Tech providers join forces to create AI solutions for frontline CU staff.
A couple of tech entrepreneurs in the credit union space saw an opportunity to introduce a focused product called CU Copilot (cucopilot.com) in April 2023. It’s an early-stage start-up that leverages large language models and generative AI. For starters, it will help member service reps talk more efficiently with members who have questions.
CU Copilot is a joint venture between CU 2.0 and Senso.ai, and it’s exploratory, not mainstream, at this point.
“We circulated the concept among a couple hundred CUs that we know to be progressive,” reports Chris Otey, EVP/chief revenue officer of CU 2.0 (cu-2.com) Ashland, Oregon. “We started working with those that raised their hands.”
Some 40 volunteered for the discovery stage, and six have recently started testing the product in production, Otey reports. “A few are up and running. We have positive testimonials.
“We’re not looking for the fast followers,” he explains. “We want CUs that are ready to move now.”
Because the application doesn’t depend on integration with CU vendors, CUs are free to jump in, he points out. More information is available at cu-2.com/consortium.
“We started with the biggest headache,” notes Saroop Bharwani, a founder and chief engineer of Senso.ai, Toronto, Canada. That was the problem member service reps had in retrieving information from their knowledge base quickly to answer member questions.
“Too often they had to research a question and put the member on hold or call them back,” he explains. Now that information can be retrieved quickly, even for MSRs who are not very experienced.
The MSR gets quick answers, but the product users are really the back-office administrators who are the curators of the CU knowledge base. The product needs to be integrated with the credit unions’ internal knowledge base, which requires two to three weeks of set-up time to import files, but it doesn’t need to integrate with core systems and other external vendors, Otey explains.
Currently, users key words into a chat interface, but voice exchanges will be available soon, Otey says.
Subscribers, based on staff size, pay an annual fee in advance, which the vendors hope will be renewed. The vendors envision their clients as “a consortium” that develops and shares knowledge. “Collectively, we’ll discover and share best practices,” Otey predicts. The first virtual user group meeting was held in July, with six participants.cues icon
Richard H. Gamble writes from Grand Junction, Colorado.