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Technology Updated: 18 Feb 2017

Efma recognizes Garanti Bank’s mobile voice assistant

BBVA’s bank in Turkey, Garanti Bank, has developed an interface that lets customers perform transactions on their app by speaking to it. Efma recognized Garanti’s mobile voice assistant MIA, naming it the innovation of the month.

Voice assistants have made their way to the banking sector. The next time you see someone talking only about money on their phone, don’t think that they’re crazy. They’re a Garanti customer.

“MIA, I need to send 500 liras to Ali” - that’s how easy it is to send a transfer for Garanti’s customers thanks to the Mobile Interactive Assistant (MIA). The Turkish bank has applied the latest voice technologies – like the technology Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa use - to its mobile banking app, allowing customers to interact with the app by speaking, just like having a conversation with another person.

MIA answers questions about the latest account activity, performs transfers, lets customers buy or sell foreign currency or find out the exchange rate … all without having to type a single letter on the phone. In addition to traditional banking transactions, Garanti’s assistant also lets customers ask about promotions and discounts in nearby businesses. It can even anticipate users’ needs by analyzing their habits.

Innovation award

Efma (European Financial Management Association) recognized the new assistant that transforms the mobile banking experience, selecting MIA as one of the most relevant innovations.

The financial association, whose members include more than 3,300 institutions, recognizes retail banking innovations and feels that Garanti has taken a big step toward making digital services simpler and more accessible with MIA.

“It is a fact that voice technologies have increasingly gained importance, and have become an indispensable part of digital technologies,” explained Kerem Abuc, Delivery Channels Management Associate at Garanti Bank. He called this project “very strategic and a big innovation model.”

One of the most relevant characteristics of MIA is that it provides an omnichannel experience. This means that if users’ requests cannot be addressed on a smartphone, MIA is capable of offering other ways to address them. For example, when customers say that they have lost their credit cards, MIA asks: “Would you like me to call Alo Garanti right away to cancel your card? “If customers say, “Yes”, the app puts them in contact with customer service at the call center without having to log in again or identify themselves.

One of the most relevant characteristics of MIA is that it provides an omnichannel experience

Garanti reports that approximately 60% of customers who have the app are using MIA, and satisfaction rates are very high.