At the FinovateSpring 2019 conference in San Francisco, AI was a hot topic. From financial institutions using AI to power everything from personalized customer experiences to underwriting, to fintech providers showcasing AI solutions, the technology was on everyone’s mind.
In a panel titled “Which Artificial Intelligence Technologies Will Really Change Financial Services?”, we heard from experts who are harnessing this technology in an effort to exceed customer expectations and outpace their competition.
Beyond personalized customer experiences
Ankit Bhatt, Senior Vice President of Omnichannel Experience at US Bank, discussed how the organization’s goal is to become central to its customers’ lives. It’s not enough for US Bank to deliver personalized customer experiences — this is “table stakes” as Bhatt explained. Instead, US Bank wants to use AI to anticipate its customers’ needs and simplify their interactions with the bank so they can focus on running their businesses. This includes using AI to predict cash flows from small business customers’ transaction history so they can avoid overdrafts on their accounts. It also includes real-time account opening, loan approvals, and account funding so that business owners get access to the critical funds they need, when they need them.
Bhatt explained that the culture at US Bank is focused on customer obsession, and that AI is not just about the technology; it’s about “bringing an experience to life.” Currently the bank is running close to 100 AI-based applications to support this goal. Bhatt and his colleagues at US Bank believe these experiences will develop fiercely loyal customers.
Where AI should be applied
When deciding how to use AI in a financial institution, the applications are potentially endless. Emil Matsakh, formerly Executive General Manager, Chief Analytics Office of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, explains that machine learning models within a financial institution should be focused on 3 core areas:
- Improving the customer experience and their financial well-being through personalized insights
- Optimizing risk-taking, vs. just managing risk
- Enhancing productivity
According to Matsakh, Commonwealth Bank uses hundreds of machine learning models to support its AI program across 19 channels. The investment is paying off, as the bank has recently reported improvements in cust