Banking bots highlight conversational commerce trend

A new generation of consumers connecting with their friends via messaging platforms expects the same conversational tools from their favorite brands. Financial services firms are giving it to them.

Western Union joined MasterCard and Wells Fargo among the financial services leaders to announce chatbots for Facebook Messenger at the social network giant’s F8 Facebook developer conference last month. The company’s money transfer bot allows Facebook Messenger users in the U.S. to digitally wire money to more than 200 countries and territories using 130 currencies.

In embracing Messenger, Western Union hopes to capitalize on the broad exposure afforded by the ubiquitous messaging platform, which has 1.2 billion monthly users, says Khalid Fellahi, senior vice president and general manager of Western Union’s Digital Ventures unit. “We just want to ensure that [consumers] have access to this information and present it with simple menus that allow them to get the information literally in seconds,” says Fellahi.

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