Is AI-driven banking the future?

AI will be a big theme for FIs in the coming years

There is a lot of excitement around artificial intelligence at the moment. The growth of AI is expected to have a revolutionary impact on everyday life for consumers and routine operations for businesses.

The Wall Street Journal recently sat down with Andrew Ng of Chinese web services company Baidu and Neil Jacobstein of the Singularity University think-tank, who discussed how AI could represent the next industrial revolution.

On a basic level, AI is already a part of many people’s lives – through virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, for example.

Personal finances is one area where it’s likely we’ll see automated software and technologies playing an increasingly prominent role in the customer experience over the coming years.

AI is already being put to use in the banking industry, whether it’s through the use of machine learning to improve fraud analytics or the deployment of customer services chatbots.

In the business banking market, New York-based startup Clear recently launched the first AI-driven bank for small firms, Banking Technology reported. The system is designed to let users manage their financial affairs through a single portal and receive answers to questions without having to consult other data or financial management tools.

Clear co-founder and chief technology officer Tyler McIntyre said: “It adds Alexa-like capabilities to a bank account. Think of it as your new CFO. Just a whole lot cheaper.”

Is this a concept we can expect to become more important in consumer banking in the near future – the use of AI to deliver basic services and resolve simple customer queries as quickly and easily as possible?

There are some clear cost benefits to be gained for banks, but providers must also remember the dangers of sub-standard customer service. For the many people who still attach a lot of value to personal service from their bank, the concept of being served by a robot will be a difficult one to accept.

 

Image: iStock/NicoElNino

Written by Jack Dougal

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