Wells Fargo Announces Messenger Chatbot Plans

Wells Fargo recently announced plans to test a chatbot for Facebook Messenger — the latest in a recent string of payments providers and financial institutions to break into the bot space on the social media giant’s messaging application.

The move by Wells Fargo is part of the company’s larger innovation agenda to incorporate financial services into third-party environments. The pilot test first opened to several hundred of the banking and financial services company’s employees.

Wells Fargo has plans to roll out the bot pilot test to consumers later in the spring.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to provide more personalized services for customers and to bring those services directly to our customers,” said Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group and leader of the company’s Artificial Intelligence Enterprise Solutions team. “Our goal is to deliver information ‘in the moment’ to help customers make better informed financial decisions. AI technology allows us to take an experience that would have required our customers to navigate through several pages on our website and turn it into a simple conversation in a chat environment. That’s a huge time-saving convenience for busy customers who are already frequent users of Messenger.”

Wells Fargo outlined AI as a key area of focus for its Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation (PVSI) group. PVSI hopes to redefine the next generation of capabilities and offerings, prioritizing research and development.

Along with AI, PVSI has focused heavily on payments and APIs to help increase its payments efforts and speed up opportunities with corporate banking customers. Investments in each area will help the company create digital banking products and make it easier for customers to achieve their financial goals.

Wells Fargo has been providing customer assistance on Facebook since 2009, adopting Messenger as its main channel for consumer questions and service issues. Today, the company says a majority of Wells Fargo’s customer engagements are now conducted via Messenger.