Payment chat bots: a useful tool for business or a trend voice?

Modern Ukrainian Internet user stands on a crossroads. On the one hand, he/she wants to minimize contact with the cashier during payments, and therefore he/she uses web services or payment operations. On the other hand, there is a necessity to get a service from a living person, not from a bot in the case of really important payments. However, this may change in the coming years. There are more and more people, who use chat bots — after all, sometimes it’s critically important to get an ASAP response from support (not after a few hours).

I am sharing a very steep research “Consumer Online Banking Trends 2018” from the Humley agency, which analyzes customers of American banks. It, in particular, contains a lot of useful information about the growing influence of chat bots, which, judging by the realities of the Ukrainian market, can easily be compared with us. So, some statistics:

  1. 44% of customers will rather chat with chat-bot, than speak with call centre manager, “if bot can adequately answer questions, like a real person”.
  2. 26% of users are ready to change the bank, if the new one will have 24/7-support via chat bots.

What does it say? Firstly, that any popular online payment service, from a mobile bank to a payment site, already needs to create a chat-bot, which will perform the functions of the first support line and perform the simplest typical transactions. Business should not just think about developing a chat-bot, but doing it right now, if they want to keep their leadership positions.

Fortunately, the LeoGaming team began to develop chat bots 1.5 years ago, and during this time we managed to create our own solution LeoBot (it will be restarted soon) and several projects for Ukrainian banks and brands.

The mentioned research confirms that in 2K18 the audience of non-cash payments grows not only extensively, but also develops intensively. Customers are more actively using non-cash payments of a new formation (mobile wallets, one-click solutions like Masterpass, as well as chat bots) if they see real benefits from them. There is no fear, fear and distrust we see before — at least, in the most active and solvent user segment.

The experience of our company’s specialists shows that the typical actions — like card to card money transfer, payment for services, request for support, downloading of transaction history, invoices and so on — is a very suitable for the chat bot’s mechanics. But can bots cope with more complex interactions with customers?

The question is open and strongly depends on the specific capabilities of the messengers’ API. For example, Facebook Messenger API is the most advanced, but due to the long moderation procedure, even the slightest changes can drag on for months. Telegram is much more loyal to developer, but the advertising opportunities of Facebook can not be replaced by anyone.

Naturally, the opponents of chat bots often lead the argument of phone calls. It is true, in Ukraine phone is the preferred way of communication among customers of banks and payment services on complaints and other issues. But, speaking of quantitative indicators, people don’t call very often. The reason is that users solve simple typical problems in online mode — because during the working day there is no time to call, but there’s for a message.

This coincides with the American Humley statistics — 30% of the survey participants said they prefer to communicate with chat-bot during working hours rather than waiting for the answer of the manager in the call center. If we speak about how much time you need to wait on the telephone lines of large Ukrainian retailers, 30% — a very pessimistic figure.

From this we make the main conclusion, proving not just the relevance of chat bots, but their key benefit in the user’s decision-making process user’s. Again, US statistics, quite relevant for Ukraine — 77% of customers say they will change their bank or payment instrument if the competitor offers the best service. I think the outflow of the active client base from Privat24 to the notorious mobile bank is a clear confirmation. A modern user expects instant-function services — from reading news without uploading to responding of a support service. A chat-bot is able to provide such communication — and this is not the future, but quite necessary present.

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CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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