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RBS banks on AI with IBM Watson’s cognitive chatbot

The Artificial Intelligence program from IBM will interact with RBS customers in webchat and answer their queries.

By Ellie Burns

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will be using IBM Watson powered Luvo, a cognitive chat bot that allows people to interact with an AI-powered platform for enhanced customer service experience.

It will be a pilot project and will use IBM Watson Conversation, a cloud-based cognitive service.

RBS plans to roll out the Luvo webchat service in December. Initially, only 10% of the bank’s customers will be able to use this service.

The chat bot will be able to answer simple questions about updation or change in home address and authorising cards to be used overseas. For these queries, the AI-powered chat bot will give answers in an instant.

Whenever, complex queries are asked, the question will be transferred to a human representative at the bank, who can give the right answer.

RBS is planning to introduce this pilot after successful testing of the chat bot after 1200 of its staff and NatWest staff used this service while handling queries from small business customers with issues about lost cards or forgotten PINs.

According to RBS, it is introducing the Luvo chat to reduce help customers with their quick and simple queries and to keep waiting lines at bare minimum.

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IBM claims that the Luvo programme can find solutions for simpler problems in a split second, thus freeing up staff so that they can concentrate on complex issues faced by customers.

Luvo has also been programmed to act according to a given situation. While a customer with a query of stolen card will be directed to a human representative and a customer who seeks information to apply for a new card will be given the relevant information.

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland Personal Banking head Jane Howard said: “Luvo frees advisors from spending time on simple, easily-addressed queries so they can help customers with more complex issues and questions.”

In the near future, IBM also wants to introduce Watson Alchemy Language, which can understand the tone of a customer. If a customer is feeling unhappy or frustrated, then the machine can quickly change its tone and actions accordingly.

IBM Europe Watson Solutions Financial Services head Chris Withers said: “As this cognitive system continues to learn overtime, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest will be able to expand Luvo’s capabilities to more complex areas such as providing increased personalization and using predictive analytics to detect possible issues before they arise to make a recommended course of action.

“Luvo is a great example of how IBM Watson can be used to augment the intelligence of employees and improve the experience of customers.”

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