NAB deploys in-app calling
NAB is hoping customers that require support will increasingly initiate the contact from within their mobile banking apps – an authenticated channel – instead of by directly calling a contact centre.
The bank has recently introduced in-app calling functionality in its mobile apps, with one of the primary goals being to authenticate the identity of customers before they reach one of the bank’s 4500 contact centre agents.
Currently, if a customer calls directly into a contact centre via one of NAB’s inbound phone numbers, an agent has to perform manual identity verification before they can start to resolve the inquiry.
Contact centre capability program senior manager Rebecca Condon told AWS re:Invent 2022 that there are presently “six or so different ways” for customers to authenticate.
But the bank wants to streamline that, both to improve the customer and the agent experience.
If customers can access agent-based support from within an authenticated channel, and that authentication status is passed through to the agent, it is simpler for the agent to confirm who they are talking to, and they can also be provided critical context upfront, meaning the customer does not have to repeat any part of their request.
“We wanted [agents] to be able to know [that customers] come through authenticated,” Condon told the conference.
“We want to … make sure that what we’re presenting to the agents – when the call is presented to them – is a consolidated view of that customer, so they can have some really personalised conversations and not have to waste time re-authenticating them, going back through that process.
“They can literally just verify that yes, this is who I’m speaking with and get on with the core issue that needs resolving.”
The mobile app – which Condon said between “85 and 90 percent” of customers had – is seen as a key channel that customers already authenticate in order to access.
New in-app calling functionality is now available to all customers to initiate a support call from inside of the banking app.
Head of assisted experience technology Alex Kocher said in-app calling “is now available to all NAB users across iOS and Android.”
“We are seeing customers use this feature with volumes steadily growing,” Kocher said.
“So you log into the mobile app, and you call us through the app and we’ll pass through the authentication status of you identifying yourself into the app – facial, passcode, however you authenticated – to the contact centres.
“That’s our preferred model.”
Kocher said the bank is maintaining other authentication methods – such as one-time SMS passcodes, telephone banking PINs and manual Q&As – as well as existing direct phone numbers to its bankers as well.
However, over time, the intention is to steer customers through what is perceived to be a more secure way of accessing support services.
“We want … to reduce the number of manual IDVs [identity verifications] that needs to be done, and even steer away from SMS,” Condon said.
Condon said the bank starting rolling out in-app calling functionality in September last year.
She added that NAB had also experimented with voice-based identification, though noted the technology had not been widely adopted in Australia.
“I think there’s definitely a place for voice ID,” she said. “It just depends on your customer segments.
“For us, we were using it but it was only being used by about three percent of our total customer base, and it was quite a costly service.”
Kocher indicated the bank could give voice ID technology another go in the future.