UBank CMO: The Technology Behind RoboChat

Jo Kelly takes us behind the scenes of UBank's home loan chatbot launch.


Chatbots are quickly becoming the next wave of disruptive technologies. With this in mind, the question is whether it’s time for all customer-centric organisations to start embracing and capitalising on the disruptive power of chatbots.

Jo Kelly, CMO of UBank, shared the story of their RoboChat project launch at CMO Disrupt, Sydney. As Australia’s first virtual home loan agent, UBank are navigating the future of financial services.

With the ability to serve customers in real-time, it’s hard to ignore the potential of chatbots becoming the next big communication platform.

Kelly confirmed artificial intelligence (AI) is already infiltrating our lives and none of us can avoid it.

“It’s critical for us to embrace technology… otherwise smarter and more nimble competitors will leave us behind.”

Kelly pinpointed the reasons behind the success of the chatbot to date. Beside from streamlining the process for customers, UBank have worked hard to build up RoboChat’s knowledge base through log reviews and re-training, providing a smarter and better user experience.

Jo Kelly, UBank. Source: CMO Disrupt, Melbourne.
Jo Kelly, UBank. Source: CMO Disrupt, Melbourne.

UBank are also looking to link to the Net Promoter Score, a proxy for gauging customer satisfaction. This will provide UBank with a more in-depth understanding of their customer loyalty levels.

Kelly explained how context has been a key challenge, as real customers ask questions differently to a banking professional, and you then need to find one answer for the myriad of ways a question may be asked.

“In the beginning we had a false sense of security because all our people were asking questions the same way.

“The bankers couldn’t un-learn what they already knew, so the real testing with the customers was critical.”

The benefit is that RoboChat learns from itself, as new experiences will teach the AI service how to deal with future problems.

As Kelly states, “RoboChat gets better and better the more it interacts with customers.”

However, RoboChat’s development doesn’t stop there. Kelly is ambitious regarding the potential of UBank’s latest service. She touched on sentiment analysis, multi-platform integration and voice to text form filling, as next steps for the future.

Kelly summarised by reinforcing that AI is not going away, and now is the time for organisations to start implementing new ways of interaction which have the customer at the heart of the solution.

“It’s about creating the right customer experience and ensuring that marries up to your brand.”