Nigerian Banks Embrace AI Chatbots to Improve Customer Service

According to recent reports, several Nigerian Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are now competing in the adoption and performance efficiency of Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbots. These chatbots are computer programs or AI that conduct conversations through audio or text and are used for customer support and complaint resolution. The aim of these chatbots is to provide instant responses and 24/7 support to customers, helping banks to keep up with the digital economy.

The banks that have adopted chatbots include Zenith Bank, which has a chatbot called Ziva; Fidelity Bank, with its chatbot Ivy; First City Monument Bank’s Temi; UBA Group with Leo, an AI-powered Facebook Messenger bot that allows users to perform banking transactions; Access Bank’s Tamada; Heritage Bank’s Octopus chatbot, and Keystone Bank’s Oxygen. Each of these chatbots has its own unique features, such as Ziva which can handle over 100 banking transactions, and Leo, which can be accessed via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in the banking industry worldwide as they can help free up call center employees from routine tier-1 support requests, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. In 2017, experts from IBM projected that by 2020, more than 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent. Banks are leveraging AI, chatbots, and automated, self-service technologies to provide better customer service and keep up with the fast-paced nature of the digital economy.

The chatbots are being well received by customers, with some describing Fidelity Bank’s Ivy as a “cool babe” who has helped to stop anxiety in online banking. FCMB’s Temi has also been described as a “nice loving name on messenger, for a fantastic banker persona.” Heritage Bank’s Octopus chatbot can be found on Telegram and Keystone Bank’s Oxygen on Facebook messenger or Telegram, both of them are helping customers to buy movie tickets.

As more and more customers are using digital channels to access banking services, it’s becoming increasingly important for banks to provide instant and efficient support. By adopting AI-powered chatbots, Nigerian banks are not only providing better customer service, but they’re also creating a more efficient and cost-effective way to handle routine tasks. Some industry watchers also suggests that the channel through which each chatbot is accessed could play a role in its acceptance and wider use by customers.

In conclusion, Nigerian banks are adopting chatbots as a way to improve customer service and stay competitive in the digital economy. These AI-powered chatbots are proving to be efficient and well-received by customers, helping banks to free up call center employees from routine tasks and focus on more complex tasks. As more advanced AI technologies become available, it is expected that the use of chatbots will become even more widespread in the banking industry.

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