Today’s customers want speed and personalization in all services. That’s why Bank of Beirut optimized its processes to improve customer experience and interaction with the bank by developing the DiGi BoB chatbot on the Microsoft Azure Bot Framework. DiGi Bob saves customers time when applying for loans and other banking services, creating a more pleasant application process. Recognized in 2014 as the “Fastest Growing Bank in Lebanon,” Bank of Beirut is stepping forward and leading the pack when it comes to offering both digital and physical banking services.
Creating next-level customer interaction with the bank
Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chatbot, Bank of Beirut is finding new ways to improve the overall digital experience of its customers and attracting the millennial audience. The objective of the bank is simple―to provide personalized services and transactional support. The team at Bank of Beirut has found that creating a perfect blend of online services and the physical branch offices is the way to go.
Previously, the bank had to deal with fragmentation and data replication. “Because we also operate online, we needed a platform that would organize and safeguard customer data and information, while being reliable and compliant at the same time. It was important for us that our customers enjoy a good experience whenever they visit our hybrid branch,” says Josephine Koreh, Digital Banking Delivery Channels Manager at Bank of Beirut.
The starting point of digital transformation was to implement a basic customer relationship management (CRM) system many years ago and then build services on it. In 2011, the decision was reached to partner with trusted systems integrator and Microsoft Gold Partner, Netiks, to build a comprehensive platform on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In 2018, Bank of Beirut selected “Genetiks,” a chatbot engine developed by Netiks on top of Microsoft Azure Bot Framework, to launch the DiGi BoB chatbot. “Choosing Microsoft was easy because we were already using its impressive digital platforms, which allowed us to extend them however we please,” Koreh adds.
Bank of Beirut is now one of the alpha banks providing its clients with the ability to process their financial transactions in a multichannel way―both digitally and in physical locations. DiGi BoB allows the bank to extend its channels, assists with servicing customers quickly, increases the number of leads, and automates some of the operational processes and sales actions. It can receive and engage qualified leads in a timely manner without involving the bank’s sales employees from start to finish.
"We wanted to expand our channels and increase the number of quality leads we would get,” explains Koreh. “Through automating our processes and sales, we knew we could get qualified leads, reducing the time for our back offices to close a deal."
Security concerns were also mitigated by Microsoft’s compliance with the regulations of the Central Bank and the Banking Control Commission in Lebanon. “They ensured that all the information stored in our scripts would be kept within our secure network. Full security standards were applied with DiGi BoB and the due diligence was done to ensure that all is safe,” states Koreh.
A secure AI for a new generation of loyal customers
When it comes to banking, Bank of Beirut has proven to be a pioneer in machine learning. The chatbot―DiGi BoB―is injected inside the CRM, and has been integrated into the sales process and CRM database. Since there is no double entry involved, the integration inside the CRM becomes seamless. Customers are able to get the most out of their banking operations, saving them time and the cost of traveling back and forth to the bank. DiGi BoB enables them to open an account and request a credit card as well as personal or car loans. Once done, they move to a fully digitalized Know Your Customer (KYC) process within the CRM, Dynamics 365, where the customer fills in details and submits an application, then gets a reference number assigned to a sales employee at the branch. Finally, an appointment with the salesperson is set up where the customer can bring all the required documents on the same day.
“As a bank, innovation is always at the forefront of what we do. DiGi BoB has been quite a successful launch and so we are planning to roll it out to other subsidiaries of the bank. The aim is to continue to improve through AI, whereby it will recommend to our customers what product to select, helping them with the decision process regarding their purchase,” explains Josephine Koreh, Digital Banking Delivery Channels Manager at Bank of Beirut.
The DiGi BoB chatbot is also targeted at millennials, who will enjoy its user-friendliness. “It will allow them to do most of their banking transactions online. You can initiate onboarding, fill in your information, saving you a lot of time from going to the bank. Most importantly, you can do it at any time and any place,” asserts Koreh.
Microsoft is a trusted partner for Bank of Beirut on new technology to further its digital transformation goals and create a future banking experience, using the Azure function Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS). “The next step for the bank will be to implement AI using Microsoft data mining and Microsoft Machine Learning algorithms. It will assist the bank in using DiGi BoB for language processing, which is already available on Microsoft Azure framework,” says Joe Abi Aad, CEO at Netiks. “This bright future of natural language processing using Microsoft LUIS will enable the bank to make the bot more human and able to continuously learn from interactions with customers, creating further value both for the bank and its customers,” he adds.
We wanted to expand our channels and increase the number of quality leads we would get. Through automating our processes and sales, we knew we could get qualified leads, reducing the time for our back offices to close a deal.