June 07, 2023

CFPB flags downsides of AI chatbots

consumer on cell phone/laptopThe CFPB Tuesday released an issue spotlight on how chatbots used within the financial services industry may impact the customer service experience. The bureau found AI chatbots are increasingly being used by financial institutions for cost-savings; and its report estimated roughly 37 percent of Americans have used a bank’s chatbot.

The bureau noted each of the top 10 commercial banks in the country use chatbots at varying degrees to engage with customers; however, “financial institutions run the risk that when chatbots ingest customer communications and provide responses, the information chatbots provide may not be accurate, the technology may fail to recognize that a consumer is invoking their federal rights, or it may fail to protect their privacy and data.”

The report explores chatbots’ use in financial services, as well as various risks and areas of interest, including:

  • limited ability to solve complex problems;
  • hindering access to timely human intervention;
  • technical limitations and associated security risks;
  • diminished trust; and
  • noncompliance with federal consumer financial laws.

NAFCU supports responsible innovation and encourages regulators to adopt a modern and flexible regulatory framework that accommodates the testing and improvement of AI technology. The association has previously shared how AI and machine learning can support more efficient credit union operations.