Professional Independent Financial Advisers, West Yorkshire

Why a British bank is trying out a digital assistant called Cora

Posted on 21/02/2018

Cora the digital bank assistant

Customers who contact Eastwood Financial for financial advice invariably speak to a human being – and we have no plans to change that.

But at one British bank a life-like avatar called Cora is being put through her paces by helping customers with basic queries and giving its digital banking drive a more ‘human’ face.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which recently axed a quarter of its branches and has announced thousands of job cuts to reduce costs, will only deploy Cora to NatWest customers if the bank’s female avatar passes her probation period.

The digital teller, who wears a NatWest branded uniform and has an ear piercing and sparkling teeth, answers simple questions on getting a mortgage or what to do if a customer loses a card.

NatWest says its prototype, which can have a two-way conversation with customers via computers, tablets or mobile phones, could boost efficiency and provide another channel for customers to get support.

Cora could free up human colleagues to deal with more complex issues, the bank says, adding that testing has suggested customers who have avoided digital services might be more inclined to interact with a “digital human”.

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