As we have previously observed, the banking industry has been one of the pillar institutions for developing new chatbot design features and base technologies. This is because the adoption level of chatbots for banks is within processing-based customer service, which we can probably consider as the most integral and fundamental use case for (first-level engagement-focused) conversational AI today.
One important specific provider, in particular, has demonstrated every single primary advantage of banking chatbots in applications where virtual agents are deployable. This is none other than the “EVA” chatbot, the universal automated customer service solution for India’s biggest private sector bank (as of 2021), HDFC Bank Limited.
This article is not meant to be a review, nor is it meant to assert that EVA is significantly better than other banking chatbots. Instead, we will use its updated/modern platform, primarily its basic template qualities, as an example of what an award-winning, modern, technically advanced banking chatbot should be (or aspire to be).
What is EVA chatbot, and How Does it Fare as a Banking Chatbot?
The HDFC officially lists EVA Chatbot as the main personal assistant for its banking website. Much like other typical banking chatbots, it was initially introduced and offered as a service through guided pop-ups, though nowadays it can also be conveniently accessed via a mobile app. Primary features of the chatbot include:
- Credit card information retrieval – bank account information aside, HDFC allows EVA to solve requests and answer client queries about credit card accounts. Users can either just ask for specific statement details or attempt to use certain promos and deals. This specific feature, by the way, also includes step-by-step instructions on how to set spending limits.
- Checking for pre-approved loan offers – this one is a simpler, more straightforward feature that simply double-checks personal information about certain eligibility for all types of loans. Needless to say, the feature will require authentication steps depending on the level of information requested.
- Product and service-related (direct) queries – this will be your stereotypical FAQ-type feature, which is pretty much universal to all types of customer service chatbots in all industries. Procedures for other requests are also available, such as when applying for other services that HDFC may offer (normally via human operators).
EVA’s simple and straightforward implementation nature is typically reflected in almost all banking chatbots today that have experienced sufficient success as a primary processing service. The most obvious of which, of course, is how chatbots can connect all interactive features and weave them into one continuous process.
For instance, if you ask for details about car loans, EVA can answer all your questions in a technical and sequential fashion. Then, after all is said and done, the chatbot might suggest additional procedures related to car loans, which would then escalate further into whatever application may be helpful for the user. The entire chat session would then also process transactions automatically if and when they are necessary.
For those living in the United States, the EVA chatbot might functionally feel similar to the likes of Amex bot (American Express) and Erica (Bank of America), as EVA also prioritizes account-related information processing (specifically for credit cards). This is not just to facilitate the things requested most often by the users, but this also acts as a “call to action” for accessing an active database conveniently using natural language.
Indeed, without the need to press buttons on some newfangled user interface (like what HDFC traditionally had by default) EVA more or less always makes the process feel intuitive for its clients.
The Winning Portfolio: Banking Service Universality
We have mentioned time and time again how the importance of adaptation in chatbot AI can lead to the immense accuracy of solved queries, thus continually building its level of reliability. This is where the EVA chatbot truly shines, and why it started gaining traction within economic news outlets worldwide.
More than four years ago, EVA was already accumulating user interaction data, refining its semantic variations, and honing in its “sense” of (banking service-related) intent. Whenever it answers a customer’s FAQ query, it also re-analyzes previous issues, further deepening its understanding of customer chat patterns and behavioral tendencies. While this may be commonplace in the more advanced post-2020 world we have today, back then, such a level of using AI for chatbots was considered a game-changer.
More impressively, HDFC has recently reached further geographically to service more rural locations with the help of an updated version of the EVA chatbot. With the collaboration of the Common Services Centres (CSCs), the Digital Seva Portal will host the powerful adaptive banking chatbot to support Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) starting in 2021.
The initial expectation of this development was to educate VLEs about the wonders of automated, chatbot-powered banking. It will familiarize users with the vast amount of options available, even if they are in a supposedly less-accessible location in the country. By knowing which products and services from the HDFC can serve them best, it is hoped that industries will experience a significant improvement, thereby further supporting the country’s economy even at smaller perceived scales.
In other words, we can probably expect even rural, small-business owners (who might not have the scheduling luxury of accessing a full website) to still use a banking chatbot such as EVA with considerable efficiency. India has proven to be a great place to implement more portable and cheaper tech devices such as smartphones to the lowest common economic denominator. Thus, access to something as convenient as EVA would presumably not be hampered, at least not significantly.
And along with all of these prestigious accomplishments, comes the never-ending advantage of 24/7 availability. Imagine, a virtual customer service agent with over eighty (80) percent accuracy level, and is pretty much available 100% of the time. As the same report earlier has quoted:
“EVA never sleeps, and her learning never stops!”
EVA Here, and EVA Everywhere
Today, EVA chatbot is now considered to be a platforming staple for the giant banking institution. Using it for most Indian clients is as normal as filling up a blank online form; only that form is easier, more intuitive to use and at a certain level, far more entertaining to deal with.
As for what the future holds with the EVA chatbot itself, there are no specific directions announced for its next evolution, But, of course, we can simply trace the steps along its development line, and extrapolate the place where it could be within the next few years.
According to what we could see on Twitter, and in HDFC’s very own business blog posts, the EVA chatbot seems to be heading in the direction of universal integration. Perhaps due to its position as the largest private sector bank, HDFC is currently moving towards having EVA implemented across different collaborative platforms, efficiently using its design elements as a modern-day chatbot to consolidate its industry share within the country.
(DISCLAIMER: The article is in no way intended to be an advertisement, nor is it meant to show that the topic chatbot is absolutely perfect.)