Elena Budnik, chair of Otkritie Bank’s management board

Elena Budnik, chair of Otkritie Bank’s management board

Russia-based Tochka Bank of the Otkritie Financial Group has launched the world’s “first” Facebook bot for a range of financial services.

The bot will allow the bank’s clients to check their accounts, find nearby ATMs using geolocation, call the bank, contact customer support and make payments via Facebook messenger.

Elena Budnik, chair of Otkritie Bank’s management board, says: ““The current market trend is ambiguous: there are plenty of bots out there, but people do not understand what they are and how to use them. So the objective of our project is to develop an efficient script to further improve our service and deliver a smooth and exciting customer experience.”

Tochka’s Facebook bot is linked to the bank’s Facebook account. To use the bot, a client opens a dialogue window to get access to the necessary features.

Boris Dyakonov, head of Tochka Bank and senior vice-president of Otkritie Bank, adds: “Almost all our clients are Facebook users solving their business issues, finding business partners and even conducting transactions through this social network. That is why, within a couple of days after the API was ready, we developed a solution to seamlessly combine the internet banking, prompting and human interaction capabilities into the familiar Facebook Messenger interface.”

Tochka is part of Otkritie, Russia’s largest private banking group. It says it “gave up on conventional offices” to become Russia’s first fully online bank for small businesses serving 40,000 people across the country. It also offers mobile and internet banking services.

Facebook gets some likes

Facebook has been of interest to the fintech space for several years.

Recently, banks in Singapore said they are working together on a new service that will allow users to make payments using Twitter usernames or Facebook IDs.

American Express is partnering with Facebook to provide an Amex bot for its card members in Messenger. The launch is expected in the coming months.

Last year, India’s Axis Bank released a mobile payments service called Ping Pay, which allows customers to send money to each other using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, email or phone number.

In 2013, India’s ICICI Bank launched a new app that lets customers pay their friends and share expenses between groups of people on Facebook.

Also in 2013, Turkey’s Garanti Bank unveiled a mobile banking service called iGaranti, which connects with Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare to help users send money to friends and family.