Bankers Expect AI To Make Your Financial Life More PersonalMay 9, 2019
Many consumers seem to think banking was better in the good old days. Hollywood’s most famous banker, George Bailey, survives a bank run in It’s a Wonderful Life by standing on the counter and reminding his individual customers how the bank has helped them. While technology has allowed us to be more connected and in touch with our money, it has also depersonalized the relationship, with most of our interactions now happening via a screen. In this world of digital banking, few customers would expect a bank manager to know them by sight, let alone to know their personal details.
But what if the opposite happens? What if the combination of open banking connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G bandwidth replaces broad banking generalizations with tailored, highly personalized, consistently value-adding and truly delightful digital interactions? Many bankers are rushing to make this digital Bedford Falls a reality.
In our Banking Technology Vision 2019 survey, Accenture polled almost 800 banking executives across 27 countries. Banking is traditionally a conservative business, yet 96% of banking executives say the pace of innovation in their companies has quickened over the past three years. That’s a higher percentage than in more visibly disrupted industries like travel and media.
Innovation in banking is no longer just about providing increased convenience via our computer desktops and mobile apps. Banking has gone post-digital; the focus has moved to implementing technologies that can actively help customers live better financial lives. In the Accenture survey, 85% of banking executives say digital demographics that are generated by how consumers interact with digital tools provide powerful new ways to serve customers. Similarly, a large majority of banking executives (80%) say new technologies like AI will provide fresh ways to provide relevant financial advice to consumers.
How will this make banking more personal? The ability of AI to gather, sift and analyze thousands of bits of information about a customer can make for a far more robust picture of each person and turns the regulatory headache of “Know Your Customer” into a positive business objective. Digital demographics will start to de-layer the proof-of-identity process and help close the gap between customer and provider. When you really know a customer, it’s harder to be tricked by impostors and crooks.
But more importantly, an intimate understanding of customers’ needs, preferences and behaviors enables a far more customized conversation about how the bank can help them live a better financial life. For example, pointing AI at account balance and payment histories can help predict when a customer will overdraw and automatically reschedule a payment due date. AI and other forms of data analytics can also start to make positive suggestions, such as identifying that an annual pass will save a customer money compared to daily commuter tickets, and then…