Mr. Simon Hughes of International Banker travels to Belgium to interview Mr. Johan Thijs, Chief Executive Officer, KBC Group, on the bank’s ongoing digital transformation, the innovation that drives that transformation and KBC’s wider role in society.
Artificial intelligence has become a must-have for banks today. AI in the form of robotic process automation and machine learning is going a long way to help banks become more efficient in customer service, more compliant in adhering to regulations and more capable in tackling fraud. But like all good things, it comes with a few strings. What are the responsibilities for senior individuals and boards attached to the many benefits AI brings to banking?
Every finance department is facing the same challenge, no matter their size, expertise or industry. New technologies are entering the workplace, changing the way we work and completely upending business models. Nowadays, consumers are ‘always on,’ demanding rapid service and communications. People want to subscribe to products, rather than buy them. Even investors are asking a lot, for example insisting companies precisely predict demand to keep the bottom line lean.
The game of cat and mouse between the regulators and banks against money launderers has now moved to a new level – all thanks to the emergence of AI and machine learning technologies. AI and machine learning technologies have been around for some time, but have recently started coming into prominence in the world of financial services.
There are times when no one wants to see history repeat itself, and that’s the case among today’s investors in technology stocks. Some fear that the dot-com bubble burst of 2000 may repeat itself 20 years later. Although some tech stocks may be overvalued, the flourishing Fourth Industrial Revolution displays no signs of running out of steam any time soon. Caution is advised but not panic.
Customers today are leery of sharing with businesses too much of what they consider to be one of their most valuable assets: their personal data. And it’s no wonder, as data breaches abound. Fortunately for banks in the United Kingdom, they rank more highly than other businesses in customer estimation of data guardianship, according to recent research. How can businesses across sectors bolster customer trust in their data handling?
Although banks have been in financial services longer than anyone else, they have a thing or two to learn about customer service from the mammoths in the retail sector. Retail subscription services are taking off, promising to deliver combinations of products conformed to the needs and likes of customers, whose preferences are well known from data analyses. What similar steps can banks adopt in their drive to augment customer satisfaction?
Many of us struggle with the concept of carrying on a rewarding conversation with a chatbot, but recent improvements in artificial intelligence are making this technology increasingly more valuable to banks around the world. From helping banks to offer targeted customer products and services, to tightening the security of credit transactions, to cutting costs while improving employee engagement, AI’s contributions to making customer service better are too important to ignore.
There are enough new terms floating around banking to make one’s head spin, and along comes greenfield bank. This refers to the growing trend among incumbent banks to create standalone digital banks that are as agile and innovative as the fintechs and neobanks. After considering how difficult and expensive it is proving to be for banks to break out of their legacy-infrastructure moulds, this approach makes a lot of sense.
Financial markets are among the fastest-moving markets around. People and organizations need to know where their money is, what it’s doing for them, and whether it’s at risk, on a moment-by-moment basis. Yet banks and other financial services organizations are often well-established, even venerable, with their names and reputations a vital tool in their ability to prosper.