Global Market Outlook on Virtual Assistants

The global market for Intelligent Virtual Assistants is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38% (approx.) during the period 2017-2023 and is expected to reach USD 17.13 billion.Telecommunications, Consumer Banking and Retail industry are the major adopters of Intelligent Virtual Assistants as they have high amount of customer interaction. The growth in adoption of virtual assistants is due to the focus on personalized and targeted services for customers. This serves as a key differentiator in a highly competitive market.

virtual assistants

Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market Trends

Mobile apps – conversational interfaces

  • Enterprises are building digital assistants based on a conversational interface capable of using natural language processing and voice technology to address customer requests. These are integrated with a mobile application to provide a superior experience to customers.
  • E.g. Orange Bank headquartered in France, adds virtual assistant–mobile app in partnership with IBM Watson

Self learning assistants

  • Virtual Assistants are supported with predictive analytics mechanisms which ensure that the knowledge base is updated after each customer interaction. The virtual assistant accesses the knowledge base to improve its responses based on previous customer interactions 
  • E.g. Swiss based Credit Suisse deployed IPsoft Amelia as virtual IT agent

Cross sell / Up-sell services

  • Virtual Assistants are increasingly being used by businesses to cross sell and upsell services. The virtual assistant identifies customer preferences and patterns based on previous interactions to offer relevant services to the customers
  • E.g. Offer customers increased credit limit based on their transaction and payment history

Voice based business assistants

  • Enterprises are deploying voice based digital assistants as an extension to their business units such as marketing, customer support etc. The voice based assistants provide customers a unique and burden-free process of purchasing a product/service, registering a service request, seeking information etc.
  • E.g. Singapore based OCBC Bank launches voice-powered banking services

Supplier Landscape

  • Intelligent Virtual Assistant is an AI technology, which serves as a customer engagement tool. They are also referred to as Digital Assistants or AI Assistants
  • The IVA supplier market consists of global and niche suppliers. Niche suppliers are focused towards providing domain specific solutions primarily to small and mid level enterprises

Applications of Virtual Assistants in Banking

Digital Banking Services

  • Customers prefer digital channels for routine banking tasks such as balance verification, account statements, etc.
  • Virtual Assistants provide personalized banking services by identifying each account with a unique code. The code is provided by the account holder for authorizing and allowing access to account information

Customer Support

  • Virtual Assistants are deployed by banks as customer support agents to provide 24 X 7 support services to customers
  • Virtual Assistants resolve general customer queries, provides information on new products and services, allows options to update contact details, etc.

Employee Self-Service

  • Virtual Assistants can also be used internally by banks for employees to interact with the HR department
  • They can be used for applying leaves, update contact details, viewing reimbursement details, check working hours etc. All these tasks can be performed by employees without the need for a HR resource intervention