London, UK – August 20, 2020 – Nationwide, the world's largest building society, is launching Apple Business Chat, giving its members a new way to securely connect with Nationwide via Apple’s Messages app. The innovative digital experience, powered by global conversational solutions provider LivePerson, combines the speed and efficiency of automation with the human touch of Nationwide’s colleagues, providing an additional way for the Society to support its members.
When visiting the Nationwide website on an Apple device, a member might usually click on a telephone number to call a contact centre. However, the Apple Business Chat launch is providing members who use Apple devices with an additional option to “message” Nationwide as well. If they click the telephone number and select “message” instead of “call”, the Messages app, the very same app you’d use to message a friend or family member, opens instantly with “Nationwide” pre-selected as the contact.
When a member messages a question, Nationwide’s virtual assistant1 instantly responds, greeting the member and answering some of the more frequently asked questions. It can also seamlessly pass the member over to human colleagues for more complex queries and the conversation then continues within the same thread on the Messages app.
Members can message Nationwide at any time of day (although human colleagues only respond during contact centre opening hours2) and, as the conversation thread remains in the Messages app, they can pause and resume conversations at their convenience, picking up where they left off.
James Smith, Digital Director, at Nationwide, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged how we connect in-person at a time when our members are looking for our support more than ever. Apple Business Chat provides a simple, secure and fast way for members to get in contact with Nationwide, at the touch of a button. It allows members to send us a message on a platform that lots of them already use to communicate with family and friends.
“Our members tell us that they really value the human touch we can provide them. This allows us to harness the power and convenience of technology with the reassurance that they can speak to Nationwide colleagues who are working hard to help them. Feedback from both colleagues and members has been very positive so far and we continue to look at ways to offer the service to more members in future.”
Members can ask questions across a range of different topics; from current account queries to questions about payment holidays. Since Nationwide introduced Apple Business Chat, more than 12,000 conversations have been conducted, with an average response time to queries within 4 minutes. The service is being rolled out to more members each day and will soon include the capability to handle potential Fraud queries from members, as well as payment disputes.
Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson, said: “We’re proud to power Nationwide’s messaging experience and provide a safe, convenient way for members to get in touch with their trusted financial services partner. Nationwide’s Apple Business Chat experience leverages LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud platform, which has helped thousands of businesses ‘go conversational’ by connecting with consumers on the messaging channels they prefer over voice calls. As Nationwide’s launch of Apple Business Chat shows, deploying AI-powered messaging is vital to maintaining operations and staying connected with customers, no matter what’s happening in the world.”
Nationwide’s Apple Business Chat channel is available to members across the United Kingdom. Apple Business Chat is available for users and businesses worldwide, and is built into iOS 11.3 and higher. The new Chat Suggest feature is available starting with iOS 13.
Notes to Editors
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.
Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.
LivePerson makes life easier for people and brands everywhere through trusted conversational AI. Our 18,000 customers use our conversational solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship — a conversational relationship — with their millions of consumers. LivePerson was named to Fast Company’s World's Most Innovative Companies list in 2020. For more information about LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN), please visit www.liveperson.com.