October 23, 2017 4:10 pm
Updated: October 23, 2017 7:33 pm

ATB launches virtual banking assistant on Facebook Messenger

WATCH ABOVE: It's banking advice that's quite literally at your fingertips. ATB partnered with an AI firm and today launched a banking assistant you can use through Facebook Messenger. Emily Mertz explains.


ATB launched a new virtual banking assistant Monday, making it the first bank in the world to offer services through Facebook Messenger.

“It’s groundbreaking globally,” said Wellington Holbrook, ATB’s chief transformation officer. “ATB Financial is the first financial institution in the world to use Facebook Messenger as a medium for banking… Essentially, the vast majority of transactions any customer would be doing, they can do now on Facebook Messenger.”

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“AI is completely reinventing the consumer banking experience,” Finn.ai CEO Jake Tyler said.

It means nearly 700,000 banking customers can conduct day-to-day personal banking as easily as having a conversation on Messenger.

They can pay bills, view account balances, send Interac e-Transfers or transfer money between accounts, as well as perform cross-currency money movement all from within their Messenger platform. They can also access a live customer care representative.

“It lets you do your banking whenever, wherever and however works best for you,” Holbrook said.

“At ATB we’re innovating at the forefront of robotics, AI, biometrics and blockchain, and we’re so excited to bring conversational commerce to all our personal banking customers.”

READ MORE: Banking through Facebook Messenger? Alberta bank offers new service 

Last February, ATB announced it had partnered with artificial intelligence firm Finn.ai to test AI and chatbot technology.

Holbrook stresses the platform is safe and secure.

The virtual assistant uses the same level of security and fraud prevention methods as the company’s other online and mobile platforms. Customers using this Messenger service can only send money to recipients they’ve set up themselves in ATB online banking or the mobile app. In addition, two-step verification is required to access the banking tools on Messenger.

“In essence, the security is very much the same,” he said. “The only difference is the medium. This is not so much Facebook that is really creating the banking experience; it is ATB.”

ATB launches its virtual banking assistant on Facebook Messenger on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.

Courtesy: ATB Financial

“With the Finn.ai platform, you get more than immediate, secure banking access,” Tyler said. “You get smart, personalized financial insights to help you achieve your specific financial goals.”

ATB hopes to expand this technology into other platforms.

“I don’t know if it’s about demand so much as it’s that we’re using tools like Facebook Messenger every day to communicate with friends, sometimes with other organizations, and this just really fits into their lives much more seamlessly than most banking applications which are very bank specific,” Holbrook said.

Watch below: A new innovation in banking will make paying a bill as simple as sending a text. ATB Financial is launching the service, making it the first bank in North America to do so. Emily Mertz has the details.


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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