Wells Fargo’s new virtual assistant, Fargo, to be powered by Google AI

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Wells Fargo & Company has announced its new virtual assistant, Fargo, would use Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) to create a more customised, convenient, and simple banking experience.

Wells Fargo’s partnership with Google Cloud is a watershed moment in the bank’s digital ambition to give consumers an easy banking journey tailored to their financial needs.

There has been a significant increase in digital banking and the desire for a full-service digital experience in the previous two years. According to summer research performed by Ipsos on behalf of Wells Fargo & Company, nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of millennials and Gen Z respondents prefer to use a virtual assistant for customer support requirements rather than waiting on the phone for a customer service agent. Google added that most virtual assistant users (84 per cent) reported a positive experience, with 70 per cent citing ‘saving time’ as a key benefit.

Fargo will initially provide consumers with a straightforward, user-friendly way to manage their accounts. Users can ask Fargo for help with everything. If Fargo cannot resolve a customer’s query, it will seamlessly link them to a live representative.

Fargo will add Spanish language support next year. It will also take a more proactive approach to assist clients towards financial wellness by employing predictive analytics to enable meaningful interactions that learn and adapt to each customer. Fargo will greet customers with a carefully curated mix of practical advice and insights, which will include:

  • Highlighting the unusual, such as a rise in a recurring subscription or an increase in purchasing at a particular merchant
  • Simplifying budgeting by determining how much someone can spend safely while still meeting their expenses and saving goals
  • Identifying how much a customer could save by consolidating debt or recognising when a customer could reach their goals faster by allocating additional cash to investments are examples of smart money choices.

Wells Fargo head of Digital for Consumer and Wealth & Investment Management Michelle Moore said as mobile banking has become the prefered method of banking for Wells Fargo customers, we will continue to develop in conjunction with strategic partners such as Google Cloud to create customer experiences that motivate and assist them on their financial journeys.

“This partnership will expand our customers’ digital financial support network by enabling meaningful money conversations conveniently from their mobile device. It’s more than just dollars and cents; it’s about uplifting our customers’ emotional and financial well-being by understanding their financial goals and providing the most convenient interactions to meet those goals,” Moore stated.

According to Google, Fargo will be built on Dialogflow, Google Cloud’s conversational AI platform, and will employ the platform’s language processing skills to comprehend customers’ intents and respond appropriately. The collaboration allows Wells Fargo to leverage Google Cloud’s world-class AI capabilities while the platform design protects and secures Wells Fargo’s client data.

“Today’s announcement marks a milestone for Google Cloud as we expand our partnership with Wells Fargo to evolve the digital banking experience,” said Yolande Piazza, vice president of Financial Services at Google Cloud. “By pairing our leading AI and natural language processing capabilities with Wells Fargo’s industry-leading banking experience, we can provide customers with connected, personalized tools that seamlessly blend with their financial needs.”  

Fargo expands on Wells Fargo’s strategic cloud alliances to execute a new digital infrastructure strategy that will rely on third-party expertise and capabilities. These improved digital capabilities are just the beginning of a series of measures in Wells Fargo’s multiyear plan to become digital-first and revolutionise personal finance.

Google said the industry had taken notice of Wells Fargo’s reemergence as a digital leader since it launched its revamped mobile app earlier this year. In 2022, the U.S. J.D. Power ranked Wells Fargo third in its Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study, citing how the “complete redesign of the visual language and page layouts enhance the Wells Fargo mobile app experience.”

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