It sounds counter- intuitive. Using artificial intelligence to generate a more human customer experience in banking. But according to Accenture and their recent report, ‘Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2017’, bankers believe AI will “revolutionise the way they gather information and interact with customers”.

Alan McIntyre, a senior managing director at Accenture and head of the company’s banking practice said, “Consumers’ diverse needs and priorities are forcing financial services firms to redefine how they interact with them to determine the best products and services to meet individuals’ needs.”

“AI-enabled tools can help banks identify consumer preferences and empower their workforces to react with insight and emotional intelligence, which is essential for the development of meaningful consumer relationships,” McIntyre said.

Key to this improved consumer relationship will be simplifying customer processes, the report said.

“78 per cent of bankers believe that AI will enable simpler user interfaces that will help banks create a more human-like customer experience,” according to the authors.

The added benefit of introducing AI to user interfaces is the ability to gain further insights and continuously improve customer experience.

According to the report the top reasons for introducing AI were:

  • To gain data analysis and insights (60 per cent)
  • Increase productivity (59 per cent)
  • Cost benefit savings (54 per cent)

“In traditional banks, basic transactions continue to migrate from physical to digital channels, leading to major changes as banks redesign their branch networks and enhance their digital footprint,” the report said.

The shift to digital will mean a reduction in the volume of human contact but an increase in its importance, the report said.

While data in the report said that most bankers (89 per cent) believe their customers are satisfied with the banks use of personalisation, two thirds said they still “struggle to understand their customers’ needs and goals”.

The report is based on a global survey of over 600 bankers and interviews with experts and technology luminaries and identified key trends in the industry.

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