RBS considering rolling out AI to deal with customer calls

It is the bank that is here for you, but instead of a member of staff, it could well be a highly developed computer engine that answers your query.

AI technology could be used by RBS to answer questions. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

RBS is considering rolling out a new “human like” artificial intelligence system to deal directly with customers.

The bank claims the technology, known as Luvo, is the most advanced system of its kind, able to engage in conversations with members of the public.

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The system is capable to learning sentiment and emotional analysis so that it can best respond to a customer who may be upset or angry. The bank says it can also recognise different accents and idioms from across the UK.

Luvo has already been trialled internally within RBS, used to help staff answer queries from small business customers. After deeming the two-month period to be a success, the bank is looking into a series of small, voluntary customer pilot schemes.

Ultimately, it says, it could reduce waiting times on telephone helplines for those people looking for an answer to a relatively simple question.

Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer at RBS, said: “Luvo is a really exciting new technology that brings artificial intelligence to life and will help our staff serve customers better by resolving their questions and problems much more quickly. Its potential is huge and we’ll be exploring if Luvo could talk to customers directly to answer straightforward questions, freeing up time for our staff to answer complex issues.”

The use of AI in banking systems is not new, but RBS insist Luvo provides an unprecedented humanlike experience.

An algorithm, it says, has given the system a psychological profile that provides it with “warmth” and an “approachable” demeanour.

No timescale has been set for rolling out the system to the public, but RBS said that over the coming months, it will “be exploring if Luvo could be used to answer questions direct from customers.”