call center commerce

Why Humans Still Run Betterment’s AI-Powered Call Center

Consumers have seemingly grown more comfortable interacting with automated and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled interfaces when dealing with call centers. In fact, consumers have reported higher satisfaction with call centers that employ AI than with those that do not.

With this shift in consumer behavior, call centers must not only keep pace with the technology, but keep a close watch on security amid growth in fraud and breaches.

In the latest Call Center Commerce Tracker, PYMNTS looks at how players in the call center space are responding to this increased need for data security, and how they’re implementing tools like AI and biometrics. We also examine what it will take for call centers to keep customer engagement quick and personalized as many move to an omnichannel strategy.

Around the Call Center Commerce World

As need for fraud protection increases, many companies are searching for new ways to give their data security a boost, from raising new funding to acquiring technology startups to industry partnerships.

Take Atlanta-based startup Pindrop, which recently raised $90 million in a new funding round, earmarked for its anti-fraud solutions. The startup will use the funds to further upgrade the anti-fraud measures it provides to call centers with the development of technologies like voice authentication.

Other industry players are looking to implement voice authentication as well, such as Voci Technologies, which recently launched a biometric tool for voice-based identification. Clients can integrate the solution using the Voci API.

Meanwhile, some are turning to automation for payment and billing. Datatel, for example, recently launched an on-the-phone solution for hospital billing. The solution, designed to help users feel more comfortable sharing data over the phone, automates the process so no sensitive personal information is told to a human employee.

Check out our News and Trends section for more on these and other stories.

Automation and the Human Element

While companies turn to AI and automation for faster transactions and stronger data security, that doesn’t mean humans are out of the customer service game quite yet. In fact, automation shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative to human customer service, but rather as a complement to it, according to Julia Lowd, director of customer operations for robo-advisory service Betterment.

“[There are] some people who really want to retain that human element, especially because we’re a robo-advisor. So, they want to actually ask a question to a person, and we want to make sure they feel comfortable,” Lowd said. However, that doesn’t mean the robo-advisor is shying away from automation for customer service.

To read more about Betterment’s approach to automation and customer service, take a look at the feature story.

The Call Center Commerce Tracker™ serves as a monthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent call center commerce news and trends. The Tracker also includes a provider directory, highlighting the key players that comprise the call center ecosystem.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.