How Chatbots Can Revive Your PFM Investment


Right now, a market opportunity exists for credit unions to reimagine how their existing Personal Financial Management (PFM) solutions work with popular voice-and-messaging channels, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Facebook Messenger, to open new channels of engagement, as well as opportunities to deepen relationships with members.

Research by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) indicates that many Americans struggle with their finances. According to the report, 57 percent of the country’s population—138 million people—lack “financial health.” Managing money is hard. When you’re trying to get by week to week, calculating what you can afford and when, finding extra cash to save, paying off or taking on debt responsibly, and planning ahead is mentally and emotionally exhausting. It’s even harder when you don’t have someone you can talk to about your challenges.

But what if your credit union could have a digital conversation and “talk” with every member who was struggling to take control of their finances? How might those conversations deepen relationships? Could they reveal new opportunities to tailor products and services? Could they increase member deposit balances and lower customer service costs?

Making PFM Conversational

Personal Financial Management (PFM) solutions, while well-intentioned at the time of investment, typically don’t get a sustained level of member adoption and engagement. No doubt, the efficacy of PFM tools can be improved, and by integrating Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) into a chart-and-graph driven experience, money management can feel more like a substantive conversation, rather than a chore. Here’s how it works.

Conversational AI is simply a computer system with which to communicate with members by typing or talking. In today’s marketplace, there are both good and bad Conversational AI systems. (We won’t cover how to evaluate them in this post, but if you want to know more, please register for the upcoming webinar, How Chatbots Can Revive Your PFM Investment.)

To fully leverage Conversational AI, you need to build on a solid foundation of data. This data forms the basis of dialogue with Conversational AI. When Conversational AI is integrated into a PFM solution, credit unions are empowered to start conversations based on member account aggregation data.

Account aggregation data shows all the outside financial relationships a member has with other institutions. This data is paramount to gaining a holistic view of a member’s financial situation.

So what do you “talk about” with members based on their account aggregation data? It’s suggested that credit unions begin engaging their members on matters of financial health. According to research from Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), there’s a business case for doing so, too.

This concept isn’t unrealistic because people want help with their finances and are willing to share. Recent research from the Aite Group shows that 75 percent of 22-to-49-year-old consumers are interested in using a “virtual financial wellness coach.” Progressive institutions such as Umpqua Bank in Portland have launched an app pilot, called Best Financial Friend (BFF), which will enable the bank to get more involved in the financial lives of their customers. By integrating Conversational AI into your PFM solution, you can too.

Learn more by registering for our upcoming webinar, How Chatbots Can Revive Your PFM Investment, where you’ll also learn specific financial health “conversation starters.”

Posted in GoWest Solutions.