Understanding conversational banking

WhatsApp is emerging as a popular alternative channel for availing banking services
"The Fintech companies are offering a host of innovative digital banking products and services that are customer-centric and convenient."
"The Fintech companies are offering a host of innovative digital banking products and services that are customer-centric and convenient." Special arrangement

Technology has changed the way of banking. Today, digital banking is the norm.

Even as banks have been continuously investing in technology to fall in line with the changing needs of modern banking, the rise of Fintech companies is giving them tough moments.

The Fintech companies are offering a host of innovative digital banking products and services that are customer-centric and convenient.

In the given competition, banks are engaged in embedding similar technologies in their operations to not only retain their customers but also to win new ones.

There is no doubt the technology has delighted the customers as they are conducting banking transactions anywhere and anytime without physically visiting their branches.

However, various surveys have found that there is a growing urge among banking customers to get engaged with their banks beyond financial transactions. Precisely, they also want to interact with their banks in the context of their financial matters.

At the same time, it is also a fact that banks also are showing eagerness to do something different for their clients when it comes to offering digital banking products and services to them.

It is here banks have started looking at alternative channels of communication to interact with their customers in the online mode. One of the most delightful services now offered by the banks is the conversational banking services, which is changing their way of interaction with their customers.

Some banks have already capitalized on the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to pave the way for communicating with their customers in a natural way.

In conversational banking it is the communication channel which holds significance as the interaction between a customer and a bank has necessarily to be instant and real-time. For this kind of service, there is no better alternative communication channel than the social media platform.

Social media platforms are fast maturing into a serious business tool where national and multinational brands are capitalizing on its power to reach the users with their products & services. They have been successfully conducting seamless business transactions over the platform.

In other words, social media is no more just an entertainment tool or a platform for dishing out opinions, arguing with strangers and sharing photos and videos.

Today, the platform is accepted as an authentic communication channel in any system - be it political, bureaucratic or corporate governance. A study by American Bankers Association Research reveals that worldwide 3.2 billion people use social media, which is about 42% of the population. The study reveals that 90.4% of millennials, 77.5% of GenXers and 48.2% of Boomers embrace social media, spending an average 2 hours 22 minutes a day on these platforms.

Among the available channels of social media, it’s the messaging App, WhatsApp, which has found its place in the business strategy of the banks. The extensive use of WhatsApp by the people has made it the first choice for banks to put it in their basket of products & service and make their customers feel that they are friendlier, more real and more gracious towards them.

So, the good news for bank customers is that they can avail several banking services while chatting with nears and dears on WhatsApp and can keep themselves updated about various services and products of their banks. Besides, getting their queries addressed on a real-time basis.

In the context of the local scenario, J&K Bank has introduced conversational banking services through the WhatsApp banking model.

How is conversational banking different from digital and mobile banking?

Conversational banking is considered as an advanced stage when compared with digital and mobile banking. Mobile banking apps allow customers to access account services and perform basic banking tasks on their smartphones. conversational banking is beyond navigating through mobile banking apps or websites as it facilitates customers to interact with their banks in real-time and that too without physically visiting the bank.

Precisely, conversational banking has changed the way of interaction between customers and banks. It has made it easier and more convenient for the customers than ever before to access the services they need.

What are the exact benefits for the customers in conversational banking?

Generally speaking, customers can use the conversational banking service of their banks to get their queries answered instantly in real-time about any product or service. They don’t have to physically contact the bank or search for the information through the banks’ website. so, there is no wastage of time.

It helps customers to find the right financial product or service they need. in fact, the customers would be getting financial advisory services through this conversational banking facility.

As already stated, using conversational banking service saves time. Customers can use the service to quickly get the information they need without having to wait on hold for a customer service official. 

Precisely, it’s a medium that offers real-time support to customers to interact with their banks on 24x7 basis. The access to desired information is quick and easy in a more efficient and enjoyable way.

What are the features of J&K Bank’s WhatsApp Banking facility?

J&K Bank has introduced the facility under the name “JIA”. It is a Conversational Intelligent Virtual Assistant to support customer queries & help them avail different banking services in a self-assisted mode. the services are available 24/7 x 365 offering following introductory services:

} Information on various Banking Products/Services

} Locate J&K Bank Branches & ATMs

} Customer Care

} Customer Complaints & Transaction Dispute Status

} Applying for various Products/Services

} Offers

} FAQs about various Products/Services

The bank shall be adding more services in the near future.

How can a customer get access to WhatsApp Banking facility offered by the J&K Bank?

The bank’s WhatsApp Banking official mobile number is 9906663937. A customer has to save this number to his/her contacts.

Then search the contact in WhatsApp. Send “Hi” as a message on the number and the customer will experience the list of services available.

Notably, WhatsApp banking services are provided free of cost.

Besides, the service is safe because all messages are secured with end-to-end encryption. There is no question of sharing customers account information as they do not need to enter any confidential information such as PIN or password while messaging on WhatsApp banking service number because it does not offer any transaction facilities.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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