Hang Seng Bank enables AI chatbot HARO to assist in management of customers’ personal finances

Maria Nikolova

The chatbot will help customers log into their Personal e-Banking accounts, providing them with an easy-to-read graphical visualisation of their asset allocation, and helping them set up personalised balance alerts.

AI chatbots are invading the financial services industry, and the latest example is provided by Hang Seng Bank (HKG:0011), which has announced that it is upgrading and expanding the capabilities of its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, HARO.

On top of handling general customer enquiries about products and services, HARO will have the ability to assist customers with managing their personal finances via their Personal e-Banking accounts. The new phase of services will be rolled out starting from the middle of this month.

HARO will be able to engage in interactive dialogue with customers through the chat interface to assist with personal finances management. The chatbot’s new abilities will include assisting customers to log into their Personal e-Banking accounts, providing them with an easy-to-read graphical visualisation of their asset allocation in response to integrated account balance enquiries, and helping them set up personalised balance alerts.

HARO, which is available on iPhones and Android mobile phones, will also be able to help customers check their account balance and make small-value, peer-to-peer payment transfers through the same chat interface.

Developed in collaboration with IBM Services, HARO has been assisting customers through hangseng.com and the Hang Seng Personal Banking mobile app since January 2018. Powered by IBM Watson’s machine learning and natural language processing technologies, HARO can communicate in Chinese and English, and can also understand Cantonese as well as the mixing of English and Chinese.

Hang Seng will build on HARO’s new ability to offer assistance to customers as part of the Hang Seng Personal e-Banking service experience by continuing to expand the chatbot’s service scope. Mid-September will also see the Bank launch a new comprehensive, one-stop digital payment service platform that will enable retail customers to enjoy greater payment convenience.

More financial services companies are launching AI-based chatbots, with the trend especially pronounced in Hong Kong. In August this year, for instance, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD) announced that it is launching a special chatbot for Hong Kong investors.

Powered by AI and backed by live human client service support, the chatbot enables retail investors in Hong Kong are to do their research, access market information, and get support through one of the most popular social and messaging platforms in Asia.

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