After announcing its Facebook Messenger bot at the Cannes-Lion Festival in the Summer, American Express has finally launched it for customers to take advantage of. The bot gives American Express customers access to their accounts through Messenger and the bot can tell a customer whenever a purchase is made with their credit or debit card, including the amount and where it was made.
Customers can also send messages to the bot itself, which will then reply, meaning a customer could ask the bot to tell them their current bank balance or simply ask for other details regarding purchases or other bank-related information. Aside from purchase information, loyalty program messages and restaurant recommendations may also be sent to you through the new bot. If for example, a customer was to purchase airline tickets to London, the bot would alert the customer through a message of the purchase and it could also give the customer a list of restaurants at their destination other nearby businesses the customer could be interested in.
American Express is one of a number of companies in the financial field that are beginning to offer its customers bots that can access their accounts. Currently, Capital One allows users to pay their bills by speaking to Alexa and Bank of America has confirmed plans to launch its own Facebook Messenger bot, though a final release date is yet to be set. Unfortunately, for those who own more than one American Express card, customers can only connect one card to one messenger account at a time, though this card can be changed at any time by typing in the command "log out" which disconnects the customer from the bot and therefore their card. Now, although using a Messenger bot may save many customers a lot of time, there is one downside to them. If somebody gains access to a customer's Facebook account they could potentially have access to their information, in this instant their American Express card information and details. In the case of this happening, American Express recommends typing in the "log out" command in the bot chat and deleting the conversation. Despite this downside, the bot does offer a number of perks, so it remains to be seen if this kind of Messenger bot will eventually take off and become the norm for banking companies.