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Nationwide’s virtual assistant handles coronavirus mortgage queries

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  • 11/05/2020
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Nationwide’s virtual assistant handles coronavirus mortgage queries
Nationwide is offering a virtual assistant to answer questions about mortgage support for borrowers impacted by the coronavirus.

 

The building society has launched software called Arti, which can respond to some of the most common mortgage holiday questions.

The assistant went live at the end of March and has since responded to more than 10,000 queries.

Arti has freed up hundreds of hours for colleagues to deal with more complex mortgage questions, Nationwide said.

A team made up of the society’s mortgage, technology and AI specialists worked together on the project and were able to build, test and roll out the service in just four days.

In addition to providing Arti with dialogue to respond with, the team also taught Arti to comprehend intent and understand how a similar question could be asked in several ways, to provide the best possible response.

Where Arti was not able to answer a query, it could pass the member over to a fully trained mortgage adviser to help instead, all within the same online chat experience.

 

‘One of our colleagues’

Beverley Bartlett, senior digital manager at Nationwide, said: “We see Arti as one of our 18,000 colleagues supporting members to find the best possible solution to their query.

“This isn’t solely about innovation but responding to our members’ most pressing needs. Training Arti is just one part of a bigger picture as we find new ways to serve our members better and deploy our colleagues to areas they are most needed, during this unprecedented time.

“With an 89 per cent increase in new registrations for Nationwide’s online bank since lockdown began, it’s important we provide our members with more choice to engage with us digitally, alongside our branch network and contact centres, should they need them.”

Arti has been used by Nationwide for first-time buyers purchasing their first property since 2018 and in 2019 was rolled out on the society’s later life product range.

 

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