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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become an important part of numerous industries, including the financial sector. The implementation of AI holds endless benefits for financial companies and their clients. Some experts have even called the expansion of AI the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it will transform the world as we know it.

The amount of data that financial service providers need to process on a daily basis has multiplied the demand for AI to be integrated into the industry to help understand the data patterns more efficiently. With AI and ML, companies are able to understand their clients, and their prospective clients, better than ever before.

The idea of implementing AI into the financial sector may scare many people. “Businesses don’t want to replace their employees, but they do want to make better financial decisions, and AI will allow them to do that faster and cheaper than a whole team of humans,” says Matthias Thurner.

Several financial service providers are utilising AI to cut production costs and save time. In these instances, AI is responsible for:

  • Processing clients’ information
  • Monitoring clients’ behavioural patterns
  • Conducting credit checks on clients
  • Interacting with clients
  • Analysing markets
  • Assessing data quality
  • Detecting fraud

One of the greatest benefits is that by implementing AI into a company’s processes, skilled and educated office workers will have more time to focus on their core competencies. Better productivity and increased profits can therefore be expected, which means that companies that can afford this advanced technology will have a competitive advantage.

AI in the financial industry is especially useful when it comes to customer service

Early in 2018, NatWest bank introduced ‘Cora.’ ‘Cora’ is an AI-powered ‘human’ in digital format. She has the ability to converse with clients in the bank’s branches, and can answer to more than 200 frequently asked questions – she can assist with everything from mortgage applications to misplaced bankcards.

In future, the idea is to develop ‘Cora’ even further. Her developers want her to be able to answer to more questions, whilst also detecting human emotion for a better verbal and physical reaction. Besides providing customer service in bank branches, ‘Cora’ will also be used to assist clients who are working on their computers at home, or in the long run, on their smartphones.

‘Cora’ is just one example of how AI will transform the financial service industry. Terry Cordeiro, Head of Product Management at Lloyds Banking Group, states: “Automating processes means better opportunities to reduce costs for better decision making, and intelligent products mean that our customers are able to do much more.”

Companies that fail to adapt to this rapidly evolving technology may start to lose customers to their more tech-savvy competitors.

(Article sourced from: The FD Centre and Richard van Hooijdonk)

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