APIs and chatbots, a helping hand to enrich your business
2016 was the best year ever for chatbots and their popularity is showing no signs of abating. Improvements in artificial intelligence, the vast quantities of data accessible via the Internet and the support of technology giants of the likes of Facebook and Google all combined to create the ideal conditions for their boom.
Their popularity is showing no signs of abating. By 2020, it is expected that 80% of brands will use chatbots in their interaction with their customers according to Oracle. At least one out of every three brands claims that – where possible – their customers prefer to complete a purchase or a service without speaking to a person, according to the Oracle report Can virtual experiences replace reality? Chatbots are expected to grow exponentially and it is estimated that the market size will reach 994.5 million dollars in 2024, according to Statista.
“For users [chatbots] represent an ideal communication channel as they are familiar and simple. Consumers have now become totally used to chatting, so it generates no friction”, explains Jiaqi Pan, CEO of the chatbots platform Helloumi, a Spanish company specializing in conversational business and chatbots.
The market research and consulting firm Gartner defines chatbots as a specific type of bot designed to interact with human beings using artificial intelligence to process language. Bots represent a paradigm shift, as interactions no longer take place on screens, but through a new human interface.
A study by MindBowser and Chatbot Journal claims that the three areas that reap the most benefits from chatbots are first, customer service, followed by sales and marketing and order processing. As chatbots dispense with the repetitive tasks, they allow a more effective use of resources. It is estimated that they can save up to 30% in costs, according to the specialized journal Chatbot Magazine.
APIs, the great allies of chatbots
The growth of chatbots cannot be understood without APIs, which simplify processes and generate synergies between apps.
APIs are the great enablers of the boom in chatbots, as they can streamline their development and “leverage technologies implemented by third parties, without the need to build a bot from scratch. What's more, they allow chatbots to be integrated in different channels in order to reach a broader public”, says Pan.
The technology companies that are developing services with chatbots have already begun to make APIs available to developers on their platforms, according to the API manager APIVERSITY. This in turn leads to a series of advantages such as the creation of new products and a more innovative development.
BBVA API Market adopts a chatbot
Chatbots also have promising applications in the banking sector, such as sending alerts and notifications on various transactions, sending rapid payments, immediacy and the personalization of customer service and the knowledge of users. In fact, this is one of the sectors that has shown the greatest interest in integrating chatbots in its services.
BBVA has created a bot included in Telegram that serves as an example of the multiple possibilities the APIs in API Market offer to users, enabling a chatbot to be created and used to enrich a company's service and improve its customer experience.
The only thing you need to do to try out this BBVA bot is search for the channel @sbx_bbvaapimarket_bot on Telegram and start a conversation. Once inside the conversation, the BBVA API Market chatbot sends a summary of its main features. In this test environment, the bot gives us a username and password, which in the real environment will be replaced by the user's national identity card number and BBVA password.
The chatbot offers the following services:
- -/me - Returns basic information on the user
- /me_full - Returns extended information on the user
- /accounts - Shows the user's accounts
- /transfer - Initiates the process of making a transfer from Telegram
- /help - Returns the bot's presentation message
- /cancel - Cancels the active process
- /purchase - Initiates the purchase of a product from the available catalog
Both the details and the functioning of these seven chatbot services can be consulted in the practical bot guide published on BBVA API Market.
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