UBank launches RoboChat - Australia’s first virtual home loan assistant
Article by Tom Watson
Online banking provider UBank has today unveiled the newest member of its customer service team - RoboChat, Australia’s first artificially intelligent virtual assistant for online home loan enquiries.
Built using IBM’s question-answering computer system ‘Watson’, RoboChat will be able to help UBank customers navigate their way through the home loan application process by answering questions in real time.
UBank hopes RoboChat, in addition to their existing live chat interface, will reduce the time it takes to apply for a home loan online, with the virtual assistant capable of providing answers on more than 40 home loan topics 24 hours a day.
“Our goal is to deliver simpler, better, smarter banking to our customers and RoboChat will help deliver on this by streamlining the application form,” said CEO of UBank, Lee Hatton.
“If you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, the form can be completed in as little time as it takes you to have your breakfast.”
To get it up to scratch with all the essential home loan topics and potential questions, RoboChat was trained on thousands of previous enquiries made by UBank customers over the current live chat feature.
And remarkably RoboChat will only continue to become smarter and more efficient with every new customer it interacts with, as the ‘Watson’ system it’s built on allows it to reason and learn.
While a virtual assistant with the capacity to learn might seem like a definitive solution to all customer needs, Hatton has assured UBank customers that RoboChat will not be a replacement for any human staff.
“RoboChat will be a very welcome addition to our team of customer service experts,” he said.
“UBank will still have experienced staff on hand to chat on the phone, via email and our live online chat offering, RoboChat will provide an added option for those needing quick online responses or those that are close to finalising the form.”
For anyone concerned about RoboChat’s robotic personality, rest assured, because it even has a sense of humour including this gem: “Question: How much does a hipster weigh? Answer: An Instagram.”
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