Stanbic Bank has launched a virtual assistant or a chatbot, aptly named “Stan”, set to shorten the response time for customer queries as part of the bank’s digitization drive.
The chatbot, Stan, has been designed to respond to queries from Stanbic Bank’s social media pages and the webchat service on their website day and night.
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A chatbot is specialized software that can simulate a conversation (or chat) with a user in a natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps or through the phone.
The bank’s head of Marketing & Communications, Palmer Mugavha, said the launch of the chatbot is in line with the digital bank journey that the Standard Bank Group subsidiary has been on for the last few years. Said Mugavha:
Our digitization drive is gathering momentum and we are excited about this latest offering. The launch of Stan enforces our commitment to quality customer experience as it allows customers to receive quicker responses to their queries at any time. As much as digitization started well before COVID-19, the products we are introducing will definitely go a long way in mitigating against the menacing pandemic as they play a pivotal role in reducing face to face interaction at limited or no cost, while ensuring quality banking service to customers.
Some local players in the banking sector have also introduced the chatbot service, a development which is seemingly becoming a trend as more corporates begin to implement world standard strategies to differentiate their services. Commented Mugavha:
It has become a trend indeed and, on our part, we are just working towards making sure that our banking services are seamlessly embedded within the daily lifestyles of our customers. We pay close attention to the needs of our clients and respond accordingly.
I should, however, point out that our Customer Care Centre remains available to assist should there be need to talk to a consultant, and Stan can speedily escalate enquiries in that instance.
Stan comes on board hard on the heels of Stanbic Bank having assumed the full cost of its customers’ access to some of its digital banking platforms.
Late December last year, Stanbic Bank zero-rated some of their platforms taking on the customer’s internet data cost as part of the digitization strategy aimed at encouraging the uptake of digital banking strategies for convenience and adoption on 1st world banking technologies and practices.
Mugavha also the virtual assistant was ready to serve on Stanbic Bank’s social media pages and also on the bank’s website. He said accessing Stan through these platforms is advantageous to customers “as we have zero-rated access to them for all our Econet-subscribing customers, an offer we are working to extend to customers on NetOne and Telecel.”