As millennials begin to make up a larger proportion of the consumer base, there will be heightened expectations on businesses to inform their customers of relevant information in real-time using the mobile channel. One way that many providers have responded to this need is by leveraging the real-time push notification smartphone feature, which can instantly alert or transmit insights to consumers.
American Express has offered real-time push notifications to its cardholders for quite some time – but has recently taken this feature a step further with the release of purchase notifications via its Facebook Messenger chatbot, which uses AI to perform a variety of customer support functions. Cardholders opting into the service receive real-time payment details through the Messenger app, with the option of retrieving other basic transactional information and the ability to navigate to their card account.
While highly-accessible and easy-to-use, these capabilities are hardly revolutionary. What other information about the purchase could the bot provide that the consumer doesn’t already receive through a push notification? Much more insightful than payment details could be knowing that the $3 coffee was the 24th transaction at a coffee shop in just two months. Similarly, the customer would likely be interested in knowing that the $230 AT&T bill payment just made is 40% higher than his peer group.
After viewing an initial insight, a customer could have the option of viewing another – or navigating to his account to view more information on the original. Card issuers would need to build a queue of ‘continuous insights’ into the algorithms behind its bots, accompanied by a web portal that allows customers to view more detail. Within the queue, insights would be ordered in terms of importance and relevance to the initial transaction.
Many PFM providers have already made this type of insight available to customers on spend dashboards within their mobile apps. The approach described above involves more of a ‘pull’ tactic, whereby the customer voluntarily seeks insights on his own. This new service could foreseeably lay the groundwork for banks’ automated redistribution of data back to the customer through the mobile channel.