Artificial intelligence: how it’s transforming financial services today
Artificial intelligence: how it’s transforming financial services today.
As customers and employees demand better and faster ways to engage, organisations are turning to digital technology to help them transform, remain competitive and grow. For many firms transforming business operations via technology means improving how they interact with — and meet — customer needs. In fact, customer experience represents the single best opportunity financial services firms have to deliver on their priorities, according to a survey by Econsultancy.
What’s more, 45% of respondents indicated that making the customer experience as personalised and relevant as possible is their key focus. CEOs around the world are not asking if digital disruption will occur, but instead, what it means for their business. So the questioned asked in this article, is how can financial institutions leverage digital transformation to advance their competitive position, strengthen customer engagement and improve performance?
Increasingly, it has become apparent that artificial intelligence (AI) may very well hold part of the answer. For the past 15 years, drivers of digital transformation have come in the form of information accessibility — initially by way of the internet and subsequently via mobile devices, principally smart phones.The most recent wave of transformation is enabled by information insight— providing consumers with products and services that meet their needs when and where they need them.For financial services firms, to provide such products and services requires the ability to collect and analyse vast amounts of structured and unstructured data and use those insights to inform portfolio and new product decisions, as well as take action in real time and fuse together multiple technologies and strategic solutions.The successful firms of tomorrow will be those that use this information insight to provide their customers with an experience that is personal to them and delivered on their terms.Moreover, they will harness information insight from the outside in—from the perspective of their customers—as opposed to inside out, via traditional divisional and product silos.
Several market leaders already are applying AI to accelerate customer-centric transformation via insight generation, customer engagement and business acceleration.
Insight generation involves extracting meaningful and actionable intelligence from ever-increasing quantities of available raw data.With the amount of information in the world nearly doubling each year, it is no surprise that data complexity is the top challenge standing in the way of digital transformation, according to preliminary results from a study by FORTUNE Knowledge Group and Publicis.Sapient.
One of the fastest growing uses of AI is to listen to all customer communications, both directly with a company and about that company in the market at large—ranging from call centre conversations to chat sessions and even social media activity. AI tools are able to perform what no single human—or even a team of people—could hope to do. They can read, review and analyse vast quantities of disparate data, providing insight into how customers feel about a company’s products or services and why they feel the way they do.
Similarly, financial services firms can use machine learning to enhance their investment research. For example, firms can analyse foot traffic at an individual set of retail stores or compare the current number of hours worked at a manufacturing company to the last week or quarter in real time to identify what a company’s performance might look like before it’s announced.They can also use AI tools for risk management and compliance purposes. For example, a leading financial institution is proactively assessing risk by using AI to review all of the activities undertaken by traders that have made suspicious trades.
Engaging customers on a deeper, more personal level has long been the holy grail for marketing and CRM programs.Today, AI is radically enhancing the personalisation of information that fuels such engagement.
Nowhere is this more evident than in AI’s next big thing: chatbots and virtual assistants .Chatbots are software programs that use messaging as an interface through which companies can help their customers answer questions, find information and offer personalisation. They are ideally suited to a mobile platform and have been made significantly more powerful by advances in machine learning and natural-language processing.