UBank rolls out AI assistant to help Aussies with their home loans

Niko Iliakis

Monday 11 February 2019

Today, two-time Mozo Experts Choice Best Online Bank Award winner, UBank announced it will be introducing the world’s first AI-powered home loan application assistant.

Mia, short for My Interactive Agent, will make her debut this week to a selection of UBank home loan applicants, with a wider release due for late February 2019.

The AI assistant will be able to provide financial guidance to customers 24/7, answering any home loan-related questions customers might have as they take the first steps in their property journey.

She’ll also have a cheeky side, UBank said. Talk of fixed interest rates and offset accounts can get a bit dry, so customers can count on Mia to deploy the occasional quip or gif during the chat to lighten the mood.

And use of bank jargon will be minimal, which should come as a relief to borrowers.

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“By bringing Mia to life, we’re giving customers a whole new way to interact with their online home loan application and completely challenging the perception of a digital bank,” said UBank CEO, Lee Hatton.

This will allow UBank to provide real-time responses to wide-ranging customer inquiries, simplifying the application process while also retaining a degree of personality (and novelty) that customers might prefer in their interactions with banks.

FaceMe, the team that UBank worked with to develop Mia, are veterans when it comes to conversational AI, and emphasise the power of their AI assistants to forge an emotional connection with users.

As FaceMe CEO, Danny Tomsett, puts it, “Our vision is to enable leading companies like UBank to create more meaningful and valuable experiences for their customers. Mia offers an emotionally connected experience for servicing customers making an exciting and important life decision.”

Mia builds upon UBank’s existing suite of online customer service applications, which includes RoboChat, another home loan chatbot released in 2017, and Live Chat, a feature which allows customers to speak directly to UBank advisors.

And on the AI front, Mia represents UBank’s third venture. Along with RoboChat, UBank made major strides last year with the rollout of RoboBrain, which employed IBM Watson technology to enhance employee’s abilities to field customer enquiries.

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As more banks and financial institutions embrace AI and similar technologies, we’re likely to see plenty more digital assistants finding their way into banking.

And one major selling point is they’re endlessly scalable.

“We want to continue attracting customers but maintaining the same number of team members to support this ever-growing customer base,” Hatton said.

“That means we need to leverage key technologies like AI to tackle the typical questions customers ask, so we can free up our team to address the unique situations our customers need more support with, every day.”

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to take out a home loan and need some idea of what's out there, check out our home loans comparison page for an overview.

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