Three Use Cases for Conversational AI in Financial Services

Conversational AI isn't just new technology — it's a new channel.

Shane Closser.

By Shane Closser

Aug 9, 2023

5 min
A chat box open to a conversation with a digital assistant. The chat reads: "Where is the closest branch to me?"
"The closest branch to you is located in Manhattan, NY."
"Does this branch take walk-ins or do I need an appointment?"
"The Manhattan branch does accept walk-ins. You can also make an appointment here."

Few markets have faced as much recent disruption as the Financial Services industry. First, consumer preferences evolved to managing their accounts and making payments online. Then FinTech took the venture capital world by storm. And recently, the SEC Marketing Rule in the Investment Advisor Act was amended.

But disruptions can also drive disruptive technology — and for Financial Services, that's exactly what conversational AI is shaping up to be.

Today's consumers expect an immediate, personalized conversational experience that sometimes crosses channels. The problem is that existing chat experiences don't always deliver convenience. Instead, users are forced to spend a lot of time searching for answers stored away in various systems.

Conversational AI can streamline these digital experiences. Here's why it can (and should) be used by the Financial Services industry.

Conversational AI isn’t new technology — it’s a new channel.

Consumers have made it clear: they expect personalized experiences, both online and in-person. They also take full advantage of their omnichannel options.

This is supported by the 2023 Customer Experience Trends in Financial Services report from Microsoft. Based on this trend, 59% of the organizations with an increased customer experience budget are investing in digital self-service channels. But the increase in digital channels surfaced another problem: only 29% of respondents said that their consumer experiences are very consistent across these channels.

This isn't surprising. Just think about the way consumers interact with financial institutions digitally today.

Consider this scenario without AI in the banking experience: a consumer is trying to find the closest drive-up ATM at a bank. They go to the bank's site search bar and type "drive-up ATM by me" — only to find blogs about ATMs in the search results. From here, the consumer may have to turn to a third-party search engine like Google (which, by the way, is going to start answering with its own form of conversational AI). But what if the ATM listing isn't up-to-date, or doesn't appear quickly enough? Unfortunately, this is the position that lots of consumers find themselves in today.

That's why it's important to have a channel that consolidates all of your business information into one easy-to-navigate user interface. When the consumer turns to chat, conversational banking delivers a personalized response. Chat can provide an answer ("This is the closest ATM to you"), or direct the user to another channel ("Search our ATM directory here"). Whatever the consumer needs, AI-powered chat will recommend results that are specific to that user's needs.

Conversational AI in finance is an opportunity to think more broadly about consumer interactions. As a channel, it can streamline experiences both online and offline. It can also offer the personalization that consumers desire from the financial sector.

Conversational AI can streamline your consumers’ immediate experiences.

We live in the age of immediate gratification. Consumers expect webpages to load in milliseconds. They expect to reach a support customer service representative in seconds. When they have a question, they expect to find what they need on the first page of any search results.

Conversational AI is an opportunity to streamline these self-service experiences. And unlike other channels, it can serve the consumer all throughout their journey.

Conversational AI Use Case: Converting Prospective Clients

Think about a person who is considering hiring a financial advisor. When they land on an advisor's website, they want to know: Does the firm have a minimum asset requirement? What does it mean to be fee-based? Are appointments virtual, or in-person?

Many wealth advisors still expect consumers to navigate through their website (or even submit a contact form) to find answers. But most consumers will simply hit the back button. They may eventually find what they need, but they'll also find other firms in the process.

This is a great use case for AI. When conversational AI is introduced early in customer interactions, though, the person can educate (and convert) themselves. The user can find everything from definitions to business-specific information in one place. They can even submit an inquiry within the chat. Instead of hitting the back button, the prospective client goes from cold to hot as they move through your marketing funnel thanks to AI in marketing. Simultaneously, the chat is collecting first-party data to help drive personalization.

Conversational AI Use Case: Encouraging Omnichannel Experiences

Consumers move between channels in ways that we can't predict. When conversational AI is an option, these consumers are free to follow their own journey.

Consider a current client who is on your website, but wants to talk to their advisor on the phone. Instead of relying on the navigation bar, this client types a simple question ("What is the phone number for the Manhattan office?"). Then, the information appears in the chat. Now that the client has everything they need, they're able to connect with their advisor.

Whether a user wants to have a chat-based experience or go to another channel, conversational AI gives them more flexibility.

Conversational AI Use Case: Expediting Support for Clients In Need

Imagine that a client is using your customer portal to view their assets. When they notice a discrepancy in their digital banking account, the client panics slightly. They want to immediately resolve this issue, so they call customer support right away.

The client expects the agent on the other end of the phone to know exactly what to do. The agent knows that there is a process in place for these situations, but what if the process documentation is not readily available?

When the agent uses a chat tool that draws from multiple company resources, the information is easy to find. The conversational AI tool will summarize the process for the agent. Then, the agent can mobilize quickly on behalf of the client — so the issue is resolved and the client is satisfied.


Conversational AI is more than a new buzzword. It's a new channel, and the missing piece of many omnichannel journeys. Because it adapts to the user's needs, chat responses are personalized in a way that has been hard for the financial services industry to achieve — until now.

The Financial Services industry can leverage new AI tools to transform digital experiences. Consumers will always have questions, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks to conversational AI, now they'll also have personalized, accurate answers.

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