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The three powers of conversational banking to transform this sector

Some of the procedures we are always avoiding are any bank related. Just the thought of spending so much time on the phone to get a simple question answered really discourages us from getting it done, let alone having to go to the branch—procrastination is what we choose. 

With this in mind, how should you connect with your clients when you are a bank that needs to migrate to a digital client relationship?

Two years ago, Banco Azteca adopted an instant messaging strategy to connect with its clients on their smartphones in order to foster financial inclusion. At that time, we never imagined we would be living through a global health crisis. 

What started as a good idea has become a key aspect for the future of big companies and financial institutions. That’s why we present today the three main benefits Banco Azteca found after implementing a conversational banking strategy.

A conversation in users’ favorite space.

According to Juan Carlos Arroyo, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director – Digital Banking in Banco Azteca, consumers spend 84% of their time online in apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. “In order to offer our users a better service, we need to transfer our offer to channels where they feel comfortable, i.e. instant messaging,” said Juan Carlos in 2019, after a little over one year in alliance with Yalo.

24/7, year-round service.

As opposed to traditional services with “branch opening hours,” conversational banking is available 24/7, including holidays and weekends. No need to wait or call later. The use of machine learning technologies allows for a better service. Banco Azteca is not the only financial institution that is betting on these technologies. In India, the ICICI bank—one of the leaders in the sector—has significantly reduced costs to allow all client bank transactions to be carried out through WhatsApp.

A personalized conversation with users.

Companies that use messaging as their main contact channel have achieved a tenfold increase in engagement. People communicate more by chat, including with their family, colleagues, and friends. Companies can collect their customers’ thoughts, in their own words, as well as information about what they do: their activities and behavior. With this data, companies have the necessary information to personalize their service. They can act and add value to their customers through the messaging channel.

The customer journey looks like this:

  1. To begin with, companies analyze what users ask for and design general user experiences.
  2. After that, messages can be personalized according to user profiles, e.g. sending a cross selling message to users who are prone to buying a cross selling product.
  3. Finally, the full context of the last conversation plus the user profile can be taken into account to personalize each message sent out.

We will soon be able to design every conversation at a mass scale.


This is the future we are designing at Yalo. Enabling the design of 1-1 conversation to scale. This is already happening in Asia on platforms like WeChat. It is also happening here in Mexico through the number one messaging platform. At Yalo, we have designed experiences that allow users to open a bank account or get recommendations. Everything on WhatsApp.

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