Discover replaces live chat with messaging feature in mobile app
- Discover Financial Services, the banking and payment company with about 57 million cardholders, will upgrade its mobile application with a messaging feature that lets customers reach service agents with threaded conversations. The service is unlike session-based chats that end when a customer logs out, as it lets customers pick up prior conversations at any time, according to a statement by the company.
- The feature gives Discover employees access to a customer’s messaging history so they don’t have to waste time repeating past conversations. The rollout of the feature will be finished this summer, replacing Discover’s live chat system.
- Dennis Michel, senior vice president of customer service and engagement at Discover, said the messaging feature shows how the company is adapting to the shifting ways people communicate on mobile devices.
Mobile messaging apps are in the process of revolutionizing customer care in a variety of industries that are seeking ways to cut call center spending. Gartner Research estimates that about 70% of smartphone owners regularly use messaging apps and 35% have interacted with a chatbot that handles tasks automatically.
Consumers are growing more comfortable talking to businesses through a messaging platform, with about 49% of people saying they prefer a text-based app over a phone call, according to a study by Ubisend. More than 60% of consumers said more businesses should be available and responsive through messaging apps as well as the traditional phone call system.
Discover's new feature is indicative of the surge in mobile banking in recent years. With transferring money and paying bills online to depositing a check through snapping a quick photo, many consumers rarely find a reason to visit an actual branch. Other banks have already tapped into this mobile messaging trend. Last year, Bank of America unveiled a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers with their personal finances. Mobile messaging will continue to become more sophisticated as AI enables chatbots to seem increasingly human-like and handle more complex interactions with consumers. Gartner forecasts that more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human employee by 2020. While Discover isn’t touting the use of chatbots in its messaging feature just yet, customer service in general is surely heading in that direction.
- Discover Press Releases Discover enhances customer service with in-app messaging
- Venture Beat Are chatbots more conversational or controversial?