If it feels as if artificial intelligence is taking over, there’s a reason for it. It is. The democratization of AI has begun, and the technology is set to change the world as we once knew it. Banks won’t be left out of the transformation. While bank senior executives cheer the cost-saving and efficiency-boosting potential of AI, bank employees may fear for their jobs. But that’s where reskilling steps in
Automation saves time, cuts cost and carries out routine tasks with unmatched efficiency, so who wouldn’t welcome it? Possibly the people whose income currently depends on carrying out those tasks. Digitalization is guaranteed to strip out much routine work in banking, but it will not necessary mean fewer bank jobs. Roles will be reinvented so that technology frees human staff to provide customers with excellent advice and service.
Weighing the possibility of adopting AI and automated decision-making is no longer a choice for banks; this technology has proved its worth in everything from combating fraud to meeting compliance requirements to providing excellent customer service via chatbots. As banks struggle to be profitable in the post-financial crisis era, AI has been an invaluable friend to those that have learned how to make it work for them.
What a huge advance it is that the financial sector now has robots to relieve the ever-growing pressure of regulation. Almost everyone handling or processing personal data now faces vastly increased compliance requirements once the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation
Can a humanoid banker do everything that a human banker can do, only better; and if so, is unemployment the future for the human banker? The threat of robots and AI displacing their creator has been a concern since their conception, yet life goes on much as before; this doesn’t mean, though, that radical change is not at the threshold.
Increasingly banks are moving from a defensive “shield” position toward automation to a more aggressive “sword” stance, using the powerful advantage they have as keepers of historical customer data to not only meet expressed client needs but predict future behavior.
“This time is different”. The four most dangerous words in investing are normally whispered at the peak of a bull market. Said as a caution on a downswing they are not quite so dangerous, and amid regulatory, market and technological disruption, banking really is changing markedly in a way from which we see little prospect of a return to the earlier status quo.
Today’s retail bank customers are in love with automated banking that makes transactions faster and more convenient, but that doesn’t mean that they no longer want human interactions with branch staff. By maximizing transactional and relational interactions with their customers, banks can stay at the forefront of the banking revolution.
Accountants have been given a bum rap (“boring”) over the years, considering all they have contributed by ensuring that even the minutest financial detail is accurate. Now robotic-process automation is offering these warriors a chance to break free from the routine and redundant so that they can soar to new heights.