Banks Excited By AI But Uncertainty Remains

April 19, 2018 04:00 AM


Financial services firms around the world are optimistic about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve their operations, but many remain unclear on how to apply the innovations to specific problems they have.


This is according to research conducted by technology provider Squirro, which found 83 percent of banks have already evaluated AI and ML solutions, while two-thirds (67 percent) have actively deployed them.


When it comes to applications for the technology, better understanding and reacting to the desires of potential customers rated highly. Nearly nine out of ten respondents (87 percent) said it would be useful if AI tools could spot spot relevant events that help them engage with customers and secure deals.


Meanwhile, 84 percent of banking professionals agreed that having a 360-degree view of their customers that uses both internal and external data was either important or very important to gaining insights.


However, despite this enthusiasm, 83 percent of respondents admitted they are still unaware of how to apply the technology to solve business problems. This indicates there is still a lot of work to be done if AI and ML innovations are to move beyond the hype stage and prove useful in the real world.


Miguel Rodriguez, vice president of customer success at Squirro, said a good AI platform should be able to handle a wide variety of data sources, both internal and external, analyze the data and provide the relevant information in context of familiar core banking or CRM systems.


He added: “There is particularly great value to be gained from unstructured data, an area that traditional CRM and core banking systems have been unable to cover … Insights and Recommendations need to be fully integrated with CRM and core banking systems, to deliver real value to bankers.”


In a highly-competitive industry, Squirro noted that anything professionals can use to gain better knowledge of their customers and offer an advantage will be quickly seized upon, so financial services firms cannot afford to let themselves fall behind in this area.