Consider this: You work in a startup 6 days a week, run from pillar to post to complete the day\u2019s job, and get deeply fatigued.\u00a0 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?\u00a0\u00a0Ever thought of applying for a housing loan through chatbot on Facebook? Well, if you haven\u2019t, 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.\u00a0 Isn\u2019t 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.\u00a0But why did the company invest in a chatbot? Today, \u201cPeople in the age group of (25-35) prefer to chat on Facebook on their smart phones. They are always on the move and are \u201csocial media savvy\u201d, says Nafees Ahmed, CIO, Indiabulls Housing Finance. \u201cThat 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.\u201d\u00a0At 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 chatbotChatbot has two functionalities: Application and servicing of a loan. In the first stage the customers fill up an application form through a chat. \u201cThe bot pulls out all the information from a person\u2019s 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,\u201d 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.\u00a0\u00a0\u201cAll the documents are stored on a document management system and all transactions are done in a secure environment,\u201d says M M S Imran Hussain Choudhury, Product \u00a0Manager-Innovation,\u00a0Indiabulls 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\u2019s website is fully integrated with the loan management system.Also, a person can move to the company\u2019s website after starting his journey on the bot. For instance, a person can answer few questions on chatbot and answer the remaining on company\u2019s website as it is integrated. \u201cOverall, bot\u00a0 supplements our e-home loan platform,\u201d 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.Benefits:\u201cWe are connected with the customer 24\/7 and the present generation prefer chatting, so it\u2019s a convenient platform for them to apply for a loan, says Choudhury.Highlighting other benefits, \u201cThe 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,\u201d says Ahmed.What are the plans for the future? \u201cOur next step would be to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) around chatbot,\u201d concludes Ahmed.All said and done, it looks like Indiabulls Housing Finance seems to the one stop shop for loan requirements!