Japan’s Shizuoka Bank joins chatbot drive by adding virtual staff on its website

Maria Nikolova

A chatbot will help Shizuoka Bank’s existing and future customers to find the information they need.

The technologies of the future keep attracting the attention of major financial groups, with Japanese banks being at the forefront of the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and integrating novel technologies within their operations.

The latest example in this respect comes from one of Japan’s banking giants – Shizuoka Bank Ltd (TYO:8355), which has just announced the launch of a “virtual staff” service on its website. In its essence, the service represents a chatbot that is set to help the bank’s existing and potential customers get the information they need. The focus is on the FAQ section of the website and online banking.

The company underlines that the new service will be available outside of the bank’s business hours and during holidays too, in a move set to increase convenience for customers.

This is another step that the bank takes towards embracing new technologies. In November last year, Monex-Saison-Vanguard Investment Partners, Inc., a subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc. (TYO:8698), reported about an agreement with The Shizuoka Bank, Ltd. on the introduction of a robo-advisory service.

Monex, Inc. has been offering the service above for a while, and now Shizuoka Bank Group has agreed on a plan to introduce the service, with the launch scheduled for April 2018. This collaboration is a part of the capital and business alliance between The Shizuoka Bank, Ltd. and Monex Group, Inc. The robo-advisory service with discretional investment management will include asset management and asset control services, as the robo-advisors will be making investment decisions, executing transactions and consulting based on customers’ selection of investment purposes, risk tolerance, capital amount, target amount, etc. In addition, the robots will regularly conduct a follow-up of the investment plan and will reconsider it if necessary.

Other Japanese companies that have opted to use chatbots to enhance their customer support services include SMBC Nikko Securities, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8316), and Rakuten Card, a subsidiary of Japan’s Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755).

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