This 2.0 Guide is intended to show the state of artificial intelligence (AI) as it pertains to the role of member service. It should offer some perspective about why using AI-powered member service solutions will help credit unions offer self-help options, improve their digital service, and scale their contact centers.
Countless vendors provide some form of omnichannel assistance, contact center augmentation, digital self-service options, and other helpful facets of the member service equation. However, those vendors that have incorporated AI have—exclusively in the areas that AI powers—exceeded the efficiency, accuracy, and capability of vendors who haven’t. More importantly, those vendors who have already incorporated AI into their solutions are better positioned to improve and scale more portions of their business with AI. Simply put, they’re already ahead, and they’re about to hit turbo.
AI helps credit unions improve the member experience. Whether it be conversational AI that helps members with routine transactions and queries, or if it be biometric voice recognition to reduce fraud and average handling time (AHT) in contact centers, AI is already changing the way member service is delivered.
There’s a lot of overlap in what different vendors offer in this space. However, each one brings something unique to the table, and there is no clear “best” solution or even “best” use of AI in this market segment… yet.
AI Member Service Trends and Statistics
The following trends and statistics paint a picture about where AI fits into the world of member service. This includes conversational AI (which ChatGPT has most certainly legitimized, even among doubters of “chatbots”). However, there’s a lot more to member-facing AI than just chat!
Trend 1: Conversational AI (chatbots).
Thanks to publicized conversations with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the secret is out about conversational AI. It’s certainly come a long way since the days of SmarterChild. In fact, today’s chatbots understand member requests on the first message about 90% of the time or more. Thanks to the nature of AI, that 90% figure will continue to improve.
In fact, that 90% figure was pulled from Finn AI’s (now a part of Glia) studies from its customers in 2021. A lot can change in 2 years.
It’s impressive that chatbots can understand and be understood by humans. It opens an incredible array of possibilities around self-service, web and mobile accessibility, and performing routine banking transactions.
According to Cornerstone Advisors, only about 20% of financial institutions have a chatbot or digital assistant right now. As with all things AI, again, that number will go up, since chatbots can save a lot of FTE around member service… and especially considering that members increasingly bank digital-first and only call or visit a branch after they run into a problem (or when there’s no digital option available).
Trend 2: Digital self-service options.
It’s not just thatchatbots can understand and generate text and language—chatbots can also assist with basic banking tasks.
When conversational AI edges into “virtual” or “digital assistant” territory—an increasingly common capability—that AI can help with basic support, tasks, and transactions such as:
- Balance inquiries
- Balance transfers
- Password resets
- Account opening
The list could go on, and, like everything in this guide, will only continue to expand. But what’s most notable about these basic transactions are that they comprise between 75–80% of contact center requests, according to Finn’s 2021 research. Imagine life with 80% fewer contact center calls!
Trend 3: Contact center tie-ins and member identification.
AI can truly revolutionize the way that contact centers operate. Especially in conjunction with omnichannel capabilities, AI can streamline the entire contact center ecosystem:
- Identify members through voice and behavior biometrics, cutting average handling time (AHT) by nearly 90 seconds;
- Provide more channels for members to engage through, increasing assistance touchpoints and self-service options;
- Offer contextual, cross-channel communications that span across chatbots, email, SMS, phone, and more so that members don’t have to repeat conversations;
- AI can arm representatives with member information, suggest resolutions to their issue(s), and provide cross- and upsell opportunities.
AI solutions not only reduce contact center volume, but they also decrease average call time and give representatives more information and opportunities during each call.
Many providers in the AI member service space do similar things. Especially at this stage in the world of AI, the best thing to do is to speak to each fintech to see if they’ll be a good fit. Here are a few things you might want to ask about:
Does the solution allow you to engage with members across all of the channels you use? Does it do so seamlessly, or do conversations get lost when switching from one channel to another?
Chatbot / digital assistant
Does the fintech offer an AI-powered chatbot? Can the chatbot perform basic banking functions for the member? Can it connect members to your contact center?
Contact center wait times
Can the solution cut down the average time per call? Will it allow members to save their place in line until the contact center calls them so that they don’t have to wait on hold?
