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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Citi joins Hong Kong's chatbot race with planned Facebook Messenger chatbot

Customers will soon be able to check account balance via the messaging app.

Citi is planning to launch a chatbot on Facebook Messenger by the end of 2018, enabling customers in Hong Kong to check their bank account balance and recent transactions via the messaging app, reports South China Morning Post.

The chatbot, whose features may be expanded to be able to conduct other transactions in the future, comes on the heels of its earlier launch in Singapore in March.

“I would say Facebook is the No 1 priority for us, since it has around five million users in Hong Kong, around half of which are very active. So it’s a digital hotspot for people, very much like shopping malls,” Citi head of digital banking Priscilla Ng told SCMP.

Citi is the latest to jump in on the chatbot trend as a number of banks have been increasingly embracing AI technologies to address a bulk of customer inquiries. HSBC launched its chatbot called ‘Amy’ for commercial banking inquiries last year followed by Hang Seng Bank’s virtual assistants HARO and DORI.

Also read: Hang Seng Bank rolls out chatbot for business banking

Standard Chartered also plans to roll out a chatbot in Q2, subject to regulatory approval. The bank expects the general enquiry service would be significantly shifted to chatbot post launch.  

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