Financial services companies are racing to implement flexible, contextualized conversational technologies, but how much do they really drive digital engagement? Join this VB Live event to learn how advances in chat tech can create more meaningful experiences for your customers.

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We’re witnessing the emergence of the conversational interface and financial services companies have to keep up for three main reasons, says Ken Dodelin, VP of conversational AI products at Capital One. First, advances in natural language processing (NLP) capabilities have enabled us to move beyond trying to teach humans how to communicate with machines, and are now teaching machines how to communicate with humans using natural language, whether in voice or text.

Second, the number of places to interact with customers, beyond the traditional website and app, is increasing. The conversational interface found in smart speakers and chat apps and SMS enables companies to create new touch points and micro-experiences with customers that can seamlessly integrate into their lives.

Third, there’s the accessibility of customers’ account data to enable personalized and intelligent real-time communication with them — even being proactive by reaching out in ways that can approximate a 24/7 human financial assistant who’s constantly poring over their account information.

Customers benefit hugely from more natural interactions, he says, as the company’s experiences with SMS fraud alerts revealed (those worrying text messages that say, hey, we noticed a suspicious charge on your account, and ask you to text back a response to confirm or deny those expenses.)

“We found people don’t text like machines, Dodelin says. “We received a mix of misspellings, variants of yes or no, and longer explanations typed in about the charge. We didn’t understand any of it.”

NLP has changed the game, with the ability to understand and process more than 99 percent of customer responses, he says.

“Customers benefit from a more natural interaction, being understood in a moment of heightened anxiety when they’re suddenly fearful they’ve been the victim of fraud,” he explains. “Our ability to promptly take action when fraud is identified benefits both customers and our business.”

It’s not about customers adopting new technology, or learning new software, he explains. It’s about giving customers the option to converse with their bank about their financial health and their accounts in the same way they’d text a friend or family member — to the extent that you can pay a bill via text, and confirm the transaction by texting “confirm,” or just use a thumbs-up emoji. And, in fact, more than half of their customers confirm with that emoji.

It’s also changing the financial wellness game, he adds.

“I think a big part of financial wellness is empowering customers with information, and messaging is a very portable interface, which enables more frequent access to information,” he says. “It also goes in both directions, with the intelligent assistant doing all of the poring over your accounts and reaching out with important information whenever necessary in the channel that you prefer.”

And now is the time to get on board, because it’s a quickly evolving space.

“But don’t force conversational interfaces into places where they’re not necessary,” Dodelin says. “Find ways to add value to the customers’ experience and remove friction. That’s your best bet.”

To learn more about how conversational interfaces are changing customer experiences with their financial institutions, how they can support loyalty and improve financial wellness, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

Webinar attendees will learn:

  • How conversational technologies changing the financial services landscape
  • Things to consider when looking to deploy a voice-enabled solution
  • How voice and chat can support a broad range of financial wellness solutions
  • How to capitalize on conversational interfaces to capture and improve customer loyalty


  • Frank Coates, Executive Managing Director, Envestnet | Yodlee Analytics
  • Ken Dodelin, VP Conversational AI Products, Capital One
  • Sandi Boga, Director, Product Innovation, ATB Financial
  • Evan Schuman, Moderator, VentureBeat

Sponsored by Envestnet | Yodlee