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In the early 2000s, chatbots popped up in the banking world, allowing customers to enter keywords to do simple things like get their account balances. Fast forward to 2018 and messaging apps are storming the communication arena, with consumers preferring to interact with friends, families, and brands alike on platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, where over 100,000 bots now live.

AI has also been added to the chatbot mix, which means specific keywords aren’t necessary – you can now conversate with a bot as naturally as you would with a friend, and enjoy a hugely expanded variety of interactions.

Chatbots continue to get more sophisticated, even taking a page from digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home by adding voice capabilities, and it’s increasingly clear that customers are going to start expecting that their interactions with companies be via conversational user interfaces (CUI).

Over at Capital One, a text-based chatbot service lets you manage your finances by texting about things like payment history and even paying your credit card bill. Mastercard’s Facebook Messenger bot does all of the above, but also offers cardholder benefits updates and shares new offers and services. At Bank of America, you can have conversations with the…

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