Innovation of the month: Mashreq Chat Banking

Innovation of the month

12 January 2017

UAE bank enhances the customer experience through use of artificial intelligence.

The January 2017 Efma innovation of the month has been awarded to Mashreq Bank for its Mashreq Chat Banking chatbot – the first of its kind to be launched in the UAE.

Mashreq Chat Banking is integrated with Facebook Messenger and is powered by artificial intelligence. Clients can make queries and perform financial transactions directly through the Facebook Messenger service, in a way that is familiar to them.

With 7.5 million people in the UAE currently using Facebook each month, Mashreq Bank took the decision to integrate its service with a platform where most of its existing clients and potential future clients were already present.

Mashreq Chat Banking allows customers to communicate with their bank in the same way they would communicate with their friends. By moving client interaction away from the traditional channels, the ease and convenience with which customers can carry out transactions has been increased.

Work commenced on the project back in April 2016, with the project team focusing on four key integration points. The first was digital platforms, focused on user ID authentication and existing beneficiary integration for global money transfer. The second was switch and ATM, with the aim of enabling cardless cash transactions via messenger, while the third was account balance and enquiries, with the aim of allowing users to have a full view of their relationship with the bank. The final area was CRM integration, which would allow Mashreq Bank to promote products and capture more customers through the service.

Following a testing and pilot phase, Mashreq Chat Banking was launched in December 2016.

Initial feedback was excellent, with 100% of customer inquiries using Mashreq Bot answered in less than six seconds. Since the launch date, Mashreq Bank has seen a 600% daily growth in the usage and interactions.

The bank is aiming to migrate 70% of customer queries to Mashreq Chat Banking by March 2017 – enabling an annual saving of more than AED 12 million.

“We are honoured to be a recipient of the Innovation of the Month,” said Aref Al Ramli, head of digital banking and innovation at Mashreq. “Mashreq ChatBot, which is the region’s first ever Bot, gives us confidence that customers are ready to adapt to fact paced technology solutions. We are committed to launching ‘innovations that matter’ to customers that make a meaningful difference to them and subsequently make their banking experience fun, simple and engaging. The Bot comes after a series of breakthroughs such as the UAE’s first Cardless Cash features and voice powered payments.”

Are you a game-changer in banking or payments? Submit your innovations at the Efma Accenture Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards 2017 on the Innovation portal. Deadline for the February Innovation of the month is 6 February 2017.


Keywords : Robotics/AI , Digital/Mobile channels , Customer service

Geography : United Arab Emirates