The Bank of Zambia (BoZ), in partnership with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Zambia (CCPC) has deployed Proto’s Artificial Intelligence Customer Experience (AICX) solution for financial consumer protection countrywide.
Proto’s AICX solution is designed to accelerate financial inclusion by effectively improving the tracking of customer complaints made to financial services providers. It is also expected to strengthen support for marginalised groups, which will help address their concerns and build confidence in the use of financial services. In addition, it will improve the collection of consistent data to be used for the development or improvement of consumer-protection policies.
The solution is a multilingual chatbot that collects and categorises consumer complaints across multiple channels and financial institutions regulated by the BoZ, using the following languages: English, Bemba, Kikaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, and Tonga. The solution enables the BoZ to capture and categorise complaints from the public, track progress on dispute resolution in real time, and identify market misconduct as well as support the application of appropriate supervisory measures.
To ensure success, Proto’s supervisory technologies (SupTech) advisory partner, BFA Global, conducted a market-wide human-centric design phase earlier in the year to collect baseline impact metrics. This phase was instrumental in customizing the AICX solution to fit Zambia’s unique financial sector conditions, and the baseline metrics will be compared to impact results in twelve months’ time.
The deployment is supported by the African Development Bank’s Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), with a grant of over USD 1 million to contribute to its mission of increasing access and protection for vulnerable customers of financial services across the continent.
Proto CEO Curtis Matlock said: “This chatbot is available via highly accessible channels such as SMS and voice-commands, which is essential for including bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers without computers or literacy. In addition to the immediate benefit of improved consumer recourse options, this solution has the wider potential to increase overall trust in the fairness of the country’s financial sector.”
Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor – Operations, Dr. Francis Chipimo said: “The deployment of the Proto AICX solution is in line with the Bank of Zambia’s 2020 – 2023 Strategic Plan that has prioritized financial inclusion, and implementation of SupTech to digitize reporting and regulatory processes.”
ADFI Coordinator, Sheila Okiro said: “Facilitation of sound policies and regulations, including those that enhance consumer protection and catalyze financial inclusion, is a key mandate for the African Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI). With the proliferation of digital financial services, the financial industry needs innovative mechanisms for consumer recourse and tracking for regulators.”
Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) is a pan-African initiative designed to catalyse digital financial inclusion throughout Africa with the goal of ensuring that 332 million more Africans, 60% of them women, gain access to the formal economy by 2030. Established in 2019, ADFI works to the African Development Bank’s High 5 to Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa, by catalysing inclusive digital financial services through the gender-intentional development of infrastructure, policies and regulations and product innovation. Current ADFI partners are the Agence française de developpement (AFD); the Ministry for the Economy & Finance, France; the Ministry of Finance, Luxembourg; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the African Development Bank, who host and manage the facility. More information at: www.adfi.org
About Bank of Zambia
The Bank of Zambia is the Central Bank of the Republic of Zambia and derives its functions and powers from the Bank of Zambia Act, no,43 of 1996 and the Banking and Financial Services Act, Chapter 387 of the Laws of Zambia. The mission of the bank is to achieve and maintain price and financial system stability to foster sustainable economic development.
About CCPC of Zambia
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, established with a unique dual mandate to protect the competition process in the Zambian Economy and also to protect consumers. The mission of CCPC is to safeguard and promote a competitive business environment and enhance consumer welfare by prohibiting anti-competitive and unfair trading practices in Zambia.
Proto is the leader for inclusive chatbots and multilingual contact centre automation in emerging markets. Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) platform is powered by proprietary natural language processing (NLP) for under-resourced and rare languages. Proto's novel deep-learning techniques and regulatory partnerships maximise customer experience, protection, and lifetime value.