Double the number of customer queries are being handled by NatWest’s virtual ‘assistant’.

NatWest is enhancing its customer service capabilities by leveraging generative artificial intelligence through its digital assistant, Cora. The UK banking giant has reported an increase in the number of queries handled by Cora, with the virtual chatbot managing 10.8 million queries in 2023, up from around five million in 2019.

The bank is rolling out a new version of its chatbot, Cora+, aiming to provide more personalized and human-like interactions with customers. Some of the common queries addressed by Cora include cancelling a transaction, changing an address, requesting a bank statement, getting a new bank card, and opening an ISA.

In an effort to modernize its services, NatWest joins other major high street banks in embracing digital innovation to meet customer demands and reduce the need for physical branches. Despite closing nearly 50 branches this year and experiencing online banking outages in May, NatWest remains dedicated to enhancing customer experience through advanced AI technology.

By collaborating with IBM, NatWest is implementing generative AI to enable Cora to offer more tailored responses and assistance to customers. The bank envisions Cora to evolve into a more proactive and insightful assistant, capable of providing financial management suggestions and seamlessly connecting customers with human agents when necessary.

David Lindberg, the head of NatWest’s retail bank, expressed confidence in Cora+’s ability to revolutionize customer interactions and improve banking efficiency. The bank’s CEO, Paul Thwaite, is committed to driving automation initiatives across the organization, which may involve reducing reliance on traditional call centers in the future.

Overall, NatWest’s adoption of generative AI technology exemplifies its commitment to delivering innovative and customer-centric banking solutions.