Meet Eno: The Bot that Lets You Text with Your Bank

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I remember when I was little and my mom needed to deposit a check at the bank. My three sisters and I piled into the car and drove to the center of town. Once we got into the bank we all stood around the counter as my mom filled out the deposit slip. Then we lingered in the long line that wound around the lobby to wait for our turn at the window. If we were lucky we got a free sucker from the lady at the counter. It is amazing to think, in a different era how much time and effort it took my mom to complete just one banking transaction!

Speeding ahead to the fast pace of my current life — there is no center of town — as I am constantly on the road and traveling. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with daily life and I get worried when I need to transfer money to my accounts or make an important payment. As a woman on the go, I need an accessible way to manage my money that is in real time and digital-first.

Always on the cutting edge, Capital One has gathered a technological think-tank of thousands of engineers to challenge the status quo of traditional banking. Their goal is to empower the customer to feel more confident regarding their relationship with their money. And they have done this through innovative technology that is making banking more simple, straightforward and able to naturally flow into daily life.

Imagine if you could text your banker. That’s right! Just send a text message detailing whatever transaction that you need to make. Like texting, “Make a payment to my credit card” or “How much money is in my checking account?” Well, this technology actually exists.

Capital One is rolling out a new pilot, an SMS chatbot called Eno. It is the first natural language SMS chatbot from a U.S. bank, which enables credit card and bank customers to gain quick access to their account balance, recent transactions and even make a Capital One credit card payment — simply by sending a natural language text. Steph Hay, Head of Conversation Design at Capital One, who spent the last year working on the development of Eno says, “This team is like a startup inside a company. We have to be agile and adaptable — we have to move things forward.” When developing Eno, the engineers felt that it was important to meet the customer where they are all day, every day — and 97% of smartphone users text!

Eno uses a natural language processor to understand different ways that customers communicate over text. This enables the interface to infuse personality into the conversations, which provides a more human-like exchange. Steph shared that, “It is important to be responsive for customers in different contexts,” which brings us to my favorite part of Eno, it even recognizes certain emojis! So, if you want to confirm your payment you do not hit the enter key or type “CONFIRM” — instead you can just send a “thumbs up.”

I have been teaching my mom about the next phase in banking and believe me, she does not miss those days of piling everyone into the family car to deposit a check. Now, she can sit in her pjs with a cup of coffee and send a text to her bank – before the grandchildren even wake up. This embodies Capital One’s commitment to the technological innovations that are truly life-changing, because they make banking and money management an effortless part of daily life.