Chatbots and Voice Assistants: Event Summary

Alex Reidegeld

Senior Events Executive

The Financial Services Forum

In a survey of US marketers, 87% believed that by 2020 chatbots and voice assistants (VA) will have transformed the way customers interact with businesses. While most commercial organisations are busy investing in the creation of voice-based apps, the financial services sector is barely to be seen. Alex Reidegeld from The Financial Services Forum finds out where voice assistants are heading and how financial services providers can engage their customers through VA.

Chatbots and Voice Assistants: Transforming Customer Experience
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Hosted by: Mintel

Current state of Voice Assistants (VA)
• It’s still early days for VA. In terms of scale it’s comparable to where smartphones were in 2007 but set to rise just as rapidly
• In focus groups, many people report that they know VA can do a lot of things, but they don’t know how to get the most out of it
• 1 in 8 UK households has a smart speaker
• 1/3 of people in the US already use VA on a regular basis
• Google Assistant registers 50 billion voice searches a month
• Worldwide there are 500M+ devices with Google Assistant built in, another 500M + with Apple Siri and 50M+ Amazon Echo devices
• Companies wanting to use VA currently need to create a third party app that integrates with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri

Financial Services and Voice Assistants
• Security concerns among customers means banks have a harder time responding to the trend towards VA
• The financial services market is tightly regulated, so any technological developments need to meet regulatory demands, which also plays a part in the slower uptake among FS companies
• The business case for FS companies to invest in VA is limited. For example, renewing insurance is maybe a once a year activity for customers. To get the most out of VA customers need to interact with it more frequently
• One possible option is for FS companies to start with VA projects that don’t currently require log-in, to get customers used to interacting with them via VA. For example, banks could start by offering information on different current and savings accounts, before eventually offering voice assisted banking.
• A lot of VA projects are underway in the US financial services market, which will eventually become more mainstream in the UK as well.

Predictions for Voice Assistants by 2020
• 1.1 billion voice assistant users globally
• 200 billion voice searches per month

Further Reading:
Does the Banking Industry Need Digital Voice Assistants? – Chatbots Magazine
Banks add Alexa Skill to develop voice command services – Financial Planning
The Future of Voce: What financial marketers need to know – The Financial Brand

Thank you to our speakers:
Irlinta Mavromati, Senior Industry Manager, Google
Ravi Lal, Chief Executive Officer, Voxly Digital

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