The investment-management industry is undergoing arguably its most disruptive period ever. Thanks to a new wave of disruptive technologies, the very concept of investing is being transformed from a practice that was relationship-driven
Crisis forces change, and often positive, enduring change. Witness banking’s recent response to the COVID-19 crisis. The luxury of slowly unrolling digital transformation was abruptly replaced by the urgent need to provide the bulk of bank services via online or mobile channels. The future for banks lies in maximizing their omnichannel capacity, even after the crisis subsides. They need to reimagine themselves to provide the best service imaginable to customers.
While COVID-19 is decimating some industries, it is giving a boost to others, including the employment of artificial intelligence in the banking industry. As customer access to human staff is curtailed with disruptions such as branch closures, well-configured chatbots and virtual assistants are stepping up to the plate. And the banks that are best equipped for AI implementation are enjoying such advantages as cost savings along with improved customer experience.
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.
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.
Rarely has a technology been met with the excitement and trepidation that AI has. Because artificial intelligence not only matches but can surpass human intelligence, it is exciting as a means to improve speed, save cost and maximize accuracy—but menacing for its potential to displace human workers. Banks are embracing AI for its staggering benefits, while also acknowledging that it creates a few wrinkles that need ironing out.
Anyone working in banking knows that customer expectations are charging ahead at full throttle, fuelled by technology advances. Fortunately banks can use innovations such as AI and IoT to meet customers where they are at, and a recent Fujitsu report shows they are doing—or planning to do—just that. So what can we reasonably expect banking to become as a result of this transformative process?
Simply mentioning the topic of artificial intelligence in finance usually elicits a mix of excitement (“AI is amazing and can solve every problem”) and fear (“Will we all lose our jobs? Will robots cause the next market crash?”).
Banking across the globe has been going through a major transformation over the last few years, and this evolution looks set to continue well into 2018, and indeed beyond.
Artificial intelligence is gaining increasing recognition among bankers as not only an investment opportunity but a very useful tool within their own operations toward the goal of maximizing efficiency and cutting costs. Beyond that, though, forward-thinking bank managers recognize the technology as a double-edged sword, with strong potential to improve the customer value of their product and service offerings.