NatWest Virtual Assistant Announces Launch Of Advanced Version Of Digital Assistant

NatWest Virtual Assistant Announces Launch Of Advanced Version Of Digital Assistant

By James Simons-

NatWest has announced the launch of an advanced version of its digital assistant, Cora, as it continues to innovate in online and mobile banking. The new chatbot, Cora+, began its pilot phase on Monday and is set to transform the way the bank interacts with its customers.

This move comes as NatWest experiences a significant increase in the use of its virtual assistant. In 2023, Cora handled 10.8 million customer queries, a substantial rise from the five million queries managed in 2019.

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The most common questions addressed by Cora involve cancelling transactions, changing addresses, requesting bank statements, obtaining new bank cards, and opening ISAs.

NatWest’s push towards digital innovation aligns with broader trends in the banking industry, where major high street banks are enhancing their online and mobile services. This shift has contributed to a decrease in branch visits, leading NatWest to announce the closure of nearly 50 branches this year, following over 100 closures in 2023.

The bank is among the first in the UK to implement generative artificial intelligence (AI) in its customer service operations.

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Generative AI allows machines to create new content based on extensive data sets, enabling more personalized and human-like interactions. This technology will enhance Cora’s ability to understand and anticipate customer needs, offer tailored suggestions, and provide more relevant information.

David Lindberg, CEO of NatWest’s retail bank, emphasized the potential of Cora+ to revolutionize customer interactions. “Cora+ is better able to anticipate their needs, make suggestions, and respond in a more ‘human’ way to questions,” he stated.

Lindberg believes that this advancement will significantly improve day-to-day banking experiences for NatWest customers.

Cora will also integrate seamlessly with human agents. When more complex issues arise that require human intervention, the system will transfer relevant information to a human representative to ensure a smooth transition and continued support.

This latest development follows a challenging period for NatWest’s digital services. In May, the bank faced a four-hour outage that left customers unable to access their accounts online or via mobile.

Despite such setbacks, NatWest remains committed to driving more automation and reducing reliance on traditional call centers.

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