We are entering either one of two things, the age of the chatbot, or the age of hype about chatbots.

A chatbot is a piece of software that can have a conversation with a person. They listen and respond with relevant information. There are digital assistants that are voice activated, and there are chatbots, voice or text activated. Bots can vary according to the back-end integration of artificial intelligence. This allows brands to do more for the customer than respond with basic logic. Chatbots are supposedly better than chat software which often feels like one dimensional conversations. Chatbots are more conversational where as digital or intelligent assistants go beyond bots to perform tasks that assist the user. Most customers have very low expectations when it comes to the self-service offered by banks, because often it is terrible. Many self-service transactions result in a customer having to contact the call center anyway, not a great customer experience.

That said, every company today is racing to make artificial intelligence a big part of their strategy. Particularly in industries such as banking. More fintech start-ups are creating chatbots to help customers manage their money such as chatbots Plum, Chip and Cleo out of the U.K.

French bank Societe Generale is developing chatbots that could answer questions about equity funds in its Romanian banking unit. Money transfer startup TransferWise released a chatbot that allows customers to send money to friends and family internationally via Facebook messenger.

LEARN MORE: How are Chatbot Changing the Customer Experience

Individual brands are creating chatbots on social networks, in addition to chatbots on their own websites and mobile apps.

There is a great deal of potential of chatbots, specifically for the future of financial services. AI can be of great benefit to consumers who would like better customer experiences how AI could be utilized for the benefit of customers.

We’re already seeing banks such as Swedbank posting positive results of their chatbot tool called “Nina” built with Nuance Communications. The bank says of the 40,000 conversations a month that Nina handles the chatbot resolves 81% of the issues.

These numbers are promising, illustrating how chatbots can improve customer experiences. But if executives haven’t walked through the experience of the chatbot themselves then they shouldn’t release the technology for customers. Unless the chatbot adds unquestionable value to the customer, don’t release it just because all of your competitors are releasing them.

It’s now trendy to talk about chatbots, but one has to wonder if the customer experience of chatbots are actually that great. While chatbots might save companies money, the jury is still out on the value they provide to customers. The industry certainly doesn’t need any more half-baked self-help customer software. These preliminarily released software programs require customers to call the contact center after failed interactions. So what’s the point? Despite our spotted past with self-help software, perhaps this time it will be different thanks to advances in machine learning. It’s an exciting time for technology because banks are actually testing new technology for customers.

LOOK OUT FOR: (Part 2) 5 Ways Chatbots Can Improve Customer Experience In Banking