Artificial Intelligence-Powered Chatbot Delivers Outstanding Member Experience

hand with chatbot on technology background
By Daphne Jordan

3 minutes

How UnitedFCU has effectively deployed the Finn AI solution

The shift to remote banking caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will never be reversed. As a result, credit unions have a unique opportunity to build and retain market share in this new environment. Enter conversational banking experiences driven by artificial intelligence that increase convenience and success for members. AI-powered chatbots, such as Finn AI, can improve members’ experiences in the mobile, online, and call center channels. Ultimately, they can help deliver an outstanding digital experience. 

$3.4 billion United Federal Credit Union, St. Joseph, Michigan, is a real-life example of Finn AI’s chatbot in action. UnitedFCU wants to create a member-centric culture because its leaders recognize that a member is behind every transaction and interaction.  

“I love empowering users to manage their yesterday, today, and their tomorrow, where, when, and how they choose,” says Warren Pattison, the CU’s VP/emerging technology. Pattison and his colleagues realized that they needed to update their digital space to cater to their clients’ needs and desires. They looked to Amazon as a great example of a well-thought-out and well-implemented customer experience. UnitedFCU felt that Amazon’s chatbot was doing something right, as it was intuitive, intelligent and people could use it at all hours of the night, even after business hours. Plus, “bots are cool,” Pattison says. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many credit unions that had been taking pride in their excellent member interactions had a big hole to fill. Members needed to be able to bank on their terms. UnitedFCU saw that CUs need to research and gauge what customers need before they need it. The CU’s members quickly adopted a contactless banking experience during the pandemic.  

“We wanted to bring the value proposition of a credit union to digital,” Pattison says, noting that the leaders of the credit union thought offering a chatbot in its online banking and mobile app would be a great way to do it. 

The Finn AI chatbot that UnitedFCU implemented can answer such questions as, “What’s my account balance?” and “Pay my electricity bill,” and “I lost my credit card; what now?” After adding the bot to the CU’s online banking and mobile app, leaders of the organization saw a 60% containment rate in customer inquiries—that is, 60% of users who interacted with the bot finished their experience without speaking to a live human agent. 

No one says, “Wow, I wish I did more banking transactions today,” but banking services should be there when you need them. Well-timed, personalized content is something members appreciate. For example, people would rather get a message saying, “Your balance is low,” than “You’ve bounced five checks!”  

Finn AI does this and allows UnitedFCU and other credit unions to look to the future and proactively offer personalized content based on past transactions. For instance, it could say, “Warren, I noticed you are spending money on Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops and sunscreen, but I don’t see airline tickets or lodging. Let’s set up a savings goal for ‘Family Vacation 2021.’”  

“Most importantly, we can guide our users to achieve what’s most important—their goals,” using the chatbot, Warren says. 

Both UnitedFCU and Finn AI clearly understand what it means to be in an industry where customers’ needs are constantly changing, and they need an accounting of their finances. Not only are Finn AI and United FCU working to provide real-time data to members, but they are helping members in daily planning, saving and spending, all to make their member’s lives easier.  

Daphne Jordan is marketing manager for Ongoing Operations, a credit union service organization owned and operated by credit unions. Daphne holds an associate’s degree in Life Sciences from Great Bay Community College and a bachelor’s in marketing from the University of New Hampshire. She has traveled to over 30 countries and plans to see more!  

A proud partner of Finn AI, Ongoing Operations currently services more than 130 credit unions with solutions that simplify IT operations, provide results they can’t find or afford elsewhere, and meet the industry’s security compliance and service requirements.

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