Emirates NBD has announced that it will soon debut ‘EVA’, the region’s first intelligent voice-based and chatbot Virtual Assistant for banking in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Emirates NBD Future Lab, a key initiative of the bank’s digital strategy, is currently piloting EVA’s voice capabilities via a select customer user group for calls to its customer service centre. The beta version includes chatbot capabilities via the bank’s Facebook messenger, soon to be extended to its popular mobile banking application. The pilot enables the user group to interact and receive assistance from EVA using natural or conversational English, offering a more intuitive and personalised customer experience, based on artificial intelligence algorithms.
“EVA will soon be an exciting new addition to our customer service toolkit, acting as an intelligent virtual assistant to help customers with their banking needs,” said Suvo Sarkar, Senior EVP and Group Head – Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD. “Leveraging cutting-edge technology, EVA will usher a new era of instant customer service via a human-like conversational interface. Activating EVA is a part of our over-arching customer-first philosophy to make banking simpler and more convenient through digital innovation.”
According to recent reports by Statista, 43 percent of mobile voice search users do so because it is quicker than going on a website or using an app. Emirates NBD Future Lab is testing implementation of EVA as part of the bank’s AED 500 million commitment to digital innovation and multichannel transformation to increase customer loyalty. As virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo and others play an increasingly important part of our daily lives, Emirates NBD plans to continue to invest in evolving EVA’s functionalities to become more engaging and intuitive.
Pedro Cardoso, Head of Multichannel and CRM, Emirates NBD said, “Emirates NBD has always been a step ahead in anticipating customer’s needs and offering simpler banking solutions by leveraging digital innovation. We recognise that customers today need quicker access to service and EVA’s intelligent voice and text with natural language recognition capabilities will help us provide a level of engagement never seen before by the region’s banking customers.”
In the first phase of the pilot, EVA will understand the customer’s request and route directly to the appropriate menu solution both via voice and chat, allowing self-service where possible, or routing to a customer service agent to resolve the query. In the near future, EVA will transform the traditional way customers interact with the bank, by
offering a true omnichannel experience allowing customers to start a conversation over chatbot and continue via voice across multiple devices, making it much easier and more convenient.