In a far-ranging interview with Hari Gopalkrishnan, who manages all Client Facing Platforms Technology at Bank of America, we learn that Zelle usage is up 70% (which shouldn’t be a surprise to PaymentsJournal readers) and that Erica automated agent now recognizes 60,000 pandemic-related intents.
Also interesting is that during the pandemic Bank of America added several new and unique intents based on new customer behaviors:
“And so the number of customers that have seen that and say, This is amazing, because it actually helps me manage my financial life. It keeps an eye out for my financials when I’m too busy doing other things like living my own life. So it goes to construct what really propelled us, why we built Erica, and then I can come back to your question. When the pandemic struck, we found our customers actually asking us about questions about the pandemic. They wouldn’t say, how do I defer a payment to a credit card. That’s bank speak. They would just say things like, I’m affected by the pandemic, how can you help?
Now we have over 60,000 different intents. We pretty quickly turned around a set of language training that we put the machine through about how it could be helpful. Erica can actually say, we have an ability for you to defer your payment. Would you like to do that? And Zack could respond, Oh, yeah, sure, take me there. And we take him to the screen. And next thing you know you made a deferral for a payment. So this idea of being there, being helpful, being contemporary, and updated all the time. We have weekly tuning cycles on the platform. We have monthly new features that go in. And it’s always learning, always adjusting to what your customers are going through. And what they’re getting through is something that we found to be extremely powerful in the last 12 months.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group