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16 October 2017

A digital assistant: always and everywhere at your side

Have you ever dreamt of a personal assistant who is there for you day and night, can answer your questions in a twinkling and makes your life easier in every way? Then we have good news for you: the dream can soon become a reality. Digital assistants are becoming ever more popular.

By 2020, clients will conduct 85% of their contacts with businesses via digital assistants, the research company Gartner predicts. These are computer-guided contact people, better known as chatbots, that tirelessly and accurately offer you the correct information you need and look for answers to your questions. They support the company's staff, enabling them to spend more time providing you with real advice.

For example, Mildred, the digital assistant of the airline Lufthansa, helps customers with their search for the cheapest flights in the next 9 months. A task ideally suited to such a digital assistant, because it can scan and process data at lightning speed. Moreover, digital assistants are available day and night.

4 minutes faster

Digital assistants help both clients and the company to save time. They provide the desired answer more than 4 minutes faster than a phone call with the traditional call centre. So the results of Juniper's research indicate.

Digital assistants are gaining in popularity

The developments in terms of digital assistance are moving fast. A year ago, there were 33,000 chatbots active on Facebook Messenger. Today there are than 100,000 If we want to get an idea of the future of digital assistants, we need to go to Asia. For example, SMBC Nikko Securities in Japan has a chatbot that can even provide information about companies' stock market prices.

In the footsteps of WeChat

WeChat, the Chinese version of WhatsApp, already has a payment function built into the app. More than 200 million people use this means of ordering products directly, sending money to friends and family and paying bills. WeChat alone represents some 35% of all the time Chinese people spend on mobile internet. It helps that they don't have to leave the app when they want to make a payment. Because many consumers organize a substantial part of their lives on WeChat, that is also the spot to which companies direct their chatbots.


At ING, we consider it important for you to receive a satisfactory answer to all your questions as quickly as possible. Therefore we are pleased to place a digital assistant at your service. Are you on holiday and forgot to activate your card for use abroad? In that case, a digital assistant can help you find a solution in a few easy steps, even if it's the middle of the night or if you are in a different time zone.

Introducing Marie

Introducing Marie, your digital assistant. You can put all your questions about your ING bank cards to her, in English, 24/7. Have you lost your card and would like to order a new one? Or would you like to activate your card for use abroad? Marie will do it for you from now on! She comes to your assistance via Facebook Messenger. Thanks to the latest Google technologies, Marie can understand all your questions and handle certain requests immediately.

Is the question too complex? In that case, Marie's flesh and blood colleagues can always step in. The human factor remains important at ING. Human empathy and expertise are irreplaceable, in our view. As virtual assistants like Marie can take over simple and repetitive tasks, we can devote more time to the more complex questions. This way human sand computers were together to help you better.

Feel like giving it a try yourself?

Talk to Marie and get an answer in a jiffy to all your questions about your ING bank cards(s).