Soon-to-be available, Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB) will use a digital customer assistant based on artificial intelligence, who will accompany interested consumers online on their way to a private loan. "Herbie", which is now being tested in a pilot phase, was developed by the Berlin-based software service provider FinReach. FinReach CEO, Sascha Dewald, will present the functionality exclusively at a symposium in Mainz today.
"The special feature of Herbie is that he guides the course of the conversation based on specific questions presented to the customer and recognizes a relevant product interest in real time. This is different from the classic chatbots of today", says Dewald. "In the first stage of conversation, Herbie focuses on users who are interested in consumer credit or would like to receive more information on the topic. What was vital in the development of these dialogues was our close cooperation with DKB, with whom we have worked closely with in a partnership." In addition, the development team also made sure that visitors to the DKB website remain anonymous and that Herbie offers its dialogue in a discreet manner: The assistant appears at the bottom right of the screen, instead of being asked to take over large parts of the display like traditional chatbots.
"Herbie can be operated as intuitively as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger," says Sascha Dewald. "In addition, he understands colloquial language and oversees mistakes in spelling and grammar." If the customer is satisfied with the quality of the information, Herbie forwards him directly into the application for a loan.
A study by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) has shown that more than one in four loan interests on the internet are converted to complete application submissions, and the trend is rising. Mark Hauel, Head of Retail Banking at DKB, therefore sees great potential in Herbie: "More and more people are expecting their bank to provide intelligent digital services and increased interaction. Our new chatbot will initially be used on our personal loans, making it another digital building block in our response to this evolution." By combining artificial intelligence with the communication habits of today's consumers, the bank is increasing its online interaction with customers. "The experts from FinReach, together with us, have coached Herbie in recent months," says Mark Hauel. "We are happy that he is now ready to launch."