Implementing Artificial Intelligence-Powered Intelligent Virtual Assistants In FIs

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The Importance of getting the AI Implementation right

In the financial ecosystem, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic ideal. With the pandemic outbreak, many banks and financial institutions throughout the world have been compelled to accelerate their digital transformation plans to accommodate shifts in consumer behavior.

With the implementation of interface.ai’s AI-Powered Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA), Financial Institutions (FI), along with meeting their customers’ demands, also drastically improve their overall customer experience and employee productivity.

But there are substantial challenges associated with IVA implementation. Not implementing an AI system correctly will result in inefficiencies and sub-standard ROI. Implementing an IVA system also requires knowledge and capabilities not generally available in the market; hence, choosing the right AI vendor will significantly impact delivering value to customers and achieving the planned ROI.

Let us look at some of the significant challenges of IVA implementation and how vendors like interface.ai can turn them into desirable outcomes!

As mentioned in the above image, interface.ai helps in the smooth implementation of IVA systems for Financial Institutions by leveraging in-depth domain knowledge and proven experience in delivering value to financial institutions. interface.ai has already processed many domain-specific conversations on the platform, leading to the accumulation of high-quality domain-specific data that will ensure a high level of accuracy and continuously drive increased value for their customers. In addition, its platform and the data moat will also ensure any new customer onboarded will start reaping benefits from day 1.

As we can see, though there are various challenges associated with IVA implementation, selecting the right vendor with the right capabilities plays a key role in the smooth accomplishment of the desired results while deploying IVA.

Want to learn more on how to select the right vendor? Read here

IVA Implementation process with Interface.ai

Let us understand in detail how interface.ai makes the IVA implementation easy and efficient.

interface.ai provides a highly structured implementation journey to ensure that Financial Institutions get the maximum value from their AI-Powered Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA).

The illustration below depicts the 4 stages of IVA implementation along with the required setup time.

In the first stage, we implement Smart Discovery

  • Capabilities/Benefits:  It provides conversational & informational discovery IVA for Bank or Credit Union products & services including descriptions, terms, rates, fees, eligibility, the application process, and product benefits, and will assist customers in selecting the best products and services. It also answers frequently asked questions of existing and prospective members.
  • Setup Time: This stage can be built up in 2 to 3 weeks, with the majority of the time spent on workflow requirements, member data, and so on. There is no need for integrations at this stage.

In the second stage we implement Smart Conversion:

  • Capabilities/Benefits: It will allow users on Bank’s or Credit Union’s website and mobile app to apply for their products conversationally. It will ask the user for relevant information based on the applied product and submit the application when all required information is captured.
  • Setup Time: This stage can be built up in 4 to 6 weeks, with most of the time spent on IVA authentication and responding to member-specific requests.

In the third stage we implement Smart Assisted transaction:

  • Capabilities/Benefits: It provides transactional experiences which service customer requests that require authentication.
  • Setup Time: This stage requires 3-4 weeks for the setup.

In the fourth stage, we implement Intelligent Banking Assistant

  • Capabilities/Benefits: interface.ai’s platform analyzes the wealth of data gathered from all maximize opportunities through Spend Analysis and provides Smart Alerts, Smart Budgeting, Saving Goals, Reminders, and Recommendations. While all of the other IVA use cases respond to customer queries reactively, Intelligent Banking Assistant ultimately allows FIs to proactively recommend the right product based upon the customer’s preference.
  • Setup Time: This stage requires 6 to 8 weeks for implementation, where the majority of time is required for integration with core and CRM systems.

Deployment of IVA with interface.ai

In this section, we will look at how IVA is set up for FIs in a phased manner.

The interface.ai delivery team extensively researches the financial institutions (FIs) to understand their products, needs, and pain points and executes the setup process in a phase-wise manner.

There are 7 phases in setting up an IVA. Right from the kick-off & planning until the product goes live onto the production, interface.ai ensures a systematic process by organizing scheduled workshops and meetings.  

Phase 1: Kick-off and planning

In the first phase, the interface.ai team reviews the scope & expectations of the engagement with the financial institution. Post that, they build the implementation schedule and set up all governance & collaboration activities.

Phase 2: Requirements Gathering & Solution Design

In the second phase, interface.ai builds the overall framework needed for implementation by conducting a requirement gathering workshop and understanding the existing and future business processes of the FIs. Here they finalize functional and non-functional requirements.

Phase 3: Design & Development

The entire IVA system will be designed in the third phase, including IVA design, UI/UX design, customization building, etc. And user experience framework is generated along with building a test IVA.

Phase 4: AI Training

In the fourth phase, interface.ai trains the IVA based on all the intents in the scope and produce refined NLP responses.

Phase 5: Prepare Environment

IVA is set up and configured in the fifth phase, the environment is prepared, and an AI-Powered Intelligent Virtual Assistant would be deployed.

Phase 6: UAT

In the sixth phase, the interface.ai team extensively tests the Intelligent Virtual Assistant, and all issues aroused would be resolved, making IVA ready for production.

Phase 7: Move to Production

In the final phase, the most awaited IVA, which will produce tremendous value to the financial institution, is fully functional and ready for customer-facing.

The illustration below represents the 7 phases of IVA Implementation with interface.ai.

Omnichannel IVA implementation by interface.ai


IVA is compatible and accessible from different channels like website, mobile app, call center along with various social media; WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, Twitter, and so on.

The implementation of IVA on various channels would enable financial institutions to provide their customers anytime, anywhere, any device access, and a complete omnichannel experience. The multi-channel approach allows interactions across multiple customer touchpoints, where intents are collected, insights are gained, and conversations are personalized and optimized. Banks may use omnichannel to not only meet their customer needs but also to predict their desires and likes.

