Citi Unveils New AI-Powered Intelligent Virtual Agents

The banking group's new customer service solution understands languages, accents, dialects, and call intent.

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Need to Know 

  • Citi has launched an intelligent virtual agent (IVA) within its US call centers to enhance client satisfaction for Commercial Cards users. 
  • IVAs leverage advanced conversational AI to understand languages, accents, and dialects, and can understand the intent of the call by making sense of the customer’s word choice. 
  • IVAs are part of Citi’s larger strategy of investing in technology to provide a better digital servicing experience for its clients, and an initiative to save over $600 million through digital transformation.
  • The new feature is currently available for specific call types in US call centers, with additional call types in other regions to follow.

Analysis

Citi is holding true to its commitment to providing better digital experiences for customers with new Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA). Citi Commercial Card customers calling into any US call center will now be speaking with an AI-powered virtual agent. 

“Citi Commercial Cards is committed to providing our clients with innovative solutions, and the introduction of the intelligent virtual agent demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation. We are pleased to work in partnership with Artificial Intelligence (AI) leader Interactions to implement this cutting-edge solution,” said Gonca Latif-Schmitt, global head of Citi Commercial Cards in a press release

Backed by technology from leading conversational AI company Interactions, IVA uses a blend of AI and real-time human understanding to provide a high level of modernized customer care. The IVA solution uses advanced conversational AI to understand languages, accents, and dialects. It can also pinpoint the intent of a call by making sense of the customer’s word’s choices, meaning customers can speak using their own words and be their own words and be understood.

For those customers wishing to speak with a human, call centers will continue to have live customer service agents available. 

“The ability to integrate natural language processing technology into our customer service offerings allows Citi to deliver a consistent, fast and still personalized client experience,” said Karen Young, the North American head of client operations for Citi Commercial Cards.

“We know the importance of cardholders’ preference for rapid self-service. From our pilot, we’ve seen that the implementation of the intelligent virtual agent provides our clients with enhanced customer satisfaction.”

Citi has big dreams for its Intelligent Virtual Agents. Last month the banking group announced that they expect to save $600 million this year through various advances in technology and automation with plans to hire 2,500 coders and data scientists to help facilitate the shift. Rather than relying on in-house solutions, the bank announced they would collaborate like they’ve done with Interactions to produce the IVA solution. 

“Citi is paving the way in the commercial card space by introducing the intelligent virtual agent in its call centers,” said Mike Iacobucci, CEO of Interactions. “The intelligent virtual agent is designed to deliver a truly conversational customer experience, and will ensure that Citi can engage in productive, open-ended conversations with its clients.”

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