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Why Credit Unions Are Moving to Intelligent Virtual Assistants From Outsourced Call Centers

By Srinivas Njay,

May 2023

Why are AI-based intelligent virtual assistants better for financial institutions?

For banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, providing high-quality member support is essential for building and maintaining member relationships. Traditionally, overflow contact centers have been used to manage member support during periods of high demand. However, these centers have several drawbacks that make them less effective than AI-based intelligent virtual assistants.


Here are some reasons why:

Cost: Overflow contact centers can be expensive, with costs as high as $1.5-2 per minute. In contrast, AI-based virtual assistants can offer cost-effective solutions that can scale to meet demand.

Inconsistent Agent Experience and Reputational Risk: The agents in overflow contact centers may sometimes be inconsistent in their responses, leading to a negative member experience which could be a reputational risk. On the other hand, AI-based virtual assistants can provide consistent answers tailored to each member's needs and can be programmed to provide consistent, on-brand responses.

Security Risk: Overflow contact centers can also be a security risk as data moves out of the financial institution's control, potentially being located abroad. In contrast, AI-based virtual assistants are built to meet security standards and comply with regulations.

Personal Touch: Overflow contact center employees may have a different level of connection to members than in-house employees, leading to a lack of personal touch. While AI-based virtual assistants may not be there yet, they can help agents be more efficient and improve the overall experience for members.

24/7 Availability: AI-based virtual assistants can be available 24/7, supporting members whenever needed. Members appreciate this service, and it is much easier to provide with the help of AI-based virtual assistants. Providing this service with overflow contact centers is possible but is just as challenging with logistical issues and dramatically increases the cost, usually making it unviable.

Limited Scalability vs Super Scalability:  While overflow contact centers did seem like a great solution a few years ago, perhaps the only one, they have the same scalability limitations as your in-house or primary contact center. AI-based virtual assistants can be easily scaled up or down depending on demand, allowing financial institutions to manage fluctuations in member support queries more efficiently. It is also easier to add features like multilingual support with AI-based virtual assistants, as they can be programmed to provide support in multiple languages. This provides a more inclusive experience for members who may not speak the primary language of the financial institution.

Data-Driven Insights: AI-based virtual assistants can provide financial institutions with data-driven insights into member behavior and support requirements. This information can be used to optimize member support operations and enhance the member experience. The information gathered here is also more insightful because it is based on a consistent member experience.

But the most important reason to consider an AI-based solution is increasing member preference:

Finally, members indicate an increasing preference for AI-based virtual assistants. According to a 2023 study, 62% of consumers prefer a member service bot rather than wait for human agents to answer their requests. A Salesforce research study from 2019 indicated that 69% of consumers prefer to use chatbots because they provide instant responses. As long as they receive the member support services they need, 40% of web users don't care if they are served by a bot or a human agent, as reported by HubSpot.

In conclusion, AI-based intelligent virtual assistants offer financial institutions a cost-effective, consistent and secure solution for member support that provides a personalized experience for members. Additionally, they offer 24/7 availability, scalability, reduced wait times, data-driven insights and multilingual support. With all these benefits, it's clear why AI-based virtual assistants are the better choice for financial institutions.

Still don't believe us? Check out the Dover FCU webinar or connect with to learn more.

About is a market-leading provider of Intelligent Self-Service for credit unions. interface’s Artificial Intelligence acts as a “personal bank teller” to help members 24/7 through every step of their journey from being a prospect to achieving financial wellness. currently powers several credit unions across North America, has enabled millions of dollars in savings for its CU customers, and is one of the fastest-growing credit union providers, growing at over 1500% just in the last year.