Customer service in banking

Artificial Intelligence, the key to happy customers in banking

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Once in a while, transformative technology comes along that thoroughly shakes up the foundations of business. The internet was one of these global game-changers, and now Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gearing up to do the same. With rising customer expectations and needs, AI can help the banking industry retain and attract clients in an increasingly competitive world. You might be wondering how? What does the technology mean for the customer experience and the banks themselves? And what’s standing in the way of a full breakthrough? Read on as we attempt to answer these questions.

Changing customer needs

Consumers like to set money aside for a rainy day and are putting more and more thought into their finances. Their online research makes them feel more clever than the banks that struggle to give a personalized offer based on the information they have on file. If clients and banks were to combine their knowledge, they could unleash the full saving potential. In other words: with better understanding and more personalization, banks can more accurately respond to market needs, creating a fitting customer experience and gaining a competitive advantage.

Getting to know your customers, however, is something that takes time. Something that most banks and their employees don’t have, because they’re bogged down with administrative tasks such as managing incoming mail or processing loan applications.

Providing an answer with AI

According to Deloitte research, 76 percent of Chief Experience Officers within the finance industry believe AI is the tool to differentiate. In their opinion, AI allows you to personalize and reduce friction throughout the customer journey. Personalization and increased efficiency is achievable through automation with intelligent technologies. Consequently, more time is freed up for more personal contact.

Furthermore, AI’s ability to mine data quickly and accurately and come up with hidden truths helps customize advice based on the client’s specific situation. Before Artificial Intelligence, you had to manually assess the context of a client’s request by going through all their information. This simply took too much time; AI can process a much larger scope in less time and present its findings to advisors. Advisors can then take insights gained from the use of algorithms into personal conversations.

A smooth onboarding journey

Personalization makes for a pleasant customer journey. But if the road is slow and full of bumps, no amount of customization can save your banking experience. Intelligent Process Automation can smooth out many obstacles. Consider this example of a digital onboarding process for a financial service provider: Jack wants to buy a new TV with a consumer loan and monthly deposits.

Before AI, Jack had to fill out several forms and go through a long, arduous process. Jack soon loses his appetite to get a loan or a TV, and a customer is lost. With AI, however, Jack’s Know Your Customer (KYC) data is securely captured from his ID with a mobile device through image recognition and sent to CRM, case management or other software.

Machine learning then labels and classifies this information to the right fields. AI goes on to create the necessary documents and forms, prefilled with the extracted data. Jack only needs to check if the extracted details are correct and, if necessary, digitally sign the document. And the best part of it all? With minimal human intervention needed, this is all handled within a couple of minutes, and Jack can leave the store with his brand-new TV the same day.

Quickly process incoming mail

It’s not only onboarding that becomes easier with a dash of AI. Intelligent technologies efficiently extract, process and organize all your incoming information. They work with just about any type of content arriving in your mailroom, whether it’s paper, digital, structured or unstructured. This is especially beneficial when handling support requests, for instance.

Jack, who has just bought a brand-new TV, badly scheduled his monthly payments and received a mail about defaulting on his loan. An honest mistake, but one that Jack wants to rectify asap. Jack transfers the payment and as he doesn’t really know who to turn to, he replies to the general address, with the proof of payment attached.

Luckily for Jack, his bank uses AI to handle their mailroom. Natural language processing, OCR and machine learning quickly extract, process and organize the information from Jack’s email. Thanks to thorough automation with artificial intelligence, his dossier is automatically updated with the right information and immediately sent to the right person. The payment is promptly confirmed with a quick email to ease Jack’s worries. Thorough automation even allows his payment to be confirmed immediately without intervention, also removing the default warning from Jack’s file.

What are banks waiting for?

A smooth, enjoyable customer experience will vastly improve client acquisition and retention. On top of that, automation can save the banking industry up to €400 billion, according to Autonomous. So why is the banking world not implementing it en masse?

Gartner research suggests it’s because enterprise planners are often unfamiliar with what AI can do, or whether it’s compliant with privacy regulations. These doubts make it difficult to decide how and where to start. AI is a journey wrought with headwinds and tailwinds of economic, social and political change. Deloitte’s research suggests making this journey a collaborative one to overcome the challenges posed by AI. This approach resonates with others too, such as Chris Skinner, author of Digital Human, who advocates open banking where FinTech and traditional banks cooperate.

Need a partner on your road to a better banking experience? We’ll gladly put our expertise in artificial intelligence at your disposal. Don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll discuss your plans over a cup of coffee.