by Byron Connolly

CBA launches new AI chatbot

Jan 19, 2018
Risk Management

Commonwealth Bank on Friday unveiled a chatbot that it says uses artificial intelligence to assist customers with more than 200 banking tasks.

Called ‘Ceba’, the chatbot helps customers with tasks such as activating their card, checking the account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash. CBA said it will be available to more than 6.2 million NetBank and CommBank customers in the coming weeks.

CBA said Ceba, which is available around-the-clock, can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for the 200 tasks and will eventually be able to tell customers what they are spending their money on.

CBA’s general manager, digital, Pete Steel, said artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role as digital banking moves beyond just enabling seamless transactions.

“Banks are moving towards providing personalised and insightful online banking experiences for our customers and artificial intelligence along with powerful technology behind it sits at the centre of this shift. What’s exciting about Ceba is that it will be able to do the banking for our customers rather than just provide instructions on how to do it,” he said.

Steel said Ceba is also designed to “provide a seamless end-to-end experience” if a customer needs to speak to a person such as reporting fraud or applying for a product.

CBA is not first organisation in the banking and finance sector to create AI-driven chatbots. Last May, UBank said it used IBM’s Watson technology to build a virtual assistant to help potential home buyers and refinancers complete their online home loan applications.

In December, NIB Health Funds launched an intelligent chatbot to help customers with health insurance enquiries. Its bot, dubbed ‘nibby’, provides simple responses to queries and can point customers to the appropriate sales channel or claims consultant as questioning becomes more complex.

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