Consider this: You work in a startup 6 days a week, run from pillar to post to complete the day’s job, and get deeply fatigued. At night, before hitting the sack, the thought of buying a home flashes across your mind. But where is the time to go to the bank to apply for a loan?
Ever thought of applying for a housing loan through chatbot on Facebook? Well, if you haven’t, then the time has come to change your thinking, as waiting in a queue to apply for a housing loan in the bank is fast vanishing. Isn’t that indisputably cool?
Indiabulls Housing Finance was quick to take advantage of this situation and they installed a bot on Facebook to process loan applications.
But why did the company invest in a chatbot? Today, “People in the age group of (25-35) prefer to chat on Facebook on their smart phones. They are always on the move and are “social media savvy”, says Nafees Ahmed, CIO, Indiabulls Housing Finance. “That said, we pondered over a question: why not give customers an option to apply for loan through chatbot on Facebook. This initiative was another channel for us to provide online service to consumers.”
At the same time, today, consumers are flooded with several mails and messages in their smartphones, where the probability of overlooking important messages and mails are very high. Thus, chatbot has come to their rescue.
Functionality of chatbot
Chatbot has two functionalities: Application and servicing of a loan. In the first stage the customers fill up an application form through a chat. “The bot pulls out all the information from a person’s social media profile and gets it validated by asking various questions to the concerned person. Bot asks the same questions which are mentioned in the application form .Then the customers have to upload documents like KYC,” says Ahmed.
In servicing of a loan, customers can request for a change in address, mobile number, and statement of account on a chatbot. Interestingly, everything is machine driven.
“All the documents are stored on a document management system and all transactions are done in a secure environment,” says M M S Imran Hussain Choudhury, Product Manager-Innovation, Indiabulls Housing Finance.
Choudhury adds that all the documents are moved to the core loan management system and are available to credit and operations teams to process the applications. The company’s website is fully integrated with the loan management system.
Also, a person can move to the company’s website after starting his journey on the bot. For instance, a person can answer few questions on chatbot and answer the remaining on company’s website as it is integrated. “Overall, bot supplements our e-home loan platform,” says Choudhury.
The company went live with this project two months ago and took the help of a partner to install the bot on Facebook. Programming and coding were done to develop the bot.
“We are connected with the customer 24/7 and the present generation prefer chatting, so it’s a convenient platform for them to apply for a loan, says Choudhury.
Highlighting other benefits, “The productivity of the sales team has improved as the number of follow-ups have reduced. Moreover, call center enquiries have reduced by 15 percent as all the notifications are sent through the bot,” says Ahmed.
What are the plans for the future? “Our next step would be to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) around chatbot,” concludes Ahmed.
All said and done, it looks like Indiabulls Housing Finance seems to the one stop shop for loan requirements!