Mahindra Comviva Adds Chatbot Functions to a Mobile Wallet

January 4, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Sometimes, users have questions when putting a mobile payment system to work, and not all systems are created equal when it comes to providing help.

The good news—at least for those turning to Mahindra Comviva’s Wallet system—is that there’s a little bit of help to come as the company added a chatbot function to provide at least some help in time of trouble.

With the new chatbot, Wallet users can get access to not only a little extra help in setup and use policies, but also, down the line, access to relevant product promotion across a variety of different delivery channels.

Mahindra senior vice president and head of mobile financial solutions Srinivas Nidugondi noted that the use of the chatbot will make transactions much simpler overall, and when transactions are simpler, that improves the odds that users will actually turn to the platform.

In turn, Nidugondi notes, the use of a chatbot can help improve return on investment (ROI) by automating certain transactions and allowing the business offering the mobile option to enjoy the benefits accordingly. Since chatbots can also be some help in taking care of basic questions, it also takes the strain off a help desk, which means fewer staff members are needed.

Pretty good news all around, but Mahindra Comviva—and anyone else considering a similar approach—needs to be careful. Chatbots can be valuable for simple questions, but expecting a chatbot to do a lot of heavy lifting with customers is like expecting a dog trained in fetch to bring you your car keys.

It might work, but it probably won’t; it’s just too complex a task. Simple, repetitive tasks are commonly better automated, and a chatbot is just another automation tool. Thinking you can save a fortune by firing customer service and replacing it with chatbots is asking for trouble.

Thinking that you can save a few bucks by firing a few laggard reps and replacing them with chatbots is much more feasible, and a few bucks applied properly can mean gains down the line.

Still, Wallet’s new chatbot might be helpful enough to make a difference in the regional market, and that’s a lot to ask from one new feature. It should end well, with proper precautions.