Chatbots

Digit Launches New Savings Bot

Another financial service app has launched a chatbot this week.

Digit announced the launch its savings bot, which will live on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The San Francisco-based company said this will allow users to communicate with the company in a space they are already spending a lot of time.

To date, the Digit app — operating on SMS and mobile — has saved users more than $350 million. The app works using an algorithm focused on the user’s income and spending patterns to tap off a small amount from the checking account and move it into a safe, savings account for later activities, like bills and holiday shopping.

The FinTech is looking to “humanize” the user experience and allow for users to feel more in control of their savings.

After a pilot of the bot in 2015, Digit is moving forward with hopes to save customers more money and expand the conversation around saving. The plan includes rolling out a new AI technology with its “financial goal program,” allowing users to set a goal for a specific amount and date to reach that goal. The algorithm would then advise the user on how to get to their goal or explain that the goal is too lofty.

Some critics see this move as not worthwhile due to research from Mindshare that found that 60 percent of users feel patronized by certain chatbot conversations, with about 50 percent finding them creepy at times. However, other studies show that consumers want a smooth and efficient experience, especially when it comes to personal finances.

Digit is clearly not alone in creating a consumer finance-focused chatbot. TalkBank launched a Russian- and English-speaking chatbot service in December and aims to replace the one-on-one bank teller experience. Back in November, at Money20/20, Mastercard launched its KAI chatbot and Bank of America launched Erica. And a new banking app named Val has been introduced to the world by Kasisto, a company focused on transforming consumer banking through artificial intelligence (AI), and mobile banking startup Varo Money. The partnership announced that it intends to power Val through Varo’s mobile app.

For more chatbot news, check out PYMNTS’ Weekly Chatbot Tracker.

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