20 Aug 2020

Nationwide rolls out Apple Business Chat to provide additional support to members

  • Apple Business Chat enables members to securely message Nationwide directly via the Messages app on Apple devices
  • More than 14,000 conversations with members have been held via the service since 23 April
  • Powered by global conversational solutions provider, LivePerson, new service gives members a direct line to Nationwide experts to help with a range of queries

Nationwide, the world's largest building society, has launched Apple Business Chat, giving its members another way to securely connect with Nationwide via Apple’s Messages app. The innovative digital experience, powered by global conversational solutions provider LivePerson (This link will open in a new window), combines the speed and efficiency of AI automation with the human touch of Nationwide’s colleagues, as the Society continues to find new ways to support its members.

When visiting Nationwide’s website on an Apple device, a member might usually click on a telephone number to call a contact centre. However, Apple Business Chat is providing members on Apple devices with an additional option to “message” the Society as well. If they click the telephone number and select “message” instead of “call”, the Messages app, the very same app you’d use to message a friend or family member, opens instantly with “Nationwide” pre-selected as the contact.

When a member messages a question, Nationwide’s AI virtual assistant1 instantly responds, greeting the member and answering some of the more frequently asked questions. It can also seamlessly pass the member over to human colleagues for more complex queries, with the conversation continuing within the same thread on the Messages app.

Members can message Nationwide at any time of day and receive support from Nationwide’s AI virtual assistant (with colleagues on hand to respond during contact centre opening hours2) and, as the conversation thread remains in the Messages app, members can pause and resume conversations at their convenience, picking up where they left off.

James Smith, Digital Director, at Nationwide, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged how we connect at a time when our members are looking for our support more than ever. Apple Business Chat provides a simple, secure and fast way for members to get in contact with Nationwide, at the tap of a button. It allows members to send us a message on a platform that lots of them already use to communicate with family and friends.

“Our members tell us that they really value the human touch we provide. This allows us to harness the power and convenience of technology with the reassurance that they can also speak to Nationwide colleagues who are working hard to help them. Feedback from both colleagues and members has been very positive so far.”

Members can ask questions across a range of different topics; from current account queries to questions about payment holidays. Since Nationwide introduced Apple Business Chat, more than 14,000 conversations have been conducted, with an average response time to queries within 4 minutes. The “message” option is being made available to more members each day and will soon include the capability to respond to Fraud queries from members, as well as payment disputes.

Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson, said: “We’re proud to power Nationwide’s messaging experience and provide a safe, convenient way for members to get in touch with their trusted financial services partner. Nationwide’s Apple Business Chat experience leverages LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud platform, which has helped thousands of businesses ‘go conversational’ by connecting with consumers on the messaging channels they prefer over voice calls. As Nationwide’s launch of Apple Business Chat shows, deploying AI-powered messaging is vital to maintaining operations and staying connected with customers, no matter what’s happening in the world.”

Nationwide’s Apple Business Chat channel is available to members across the United Kingdom. Apple Business Chat (This link will open in a new window) is available for users and businesses worldwide, and is built into iOS 11.3 and higher. The new Chat Suggest feature is available starting with iOS 13.