The news: Bank of America is adding a human element to its artificial intelligence-powered (AI) virtual assistant Erica, per Banking Dive.
A human touch: Launched in 2018, Erica has become one of the most-accessed virtual banking assistants, helping 32 million customers with over 1 billion interactions. Now, BofA is enhancing the chatbot to give customers even more personalization and tailored product recommendations.
Appealing to young and old: Banks’ digital transformations, accelerated by the pandemic, have changed the way many consumers manage their financial lives. BofA recognized that it’s not just younger generations who are using Erica: Older clients are also taking advantage of the technology. But the bank realized that consumers of all ages still crave some human interaction.
Complement, not replace: AI is finding its place in banking primarily in the use of chatbots. In addition to BofA, other major banks like Wells Fargo and Truist have recently introduced AI-powered virtual assistants.
We expect AI to enhance, but not overtake the human elements of the banking relationship as the technology advances.
The big takeaway: Customer demand for both digital banking and human interaction requires banks to find the right balance. BofA has an opportunity to become the industry leader with its expected enhancements to Erica, but other big banks are hot on its heels. BofA must be flawless in its execution, or risk losing the credibility it’s already built with the powerful chatbot.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Banking Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the banking industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.