ANZ Bank introduces new digital assistant

by Krizzel Canlas11 Jul 2018

ANZ Bank of New Zealand has launched its new digital banking assistant Jamie, who has started work on helping customers with some of their general banking queries.

Jamie has a human face, voice and expressions. She has been programmed to answer questions on 30 of the most frequently searched-for topics on ANZ’s website help section. She’s optimised for desktop, tablet and mobile.

ANZ said Jamie will be on trial at https://help.anz.co.nz. All of the questions she can answer are general in nature and do not require specific customer information.

“Through the trial, we want to see if Jamie will appeal to those who might not be as comfortable using our other digital channels,” ANZ Bank digital and transformation head Liz Maguire said. “While we know many of our customers love connecting through our existing digital channels, we have been talking face-to-face a lot longer than we’ve been using small screens.”

ANZ partnered with New Zealand tech company Soul Machines to develop Jamie. Soul Machines uses Human Computing Engine (HCE) – a virtual nervous system that is modelled on the way the human brain and nervous system work. This allows Jamie to express personality and character in a human-like way.

Soul Machines chief business officer Greg Cross, meanwhile, said: “One of the things that is really exciting about this project is that we are starting to understand some of the benefits we can deliver for ANZ’s customers. The fact they can talk to somebody immediately. It’s a personal interaction – it is a face-to-face interaction.”

ANZ said initial feedback from staff and customers has been positive, with around 90 customers who have spoken to Jamie saying it is a good idea for ANZ to introduce the technology.

Jamie’s favourite colour is ANZ blue, and her favourite TV show is Country Calendar.

 

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