ATB Financial: “Being an agile mid-sized financial institution has its advantages”

ATB Financial: “Being an agile mid-sized financial institution has its advantages”

Canada’s ATB Financial says it has launched “the world’s first full-featured virtual banking assistant on Facebook Messenger” to the bank’s nearly 700,000 personal banking customers.

The bank is working with finech start-up “to make access to secure, day-to-day personal banking as easy as initiating a conversation in Facebook Messenger”.

ATB’s chief transformation officer, Wellington Holbrook, says the new service “lets you do your banking whenever, wherever, and however works best for you”.

According to ATB, “being an agile mid-sized financial institution has its advantages”. Partnering with like-minded fintechs, such as, has enabled the project to move from proof of concept (PoC) to “rapid full market deployment”, the bank explains.

ATB describes its virtual assistant as “unique”. It is “far beyond a Q&A chatbot,” the bank explains. “Its sophisticated banking transaction abilities offer robust personal financial management (PFM) tools tailored to fit the needs of each individual customer,” it claims.

Customers can “securely and seamlessly” pay bills, view account balances, send Interac e-Transfers or transfer money between accounts, as well as perform cross-currency money movement all from within their Facebook Messenger platform. The platform also offers spending insights, provides access to a live customer care representative, and Mastercard statement alerts.

ATB’s envisages the expansion of this technology into other platforms, helping customers conduct their daily banking in places they never thought possible, says ATB’s Holbrook.

“We will be tracking the value the virtual assistant provides so that we can potentially replicate this model through additional delivery channels, such as smart televisions, devices and other social networks.”