Traditional industries typically can no longer afford to conduct business as usual. For example, with the rise of FinTech’s and unicorn startups, the banking industry has witnessed a rapid increase in competition over the last year. Those next-gen entrants follow agile business models driven by technology that gives incumbents a really formidable challenge. The result is traditional players in the banking sector have begun re-evaluating their ways of working and developing new business models that have often lead to digital banking. The age of automation and AI is here and the way the banks operate is being reengineered.

The banking and financial services industry has become one of its major promoters as automation and AI technologies have matured. These organizations are adopting solutions for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a way to help them boost revenue by innovating products more quickly on increasingly slimming profit margins. These smart automation and AI solutions are also used by the banking industry in internal business operations due to their ability to create significant value by streamlining processes and leveraging data analytics to drive actionable insights. Basically, artificial intelligence solutions help banks ensure standardization, consolidation, and operations automation in a manner that is easily scalable and beneficial to lowering the internal delivery costs.

In fact, smart automation not only helps banks achieve higher operational efficiencies and cost savings but also adheres to rigorous trust and compliance standards. As far as customers are concerned, advanced AI solutions are combined with custom algorithms, extensive data and machine learning to achieve a detailed view of the needs, habits and lifestyles of a bank customer in order to improve customer acquisition and retention. This not only helps them to be faster in service delivery, but by offering predictive solutions, they also become truly customer-centric. All these benefits of artificial intelligence and automation of robotic processes are becoming even more widespread across the industry and are nicely on their way to develop into an industry-standard across large-scale banking organisations.

The Important role of AI And RPA

There is not much doubt that RPA and AI are becoming a key priority for the banking sector. Indeed, according to a NelsonHall report, the size of the banking market’s RPA and AI services is projected to reach $635 million by the end of 2018 and will continue to grow by nearly 15 percent per annum until 2023. With the combined advantages of RPA and AI in banking, financial companies can offer smart automation solutions that focus on speed, efficiency, and accuracy to drive growth, reduce risk, scale operations, and deliver customer-centric digital banking experience while meeting all compliance and regulatory needs.


Banking Customer Experience is Transforming

Innovators such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google has led the way, by conditioning consumers to expect businesses regardless of industry to know what their customers want, anticipate what they need, and reward their loyalty through personalized, instant communication.  Because of this expectation, Banks and financial services firms are reaping AI’s benefits by implementing customer-friendly features such as chatbots and virtual assistants-allowing instant consumer engagement. According to research  by TechEmergence, conversational interfaces like these inspire “enthusiasm and excitement in the banking world.”

Indeed, the largest of domestic megabanks in recent years have all debuted virtual assistants or chatbot technology to communicate more effectively with customers and/or employees. In particular, Bank of America provides financial guidance to its more than 45 million customers via chatbot; Wells Fargo, which has been using social media to communicate with customers since 2009, is piloting a chatbot through Facebook Messenger; and JP Morgan Chase uses a chatbot to more efficiently address nearly two million requests from employee service desks each year. It’s no wonder, with the ability to communicate instantly, that customers turn to smartphone and webchat banking apps to ask questions or solve financial services problems.


Intelligent Automation’s Pros (and Cons)

Whether the use of AI ultimately has positive or negative effects remains a controversial topic across industries. While some experts believe it is the future wave, others predict that the advance of automation will determine the workforce. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. However, it stands to reason that businesses will be able to accomplish more when human and intelligent automation is used together.

Talent is a primary source of concern around AI. The core fear is that in companies around the world, robots or machines will replace people, creating substantial job cuts. While some positions seem certain to disappear (in banking, machines are likely to replace highly repetitive front-office positions like bank tellers, front-line customer service reps, loan interviewees, and clerks), adoption of AI also has the potential to increase jobs in industries.

Results of a recent study conducted by Deloitte discovered that while 55 percent of respondents said they had an AI leader in their company, external hires with AI expertise are required in most cases. Research also finds that companies that use AI effectively are likely to see a 14 percent increase in jobs and a 34 percent increase in revenues by 2022.

Interestingly, Accenture has found that bank employees in other industries are more positive about the impact of AI on jobs than their counterparts. Indeed, most workers feel confident that they can work with smart technologies, expect AI to create new opportunities for them, and believe that it will improve their work, productivity, and work / life balance.

Executives in the financial services sector also feel optimistic about using AI and its impact on the workforce. Contrasted to leaders in other industries, Accenture found that bankers are more expected to see smart technologies transform their industries, improve productivity, and result in net job gains.