UBank launches virtual assistant Mia to help customers through their home loan applications

- February 11, 2019 2 MIN READ

UBank, the digital bank launched by National Australia Bank in 2008, is set to launch intelligent assistant Mia to help customers through their home loan applications.

Built in collaboration with tech company FaceMe, Mia – short for My Interactive Agent – is the third UBank project to be powered by artificial intelligence, following the launch of RoboChat and RoboBrain.

According to UBank, Mia will be able to listen to and answer more than 300 questions customers most often have about the home loan application process, such as what classifies as an expense to what is a variable rate, delivering responses via synthesised speech.

The aim is to have Mia complement both the live chat function run by UBank’s advisors, and RoboChat, a chatbot that answers questions about the home loan process, by giving a face to the organisation and injecting some personality into online chat (according to UBank, Mia is a bit “cheeky”).

Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank, said, “By bringing Mia to life, we’re giving customers a whole new way to interact with their online home loan application and completely challenging the perception of a digital bank.”

The bank stated that its AI-driven projects have been well received by customers, with four in five stating they are happy to use RoboChat. RoboChat has answered more than 50,000 questions since launch, or around 86 per day.

“We want to continue attracting customers but maintaining the same number of team members to support this ever-growing customer base,” Hatton said.

“That means we need to leverage key technologies like AI to tackle the typical questions customers ask, so we can free up our team to address the unique situations our customers need more support with, every day. We have a team of ultimate home loan specialists already and are super excited about Mia offering more even support to Team UBank and our customers.”

UBank is one of a growing number of organisations working with chatbots and virtual assistants.

Like UBank, Australian health insurer Nibby decided to develop a chatbot to take care of the routine requests holding up its contact centre staff – whether it be sorting calls, responding to a member’s easy query with relevant information, or connecting them with a live chat consultant if needed – so staff could focus on the more complex requests.

Since launch in December 2017, nib reported that nibby handled 21,500 member interactions with a 70 percent success rate, saving 535 hours of consultant handling time.