NatWest will leverage IBM’s enterprise AI and data platform watsonx to co-create a digital concierge (Cora+) to provide personalised financial advice to customers, with enhanced interactive and conversational experience, beyond the chatbot’s capability


NatWest and IBM collaborate to boost customer experience. (Credit: NatWest Group)

UK-based National Westminster Bank (NatWest) has teamed up with US-based technology company IBM to enhance the customer experience using generative AI.

The generative AI partnership aims to expand the bank’s virtual assistant, Cora, to provide customers with access to a wider range of information through conversational interactions.

Under the collaboration, NatWest will leverage IBM’s enterprise AI and data platform, dubbed watsonx, to provide personalised financial advice to customers.

The partnership allows the teams to co-create a digital concierge (Cora+) that provides enhanced interactive and conversational experience, beyond the chatbot’s capability.

NatWest will be one of the first banks in the UK to deploy a generative AI-enabled virtual assistant that provides a safe, intuitive, and accessible experience in its digital services.

NatWest Group retail bank chief digital information officer Wendy Redshaw said: “We are a relationship bank in a digital world, building trusted, long-term relationships with our customers through meaningful and personalised engagement.

“Building on Cora’s success over the last five years, we’re working with companies like IBM to leverage the latest generative AI innovations that will help make Cora feel even more ‘human’ and, most importantly, a trusted, safe and reliable digital partner for our customers.”

Cora+ will be designed to provide more accessible and human interaction for customers looking to compare products and services across the product suite or the NatWest websites.

It will be able to access information from multiple sources that were previously inaccessible through chat, such as products, services, information about the bank and career opportunities.

Customers can ask questions and receive responses in a more natural, conversational style and are provided with links, which they can either view immediately or bookmark for later.

IBM Client Engineering team worked alongside the NatWest business and technology teams to rapidly co-create, test, and validate the outcomes of the generative AI digital assistant.

IBM global financial services industry general manager John Duigenan said: “NatWest and other forward-thinking leaders of financial institutions around the world are exploring the potential of AI technologies as part of their competitive business strategy.

“With the appropriate guardrails and governance in place ensuring that AI is open, trusted and targeted, banks can deliver an empowering value proposition enabling an even deeper level of customer loyalty.”

Last year, NatWest teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create and deliver a personalised, data-driven banking experience that will anticipate the services customers want.