoning. Those of us that volunteer could get the aggregated results of those our transactions went to (to help us improve) and could review those out of 10 for helpfulness (and why) and out of 10 for relevance (and why). That should give the AI some good grounding then!
Edit: this process would be anonymous, of course :joy:

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To expand on the usefulness further, you could additionally show two weeks of transactions, and then rate week two vs week one on a scale of -5 to 5 and give a reason why you think they’ve improved/lost performance/stayed the same, as well as tips for that person for the next week. That way instead of the AI just statically evaluating one month/week/fortnight (since extrapolation is fairly easy from its training set), it can instead tell you how you’ve been improving and how to get even better. Of course you’d also rate each week out of 10 because if you rate someone 10/10 for both weeks it’s going to need to know there isn’t much to improve on (or do a how much improvement is needed and why, or first show the two weeks separately in the first mode described and then ask about them together if needed)


Love the thinking @propoke24 & @Jax and welcome @BobTheXinja :ninja_emojis_pink_03: The type of messaging that says simply ‘you’ve spent more on x than you did last month’ or ‘congrats, you’ve spend x% less’ doesn’t require AI at all, only business rules that read dynamic data. So I think there’s a lot we can do with basic data and without machine learning. For any chatbot to get useful to the point it can answer questions it needs a LOT of data. So we’re planning to feed in (100% anonymously of course) all our chat data, all our voice calls so that a bot can learn 1000 ways of talking about interest rates for example - before we let anything loose in a free conversation. For that reason, you won’t see us launching fully fledged bots for quite a while, but basic messaging like that described above, soon. I agree with @propoke24 that the first use of AI will not be conversation, but more modelling and predicting spend so we can automatically recognise what outcomes certain behaviours could have and message users on that basis. Still data hungry but a lot less so that a full conversation!

I mean, in my experience I’ve almost never had a chat bot that was useful to me. That’s not saying I think there’s no use for them, it’s just that I tend to only ring/chat when I have a very specific enquiry that I can’t solve myself, therefore it’s outside the scope of what a simple chatbot can do. As long as the chatbot knows it’s limitations, I.e. if I type a question it cannot understand, it defaults to the response ‘Can I connect you to someone who knows more than me?’

I suppose for the purpose of letting someone know if they are currently receiving the highest interest rate and what that rate is etc. In that sense, it would be fine. Opening an account, anything that is fairly basic, the chatbot could be a shortcut to access those features without the user having to search for them.


:-1: :-1: :-1:
I would check out the Q&A, if the answer is not there the chatbot would mostly (>90%) a waste of my time. Just get a real person to resolve my issue or at least allow me to leave a message to have a real person to get back to me.

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@David_Langham what are your thoughts on AI-powered chatbots? Not just simple ones that can help you navigate but ones that will give you useful, even personalised information that you’d otherwise have to manually calculate or search for yourself?

Hey @max.melb. Other than support, what about using a chatbot for other purposes? Here are some examples:

  • Changing to a custom mobile plan - the bot asks you how much you need in texts, calls, international minutes for countries of your choice to build your own plan
  • Ask a chatbot for recipes by ingredient, cuisine, dietary requirements

Normally chat is my preferred interface with customer service / support so definitely like the idea of chatbots, especially with AI / ML / Natural Language Processing to improve the ability to converse and speed of response.

I think it should be obvious you’re chatting with a bot though and provide the option to switch to a live agent or have the bot automatically escalate if it gets out of its depth


Welcome @Birdey! :ninja_emojis_blue_01: Thanks for joining the conversation :slight_smile:

Agreed that you should be able to switch from a chatbot to the a real person when needed!

Out of curiosity, why do you prefer chat now?

I can chat with someone and still do other things, it doesn’t require 100% of my attention like a phone call.
I can be chatting with someone in the office without notifying all my neighbours that I’m trying to resolve an issue not directly related to work.
There’s a written record of what’s been discussed that I can save for future reference.
I can copy + paste or just type text without having to spell it out (thinking usernames, addresses, phone numbers etc.)
But it still has the immediacy of a phone call unlike email where there can often be 24 hour+ turnaround time.

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Don’t like invasive chatbots that some sites have. IE it pops up with some announcement with no prompting whatsoever.
Like maybe I am just browsing to see headline details without needing to go further.

I do like interactive in app/website dynamic learning chatbots in place of static content pages. IE if I type in What’s your current interest rate a chatbot response can give current state and then go on to let you know about plans for future state. Something like, “Our current debit card doesn’t pay interest but is free of international fx fees. Would you like to be a beta tester for our upcoming stash account? Or would like us to notify you with details when it is launched?”
Depending if the chatbot is launched in app or just via general chat would let you tailor the response based on the query.

As for new products it could be useful but would probably be better with existing trained specialists once they click I need help button.
I really hate the UBank ai bot!

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