Finding a Cloud IVR for Banking

How To Find The Best Cloud IVR For Banking

When it comes to selecting cloud IVR for banking, where should you start? A recent EY Future Consumer Index may have some insight into this. It recently reported that flexibility and security are going to mean more than ever to banking customers in a post-pandemic world.

As EY explains, “the link between health and wealth may emerge stronger than ever,” with 26% of respondents more interested in financial services that prepare them for the future. This means more demand for FIs in an age where consumers are accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it, and with knock-your-socks-off customer experience.

While EY cautions that it’s too soon to expect a mass exodus to digital banking, for several years now this has been the gradual migration. Key in this shift will be the marketing and education of emerging technologies that are going to need to win over customers who prefer brick-and-mortar banking. 

Current conditions make adopting the right cloud IVR solution more critical than ever. The ideal system will not only meet basic needs, but delight customers with more functionality than ever before. Layered on top of this must be airtight security and compliance. And, like all business software purchases, the solution should improve workflow efficiency enough to justify the investment.

Prioritize Customer Service Improvements

When it comes to customer service, what do banking customers actually care about? If the rise of smart home devices is an indication, they want the ease of talking to things to accomplish tasks. Voice IVR makes this dream come true in the banking world, where customers can ask and answer more questions than ever before minus the trademark awkwardness associated with traditional automated phone systems. 

Conversational AI

Financial transactions and requests for account information are smoother with the use of conversational AI – it’s easier for machines to understand us now, and they can provide us more information with natural dialogues. 

When you use conversational AI within banking IVR, you no longer need to send a user through an endless menu of options to get their account balance or confirm a transaction. Instead, caller intent is understood quickly, leading to a speedy call resolution that gives you the cutting edge over the competition. For all of these reasons and more, it’s critical to ensure that your IVR cloud software has solid conversational AI functionality. 

Banking IVR Applications

Payments and card activations are two of the most common ways cloud IVR for banking makes sense, but notifications are another feature with tons of possibilities. While fraud alerts and overdraft notifications have been around for a while, IVR takes this messaging to a new level by empowering the customer to act on the information immediately through voice no matter the time of day or whether it’s a banking holiday.

Customer inquiries, FAQs and surveys are a few more ways financial institutions can unlock the potential of cloud IVR. Here are a few reasons these applications are so appealing:

  • Not only is IVR banking more convenient for the customer, because it can integrate with CRMs the user experience can be more personalized. It’s small touches such as using a customer’s name in communication that can delight the user and give you a competitive edge. 
  • We already know that IVR facilitates a frictionless customer experience, but consider that it also empowers the user as well. This goes a long way in solidifying your organization’s relationship with that customer. 
  • Outbound messaging can get the information you want out there in a way that customers prefer to receive it. For example, that seasonal promotion that you typically eblast to members may be more effective as an SMS. 

Do The Math On Workflow Efficiency Savings 

With the cost of an average voice interaction costing as much as $15, cost reduction comes into play when shopping around for IVR. It may no longer be cost-effective to rely on a team of agents to manage every customer interaction. Yet, nearly every customer still wants the ability to reach an agent if they need to – especially if an interaction has been escalated or deemed complex.

Here’s where IVR systems help: When your IVR is handling card activation, payments, customer inquiries, and other common tasks, your agents are freed up to handle more complex situations. Perhaps more than in any other part of your organization, time equals money in your contact center. Use your agents where you need them the most; not answering questions that IVR can handle.

Every extra minute of hold time is the potential for a lost sale or, even worse, a lost customer. Automation empowers banking teams to cover more ground without needing to broaden their workforce. This is especially helpful when it comes to payment collections, when a dropped call can mean lost money for your organization. 

Also consider that IVR can help make automated technology easier for older adults to use, which not only improves their experience but keeps call center cost down. It’s all about set level compatibility, and design can be utilized to solve common usability issues in older adults. Read This Study To Learn More.

API Integrations

Because IVR systems can integrate with a wide variety of applications, limitations disappear and offerings expand. With this comes saved time, money and resources. When asking a potential vendor about cloud IVR, see if their platform integrates with your CRM and/or call center software. 

Here are additional functionalities to ask about:

  • Automatic speech recognition (ASR)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)/natural language processing (NLP) 
  • Text-to-speech (TTS) engines
  • Call recording
  • Transcription
  • Voicemail detection

Surveys & Mobile Workforce Reporting

Automated surveys give banking institutions a pulse on how their products and customer service agents are performing. This enables them to respond to challenges quicker before they become bigger (and costlier issues). Surveys can even be used to grade employee satisfaction, which could impact your company performance. 

Meanwhile, IVR systems also help teams send and receive information directly with the systems they work in, which reduces errors. Additionally, processes such as transcription can be automated to reduce company overhead. With the use of business logic, manual processes such as timekeeping can become automated to curb instances of fraud or error. 

Confirm Security and Compliance Requirements

In the banking space, it’s critical that your IVR software meets all of the necessary industry compliance standards, such as PCI-DSS and SOC2. These are standards that govern the handling and storage of customer data for the safety of consumers.


Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (or PCI-DSS) is the standard security protocol for major credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard. PCI compliance can be achieved by reaching out to a qualified officer who can help ensure your processes are up to standard. It should be noted that even if your infrastructure isn’t currently PCI compliant, you can build your IVR solution on a platform that does meet PCI-DSS standards. An annual audit is required in order to maintain your PCI-DSS credentials. Learn More About PCI-DSS Certification


If you’re a business concerned with security, the SOC 2 certification is the bare minimum to be looking for. Issued by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, regular audits are carried out to ensure customer data standards are met in the areas of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Prepare For The Inevitable Hurdles

Adopting a new IVR system requires seamless integration between websites, mobile apps and voice channels. As financial institutions tend to lag in this department, it’s important to brainstorm and consider potential issues before they start. Careful planning and implementation are of utmost importance, as downtime just isn’t something banks can afford.

For this reason, when vetting your cloud IVR vendors, ask about their experience in the banking space. Who else have they worked with who have similar challenges as you? Find out what kind of contingencies are in place when something goes wrong. What kind of support can you expect on a day-to-day basis? While it can be intimidating for financial institutions to think about migrating to an IVR platform, it’s equally true that they can’t afford not to if they are to remain competitive.


The top things to look out for when it comes to cloud IVR for banking are customer experience, workflow efficiency and security and compliance. Customers will continue to demand the best experience from their banks, as well as demand the utmost privacy and security of their private information. Meanwhile, banks will need to streamline and optimize their internal processes in order to keep up. A solid cloud IVR system will check off all of these boxes. 

Have any questions about choosing the best cloud IVR for banking? Contact us to speak to an expert!

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