RBS has built an AI called 'Luvo' to help staff respond to customers over web chat

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is deploying artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help staff answer customer queries quicker.

The Edinburgh-headquartered bank said on Thursday that it will be rolling out the AI, known as “Luvo,” across parts of the the company following a successful two-month trial with 1,200 RBS staff that manage relationships with small businesses.

The announcement comes less than a month after Standard Life, a 190-year-old long-term savings and investment business in charge of £300 billion, said it was considering how it can use AIs to answer customer queries on their pension schemes.

Luvo is designed to help staff with customer queries relating to lost bank cards, locked pins, and how to order a card reader.

RBS said in a press release that the AI can understand questions and then rapidly filter through large quantities of data before talking through the answer with the member of staff via web chat. It can also learn from its mistakes and its answers become more accurate over time.

RBS also highlighted how Luvo’s human-like personality makes it easy for staff to interact with it. “Its unique psychological profile means it has a warmth to its personality, is approachable, creative and uses a combination of intuition and reasoning when answering questions,” the bank wrote in the press release.

If Luvo is unable to find the answer, it passes the query on to another member of staff who can solve more complex problems.

RBS said it will “explore” if Luvo can be used to answer questions direct from customers — although this will only be considered after small, voluntary, customer pilots.

Simon McNamara, RBS chief administrative officer 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.”

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