‘Virtual banker’ becomes reality for NAB


The National Australia Bank (NAB) has launched an Australian first ‘virtual banker’ to assist its business banking clients.

The ‘virtual digital banker’ will provide round-the-clock assistance to NAB’s business banking customers, and is capable of providing more than 13,000 variants to 200 questions related to business accounts; questions that fall outside the scope of the chatbot’s response parameters will be redirected to a human customer service member.

In a preliminary survey, more than 75 per cent said a virtual banking was a highly desirable offering that would assist business customers with their banking needs.

NAB’s chief operating officer, Antony Cahill, said the purpose of the virtual banker was to reduce the administrative burden typically faced by the bank’s business customers.

“Our research shows that two-thirds of Australian SMEs cite dealing with administrative tasks as taking a lot of effort, and our customers desperately want to spend more time on their business and less time on dealing with admin tasks,” Cahill said.

The virtual assistant’s artificial intelligence is derived from thousands of real-life customer enquiries, the bank said.

The initial launch of the virtual banker is expected to be refined and augmented as the technology evolves and as usage data increases.

“We will continue to develop the virtual banker over coming months, enabling an even broader and more diverse range of instant answers and guidance for business customers,” Cahill said.