Contact center empowerment
Does the vendor empower contact center representatives with member information? Can it suggest answers and resolutions? Can it assist with sales and marketing?
Does the solution allow members to resolve their issues without involving the credit union or contact center?
Connections and integrations
Does the solution require extensive time to set up, deploy, and optimize? Is it tied to a specific core? Can it integrate easily with your tech stack, or will you need bespoke connections?
Can the technology support more than one user or member language? Does it support only the most common languages, or can it support most or all languages?
Training and time to deployment
Is the AI turnkey or will it need training before you can deploy it? Will it improve as it gains access to more of your credit union’s data?
AI Member Service Fintech Ratings, Part 1
Part 1 of our AI Member Service fintech ratings is about how each fintech in the guide works with credit unions. Do they compete? Do they sell services to credit unions at rates that maximize their profits but are hard on CU budgets? Do they share profits or marketing effort with credit unions?
We address these issues with our “Eat Your Lunch,” “Sell You Lunch,” and “Share Lunch With You” ratings in our downloadable PDF guides.
AI Member Service Fintech Ratings, Part 2
This section of our fintech ratings introduces blockchain and DeFi providers along with a brief description of what they do. We also attempt to rate each provider on two simple variables (outlined below).
CU 2.0’s rating methodology for our early guides is very simple. We measure the potential impact of working with each fintech on two variables: Credit Union Impact (ROI, ease of deployment, access to other technologies, etc.) and Member Experience (ease of use, self-service, reduced effort, etc.).
0: N/A or no impact. Competes with or disintermediates credit unions; doesn’t offer relevant services.
1: Minimal impact. Higher cost limits ROI and scale potential; limited or narrow use cases.
2: Moderate impact. Doesn’t offer substantial ROI or scale potential; provides multiple member- and/or agent-facing solutions.
3: Major impact. Offers substantial ROI and scale potential; provides many member- and/or agent-facing solutions.
Our impact ratings don’t necessarily correlate to the quality of a given solution. Fintechs with higher potential impact scores aren’t automatically better, or a better fit, for your credit union and members.
The following fintechs are listed alphabetically. These ratings correspond only to the two listed variables (Credit Union Impact and Member Experience). These aren’t ranking of quality, nor are they recommendations—they’re meant only to serve as a starting point in your research to improve your credit union’s lending strategy.
These ratings are unique among our guides because we believe that all solutions offer significant ROI and scale potential over traditional chat and member service options.
Trusted solutions feature an asterisk by their names—these are fintechs that CU 2.0 has vetted personally.
|Abe.ai uses AI to enable credit unions to acquire, engage, support, and provide self-service options to members.
|Active.ai provides AI-powered conversational banking with its digital assistant and sales abilities.
|BOND.AI’s chatbot helps members improve their financial health and can also assist with onboarding.
|Clinc automates common member touchpoints with its AI-powered virtual assistant and IVR solutions.
|Glia helps credit unions connect with their members across all channels, including video, SMS, chat, contact center, and co-browsing.
|interface.ai powers contact center automation and member self-service with its AI.
|Nuance’s world-leading AI reduces fraud with voice biometrics and powers improvements across all member service channels.
|Posh’s AI covers both text and voice conversation to help credit unions serve members on the website and by phone.
|TalkDesk offers everything from chat, to video, to automation and training for contact centers with its AI.
Please note that these ratings are in their early stages and will be updated as we include more data and more complex variables. The ratings are not definite—your credit union could see a different level of impact than listed in this guide.
Did we miss a fintech? Please let us know at [email protected]
Choosing the right partners to leverage fintech lending capabilities and efficiencies will depend on your goals, budget, timeline, and other factors. CU 2.0 can help in the following ways:
- Join our Fintech Call Program. In quarterly 30-minute calls, we’ll discuss in depth new and innovative fintech solutions that fit your credit union’s needs. We can also help you review other solutions you’re looking at.
- Ask for an introduction. We maintain relationships with most or all of the vendors rated above. We would be happy to give you a warm introduction to any we can on the list.
- Book a consultation. CU 2.0 offers technology and fintech consultations and reviews to identify best-fit solutions for your credit union.