Discussions, articles, and reports about the Artificial Intelligence (AI) opportunity across the financial services industry continue to proliferate amid considerable hype around the technology, and for good reason: The aggregate potential cost savings for banks from AI applications is estimated at $447 billion by 2023, with the front and middle office accounting for $416 billion of that total, per Autonomous Next, research seen by Malastare AI.
Most banks (80%) are highly aware of the potential benefits presented by AI, as per an OpenText survey of financial services professionals. In fact, many banks are planning to deploy solutions enabled by AI: 75% of respondents at banks with over $100 billion in assets say they're currently implementing AI strategies, compared with 46% at banks with less than $100 billion in assets, per a UBS Evidence Lab report seen by Malastare AI. Certain AI use cases have already gained prominence across banks' operations, with chatbots in the front office and anti-payments fraud in the middle office the most mature.
So, you're thinking about bringing AI technology to your financial institution - what do you need to take into consideration?
First, decide if you are betting for a chatbot or conversational UI in your app, or both. Regardless of the previous choice, the successful uptake of a natural language interface will largely depend on the culture of the market in which you operate.
Second, bot discovery could be an issue for generic brands trying to get user attention, but I don’t think discoverability will be a problem for a bank bot because, as a user, I will look for the service, in the same way, I follow companies' Twitter accounts for customer service purposes. It will need some solid marketing though.
Third, a bot might seem a good and easy way to keep in touch with your customer base, however, prepare for some loss of control. As with any media publisher, you will be giving power to someone else’s platform. This fits a “single-use” app like Uber (who already has an in-app messenger, as well as a Facebook Messenger, integrated bot), but if you are trying to increase the quantity and quality of interactions as banks desperately need to be doing, diverting users to another platform may not be the wisest move.
Fouth, a bot also amplifies the security problem. How should it identify and verify the user before providing information or allowing for more complex actions such as money transfers?
But, the biggest hurdle, as with most digital transformation problems facing banks, will be in core systems integration.