What is the difference between Mobile Banking and Conversational Banking?

What is the difference between Mobile Banking and Conversational Banking?

Mobile banking and conversational banking are both ways of doing banking, but they differ in their interfaces and user interactions.
Let’s explore their key characteristics:

Mobile banking refers to the use of a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to access and manage your bank accounts and carry out financial transactions. It involves using a dedicated mobile banking app provided by the bank or a mobile-optimised website.

Typically, regular mobile banking includes the following features and capabilities, that are typically accessible by clicking on dedicated tabs within the app:

  • Access to account balances and transaction history.
  • Transfers between accounts within the same bank or to other banks.
  • Bill payments and mobile top-ups.
  • Deposit cheques via mobile image capture.
  • Card management, including blocking and unblocking.
  • Mobile wallets and digital payments.
  • Loan applications and other banking services.

Method of interaction: Mobile banking relies primarily on touch-based interactions, where users navigate through the application interface by tapping, swiping and typing. Some mobile banking applications may include basic voice commands for specific functions, but the primary input method is touch-based and structured through a rigid navigation.

Conversational banking, also known as chat banking or voice banking, involves the use of natural language conversations to interact with either a human, virtual assistant or chatbot provided by the bank. It allows users to perform banking tasks by typing or speaking their queries and commands in everyday language, similar to how they would speak to a human bank representative.

In general, conversational banking should cover all banking needs, like mobile banking, but currently most banks add this method to their already existing standard mobile or web banking as an organic method for :

  • Balance enquiries and transaction history.
  • Transfers and payments.
  • Account and transaction queries.
  • Financial advice and product recommendations.
  • Personalized banking assistance.

Method of interaction: Besides a 1-on-1 human dialogue through text, audio or video chat, conversational banking relies on natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to understand and respond to user input. Users can interact with the human or  virtual assistant through messaging platforms such SecuChat, SMS, dedicated banking apps with chat support, or in some cases even voice-activated smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Key differences:

Interface: Mobile banking uses a dedicated app or mobile website interface, while conversational banking involves communicating through a platform (chat, audio, video) with either a virtual assistant through natural language conversations or a human advisor.

Input method: Mobile banking relies primarily on touch-based interactions, while conversational banking allows users to type or speak their queries and commands in natural language.

Complexity: Mobile banking offers a wide range of features and functions, including complex transactions, while conversational banking tends to focus on simpler, everyday banking tasks.

Contextual understanding: Conversational banking requires a higher level of AI-driven contextual understanding to correctly interpret and respond to user queries.

In summary, mobile banking provides a comprehensive banking experience through a dedicated app or mobile website, with defined functionalities and workflows. Conversational banking enables transactions triggered through natural language with a focus on interactions with a human advisor, virtual assistant or chatbot ranging from basic to more complex banking tasks.