UBankUBank, a subsidiary of National Australia Bank (NAB), has launched RoboChat, Australia’s “first virtual assistant” for online home loan applications.

RoboChat will guide customers through the online mortgage form by providing real-time input on questions like “what term do you offer on home loans?” and “do you offer redraws and how do they work?”.

Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank, says: “If you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, the form can be completed in as little time as it takes you to have your breakfast.”

It’s been built with IBM Watson, and UBank says RoboChat is “still in training and will continue to learn as more customers engage with it, becoming smarter and more user-friendly over time”.

RoboChat will join the current live chat functionality already offered on the bank’s site and has been trained on data collected from customer questions submitted via its LiveChat offering. It has been tested by dozens of users.

The virtual assistant provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the bank is keen to stress that humans are safe – as it “won’t affect the size of the local UBank customer service team”.

By the way, UBank has also given RoboChat a sense of humour, offering a number of tongue-in-cheek responses, such as:

Q: How much does a hipster weigh?

A: An Instagram.