How does NatWest keep up-to-date with online banking trends?

Customer expectations are engaging in our increasingly connected world. When using banking services, we expect personalised and seamless personal experiences across products, services and devices.

API and open data are transforming and disrupting industries, competitors are stealing direct relationships, and fintech firms are building off each other’s products, such as international money transfers.

So how does NatWest, which is acquired by RBS, ensure that its banking services don’t become distinct?

“Open banking gives our customers more choice and transparency, as well as greater value. We are able to compare products, and pay faster,” said Wincie Wong, Digital Proposition Lead from RBS at Tug Life.

Wong advises the following:

  • Identify
  • Define
  • Trial
  • Analyse
  • Scale

“It’s important to look at customer and technology trends. There’s no point innovating unless overcoming a genuine customer issue – you need to push through scale and interact with your customers to find out what it is that they really want,” added Wong.

To stay “ahead of the game” and enhance open banking experiences, NatWest designed an artificial intelligence-powered “digital human” which converses with customers in branches.

Cora has the ability to answer more than 200 queries, including “how do I login to online banking?”, “how do I apply for a mortgage?” and “what do I do if I lose my card?”.

“We’re the first UK bank to use artificial intelligence as a chatbot. Its aim is to prevent fraud and login issues, helps make a card payment, as well as gives you directions when losing your card,” Wong continued.

According to NatWest’s blog post, its AI skills will eventually be able to answer hundreds of different questions, as well as detect human emotions and react verbally and physically with facial expressions.

Wong also noted that, while testing Cora, it was interesting to see how people clarify little and often, are indirect, and love to ramble to the visual avatar.

Written by Leah Alger