The Rise of Chatbots: How They Can Help You With Insurance and Retirement

By Jeff Cuellar, 02 November 2017 687

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If you’ve ever used an online chatroom or an instant messenger service like WhatsApp, Twitter or the now discontinued Yahoo Chat — you’ve probably experienced those annoying “spambots.”
 
You know? The ones that randomly message you to say “hi” and then share a link to some dodgy spam website after you reply. Thankfully, the word “bot” is the only thing spambots and chatbots have in common, because chatbots are not spam.
 
In fact, chatbots can be a very useful tool for getting the useful information you need to make key decisions — like looking for the right insurance and retirement planning options. 
 

What Are Chatbots?

 

According to Chatbots Magazine, “a chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface.
 
 In other words, it’s a program that can have a conversation with a person — all you have to do is message it (e.g. “what’s the forecast for today?”) and it will respond with an answer in text (e.g. “It’s 28°C with a 40% chance of rain) or an action (e.g. it will share a graphic showing the day’s forecast).
 
Chatbots are nothing new. They’ve been around since the mid 1960s with ELIZA, a program that was famous for trying to mimic psychotherapist. However, it wasn’t until the last decade that they really started to become more advanced, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), which enable them to understand what customers are saying in real-time.
 
Some great examples of chatbots you might have used include:

  • Siri: Apple’s AI-based chatbot Siri is a digital assistant that allows you to get answers to questions or perform actions (e.g. calling a friend).

  • Facebook Messenger: Facebook enables companies to use chatbots to send you promotional information, answer requests or enable you make bookings/appointment for customers via its Messenger app.

  • WeChat: WeChat enables service account holders to send you and interact with them via simplified chatbots that can answer simple questions you may have about products and services. 
     

How Can Today’s Chatbots Help You?

 

Chatbots have come a long way since the 1960s as their capabilities have vastly improved with AI and NLP. Now, chatbots can be so good at satisfying your requests that you might forget that you’re using them.
 
There are many benefits to using today’s chatbots:

  • Convenient: Unlike “human” customer service representatives with operating hours, chatbots are operational 24/7, so you’re able to make enquiries or booking anytime.

  • Efficient: Using a chatbot can cut down the number of interactions you make with companies. For example, you can book a cab with a chatbot in a messaging app without having to open up a new app and book.

  • Effective: Chatbots are being improved to the point that they can resolve many customer questions and requests without customers having to ask for a “real human representative,” and they’ll only get better at answering your complex questions in the future as technology improves.  
     



Try Chatbots For Yourself With Income’s Jiffy Jane & RevoRetire

 

Using one of the top messaging apps in Singapore, Facebook Messenger, Income has created two innovative new Chatbot apps for you to try out for yourself — Jiffy Jane and RevoRetire.
 

Jiffy Jane for getting Travel Insurance

 

 
Whether you’re travelling to Tokyo or Tahiti, getting the right travel insurance policy is a necessity — because as Franz Kafka once said, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”
 
All you need to do is visit Jiffy Jane on Facebook via your mobile phone and send her a message to get started. Here’s an example of how easy it is to see Travel Insurance plans for a trip to Bali, Indonesia from 20-30 November with a 2-minute chat: 



From here, it’s easy to view the benefits of each plan, buy a single/group plan or a plan for your family — all from the convenience of your mobile phone.
 
With Jiffy Jane, you can also get access to your personal Travel Insurance concierge who’s always there to assist you on your travel insurance queries and purchases — anytime, anywhere.  
 

RevoRetire for retirement planning 

 


 
Planning for your future can be stressful — after all, the decisions you make today can have a crucial impact on your future.
 
Thankfully, you can start your retirement planning from the convenience of your mobile phone with RevoRetire on Facebook Messenger.
 
By answering 7 simple prompts in just a few minutes, you can get a customised plan that can tell you how much you have to save every month to reach your desired goal (or vice versa) — so you can get a better picture of how your savings decisions can impact your lifestyle in the future. 


 
Once you’ve received a projected estimate of how much you can retire with — you can then plan your next steps by asking for some expert financial advice on how you can reach this desired goal.
 
Just leave your contact details with RevoRetire and it will get one of Income’s human financial advisers to contact you. Alternatively, you can also go to Adviser Connect to get the expert financial advice you need.
 
As Singapore’s society continues to go digital, you can count on Income to provide you with the digital tools and information you need to make informed decisions on insurance and retirement planning. So be sure to check out Income’s chatbots for yourself!

Update: RevoRetire chatbot has been decommissioned since 15 January 2018.

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