We have seen how virtual assistants can improve our lives. Now the banks and payment companies also have started taking note of chatbots.

Today, these chatbots serve as mere QandA agents and can in due time evolve into near-human agents capable of making ‘intelligent’ conversations. Sooner than you can think, consumers will start using chat platforms to conduct their financial affairs. And here these bots will be their digital representatives of financial companies. Whether the bots use being used in bank’s mobile apps or in any chat application, the idea remains the same. The first one will give the bank more control, however Facebook Messenger will help consumer by using something he already has.

This year in May, Wells Fargo kicked off a six-month pilot of its Facebook Messenger bot. as of now it can tell users their account balance and help with other simple tasks. But the bot has the ability to learn over time, and eventually its keyword-based responses will be replaced with full conversation. "It won't get fully there for quite some time, but it will get there," Steve Ellis, head of the innovation group at Wells Fargo said.

This year in May, Wells Fargo kicked off a six-month pilot of its Facebook Messenger bot. as of now it can tell users their account balance and help with other simple tasks. But the bot has the ability to learn over time, and eventually its keyword-based responses will be replaced with full conversation. "It won't get fully there for quite some time, but it will get there," Steve Ellis, head of the innovation group at Wells Fargo said.
American Express launched the first version of its chatbot on Messenger in August 2016. And then it could do basic tasks such as sending alerts. A new version launched recently is capable of answering customer questions about account and rewards point balances and even help them choose a new card to apply for. Matthew Sueoka, vice president and head of digital strategy and strategic partnerships at American Express, said, "We're investing in artificial intelligence and other technologies so that we can make these services smarter, more adaptive, to continue to learn over time.”

Even Bank of America is in the race. Its soon-to-be-released chatbot, erica, is being trained to provide personal-finance advice. Amex also has a chatbot that can answer customer questions about account and rewards point balances amongst other simple things.

200 million users of the Chinese chat app WeChat are already using its payments service to buy goods online, send money to friends and pay bills.

The legacy core banking infrastructure and lack of consumers’ comfort in using a bot for financial information are the prime reasons that are holding USA back.

We are still a long way from a chatbot that can serve as a one-in-all financial adviser - customer service specialists, transaction agents and financial advisers - but the investments being done in artificial intelligence and other technologies will take us there.

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