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Artificial Intelligence in the Banking Sector

Posted by Anna Mielczarek on 18-Oct-2018 07:30:00

The pace at which companies are investing in artificial intelligence (AI) continues to gain momentum and the financial sector is no exception. In fact, according to Business Insider report ‘AI is one of the most commonly referenced terms by financial institutions (FIs) and payments firms when describing their vision for the future banking sector as it can be applied to almost every area of financial services.’

But that’s not all! As stated by global management consultancy Accenture, banks that invest in AI and human-machine collaboration tools could boost their revenue by over a third (34%) by 2022.

Moreover, AI is considered one of the most important disruptive technologies for today’s banks, as a recent PwC survey revealed that 72% of senior management see AI and machine learning (ML) as key sources of competitive advantage. The same survey also highlighted that 52% of firms in the financial services sector are already making substantial commitments to AI, with 66% projecting significant investments by 2020.

So, it seems that these numbers speak for themselves – when it comes to financial services AI is a must!

But how exactly AI can help banks improve their operations and bring them closer to their customers?

source: ABN Amro

Transforming Customer Experience 

AI can transform customer experience in plethora of ways. The most popular one at the moment seems to be chatbots.

People don’t want to visit branches anymore, and if they do, or they need to traditional banking hours successfully stop them from doing that. Fortunately, chatbots are one of the most impactful applications of artificial intelligence in banking. Conversational assistants enable customers to engage 24/7, regardless of time or location. Customers are using chatbots for many different reasons, even private conversations regarding bank transactions, bank services and other tasks that don't necessarily require human intervention.

But chatbot is not only about fielding customer service inquiries. Apart from that, banks can utilise this technology to make their customers aware of additional services and offerings. AI-based assistants that are aware of customer patterns can engage the customer at appropriate times, such as when they are on the bank site or mobile app. Furthermore, banks can now target customers individually, instead of grouping them into segments with similar characteristics. By using AI-based pattern matching and behavioural analysis, financial institutions can make the right offer or suggestion to the right customer, reward their best customers, and respond to immediate finance-related needs.

For example, Bank of America introduced Erica, an AI assistant to help with customer transactions, and the bot has shown significant positive ROI!


Reducing Operating Cost and Risk

Although banking sector has started implementing Digital Transformation, it is still highly dependent on human-based processes that are sometimes paperwork-heavy. And, with these processes, banks face significant operational cost and risk issues as human error is more than likely to occur.   

AI in banking should be applied to these processes in order to eliminate much of the time-consuming and error-prone work involved in task such as entering customer data from contracts, forms and other sources. This can help to secure ROI, reduce costs and ensure accurate, easy and quick processing of services at each step.

Apart from that, features like improved handwriting recognition, natural language processing and other technologies, all of that combined with intelligent process automation tools, are becoming more popular in back-office operations to handle a wide range of banking tasks.

Replacing human processes with AI-based automation, can allow banks to impose audit and regulatory control where it previously couldn't.

Utilising intelligent, automated assistants, banks can focus their human resources on higher-value tasks, such as offering new services to their customers or improving customer satisfaction. According to Accenture report, banks are seeing between 20-25% savings in their operations by implementing intelligent assistants and AI-based systems into their back-office workflows.





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Topics: Finance, AI, Digital Transformation, Emerging Technology, artificial intelligence