Inspiration

Due to the outbreak of covid-19, many businesses and services have switched online. Traditional banks have also adapted to the new normal and offer online and mobile banking.

Opening a bank account is becoming much easier, individuals can fill in the online form, and upload their identification documents for verification. However, not everyone has access to the internet or smart devices.

To tackle the digital divide, we are building a banking SMS chatbot to help individuals who are less tech-savvy/ without access to the internet/ smart devices to open a bank account.

What it does

  • Users can text a number offered by the bank to get started

  • Users can select to open a (1) savings or (2) a current account

  • The bot will ask them some questions about eligiblity:

  1. Are you 18 years old or older?

  2. Are you a US resident?

  3. Are you a student?

  4. Have you lived in US for over 3 years?

  5. Salary/ savings

  • The bot then filtered the accounts that users are not eligible, and tell users when accounts are available for them.

  • Users can press buttons (1/2/3) listen to voice messages about the details of the accounts (eligibility/ perks)

  • Users can choose an account

  • Users will need to give some personal information including

a. Legal name

b. title

c. gender

d. date of birth

e. country of birth

f. address

g. phone number

h. employment details (if applicable)

  • Users can then book an appointment to finish off account registration in a bank (document validation)

  • The bot will send a list of documents required via SMS and appointment details to the user

  • The bot will send a reminder the day before the appointment

How we built it

  • Chatbot development using Twilio

  • Backend development using Python/ Google Cloud Platform

Challenges we ran into

Time crunch was a challenge. Our initial goals were very ambitious (covering the whole onboarding process and taking many factors into account).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We built a functional bot!

What we learned

We learnt a lot about conversational design and integrations

What's next for Finanic

  • Banking via SMS/ phone
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