BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno (right) received two awards during the 2019 Central Banking Fintech and Regtech Global Award in Singapore last week. The BSP is the only central bank with two awards—Data Management Initiative using API and its AI-powered Complaints Management Chatbot.
BSP sets up chatbot to handle complaints
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is providing an alternative channel for the public to elevate banking-related complaints via a ‘chatbot’ as it continues to leverage on technological innovations.

Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag, managing director and head of the Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy at BSP, said the adoption of a ‘chatbot’ would also help provide the regulator with automated analytics of complaints data.

Tayag said the ‘chatbot’ would be a new, customer-centric system providing two new channels including SMS and Facebook messenger for the public to lodge complaints against BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs).

“This will automate the responses to complainants, the processing of cases, and the storage and analytics of complaints data, thus, the vast potential to address pain points encountered by the Consumer Empowerment Group in the current mechanism,” she said.

Currently, the public can access the consumer assistance mechanism of the BSP by visiting in person or by telephone, post or e-mail.

Tayag said the regulator’s CEG relies heavily on manual processes and relatively outdated technologies such as direct mails and calls to handle complaints and queries and provide resolution.

According to Tayag, a third of the complaints that come in are not even related to institutions BSP supervises. 

“Ultimately, the BSP’s complaints resolution database will benefit from complete, consistent, and accurate information and improve the quality and timelines of financial consumer complaints handling,” she said.

Data showed the BSP received 3,392 complaints, inquiries, and requests in the first quarter of the year, of which 51 percent were accounted for by credit card related and electronic banking concerns.

In 2018, banking related complaints almost doubled to 20,000 from 10,930 in 2017. However, only 11,172 complaints were found valid.

Credit card has consistently been the top category of concern processed by CEG accounts for 30 percent or 3,391 last year, with perceived unauthorized online and point-of-sale transactions as the primary issue, while e-banking issues particularly unauthorized withdrawal or transaction cornered 27 percent or 3,019.

Tayag said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno has identified the proposed Consumer Protection Act as one of the priority legislative advocacies of the central bank for this Congress.

She added the proposed bill allows the BSP, Securities and Exchange Commission and Insurance Commission to exercise rulemaking, surveillance and inspection, market monitoring and enforcement powers over financial persons or entities.

“The bill aims to give regulators stronger enforcement powers to ensure consumer protection and foster market discipline. It also takes into consideration the increasing digital financial services being offered to the consumers,” Tayag said. 

BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS
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