With the onset of the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in call traffic and usage of electronic channels among customers. AI-Powered Call Center - AICC, has become one of the popular channels to provide 24/7 service to the customers over the call center. And not only that, AICC will help in transforming the call center from being a cost center to a revenue center.

Implementation and capabilities of AICC:

  • Capabilities/Benefits: It helps in saving call center costs by reducing traffic to human advisors, eliminates call abandonment & calls wait times by ensuring the handling of 100% incoming calls, and has a human-like neural voice to provide a great experience to the customers. AICC satisfies a much larger number of customers as IVA can scale during peaks without hiring and without the use of an overflow contact center.
  • Setup Time: For AICC, the first stage will take 3-4 weeks to get launched. And for overall implementation, it requires 72-84 hours of FI’s time. This additional time is required for integrations with the core and backend systems.

Managed Services Provided by interface.ai

For efficient implementation of the IVA, interface.ai provide two options for the Financial Institution regarding the managed services as mentioned below:

  1. Self Service:

For this option, interface.ai trains the staff of FIs with the tools necessary to maintain and update the IVA on an ongoing basis. But, to efficiently manage and maintain IVA, the core platform team should comprise a good balance of enterprise architects and machine learning engineers. Finding high-caliber recruits for these roles is a challenge for most of the financial institutions.

Additionally, to successfully develop and manage IVAs, financial institutions will need to build a new function and a new role to accommodate Conversational Experience Specialists. These roles do not exist in the industry currently. These roles require people to think like designers, write like an expert copywriter, be experts in technology necessary to train an IVA, and understand the financial domain like a call center trainer. This unique blend of talent is needed to build IVAs that provide a high-quality customer experience.

Most financial institutions do not want to invest and build capabilities in these areas and would much rather focus on doing what they do best - provide the best customer service.

Realizing this, interface.ai offers an option of fully managed services to financial institutions.

2.  Fully Managed service:

Fully Managed service is a popular choice for the majority of financial institutions as it provides a dedicated team from interface.ai for end-to-end implementation and support of the Intelligent Virtual Assistant. Furthermore, this dedicated team consistently maintains and monitors all the workflows as per the approvals from FIs.

Let us look in detail about what are the managed services provided by interface.ai.

  • Pre-Launch Services:
  1. Implementation and Delivery: With the highly skilled delivery team specialized in implementing AI systems in financial institutions, interface.ai provides end-to-end implementation support.
  2. ROI benchmarking: interface.ai guides FIs to understand the impact created with the implementation of IVA.
  3. Launch Support: interface.ai assists in educating the customers of the FIs with the help of product marketing activities, sharing Best Practices of prior launches, and Branding & Design support.
  • Post-Launch Services:
  1. Support in driving adoption: With great experience in the financial space, interface.ai has explored various tactics to drive adoption and to provide the best customer experience efficiently; it aids FIs in driving the adoption.
  2. Continuously making AI better: Artificial intelligence is not a one-time application; it improves efficiency through ongoing learning. Therefore, interface.ai makes sure to add the recommended intents which it gathers with the help of the interface.ai team adds that every week and the team has incorporated any kind of ad-hoc change in the knowledge, making use of the IVA to the fullest efficacy.
  3. On-Going Evaluation of ROI: interface.ai strives to drive ROI for FIs continuously, has regular checks, and ensures that value is created each day. Therefore it constantly compares the ROI metrics benchmarked to the new metric values and makes any modifications necessary to ensure rapid value generation.

Financial institutions absolutely love the end-to-end structured services provided by interface.ai. Here is what the leadership team from one of the financial institutions mentions about interface.ai managed services.

To hear more from interface.ai's  managed services offering, click here.

Understanding the dependencies for IVA Implementation

interface.ai’s implementation process is structured to ensure minimum disruption and dependencies from financial institutions.

The interface.ai team provides a detailed guide containing all the particulars required for implementation, a complete breakdown of the activities, and information on what actions are to be performed by the FIs for both setup and maintenance of the IVA.

Initially, data to aid in the configuration of IVA; once this is accomplished, interface.ai itself gathers the essential customer data as follows -

For developing the workflows interface.ai collects data related to the queries which FIs receive from their customers through various channels. Every month based on the priority, interface.ai adds new workflows to enhance the performance of IVA, this would require 6-7 hours of FI to review the workflows and provide a signoff, with the remainder handled by interface.ai.

interface.ai needs access to a few APIs in order to provide branch and ATM search services, as well as a test environment to work on the implementation of IVA. interface.ai also provides out-of-the-box integration solutions and has a significant edge due to having partnered with most of the prominent platforms catering to financial services such as Symitar, Fiserv, and others.

Below is the illustration of support in terms of hours required from financial institutions along with the integration requirements for popular interface.ai products.

Impact delivered with interface.ai

Here is the impact experienced by one of the financial institutions that chose interface.ai’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) to resolve their bottlenecks and improve their customers’ service levels.

Hear from their leadership team about the services by interface.ai provided for IVA implementation.

To learn the more about UCU’s IVA implementation, read the case study here

Conclusion

Not only is the Artificial Intelligence-Powered Intelligent Virtual is a very complex technology, but it also requires the companies to reinvent every function internally. They require continuous maintenance and support. This requires vendors to create new maintenance and support models to successfully set up and continue to deliver value for customers. For this, we need IVA vendors like interface.ai that offer numerous industry-specific out-of-the-box solutions, who are already processing millions of industry-specific conversations leading them to achieve a higher level of accuracy and continuously delivering higher value. These specialist vendors have already developed a moat and continue to incrementally offer better value through each customer acquired and every conversation processed.

Hence, it is vital to identify the right partner who will understand their pain points and deliver the desired value by being a part of their digital transformation journey.