Chase introduced a virtual assistant to its mobile banking app

  • Chase debuted virtual assistant in mobile banking app.
  • To spur usage, the bank will need to make clear its value and tailor features to meet current customer needs.
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The Chase Digital Assistant went live on the bank's mobile app earlier this week. It allows users to type out inquiries and commands related to balances; account and routing numbers; replacing, locking, and unlocking cards; and paying bills and transferring money, among others. The assistant will then provide answers or carry out the requested actions.

As Chase iterates on its Digital Assistant, it should follow the lead of Bank of America (BofA), which has molded its Erica virtual assistant to address current customer needs. Bucking the trend of weak interest, Erica has seen significant uptake: It counts 15.9 million users as of Q3 2020, up from 14.4 million in Q2. BofA attributed that success in large part to training the assistant to recognize 60,000 pandemic-related terms and inquiries, and also upgrading Erica with the ability to provide information on Merrill Lynch portfolio balances and trading activity. 

Virtual assistants can enable a streamlined remote banking experience—but banks need to prove their value. A conversational assistant housed in a banking app can enable 24/7 customer service, answer basic questions efficiently, and enhance overall engagement in the mobile app.

But demand for the feature isn't high, which suggests banks need to better communicate the value of these tools: Just 19% of mobile banking users who responded to Insider Intelligence's US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study 2019 (Enterprise only) called the ability to converse with a conversational AI assistant in the app "extremely valuable," making it the second-least in-demand tool of the 37 featured in our study.

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