Hey Sum180, can I buy this dress?
It should be that easy.
With widespread financial insecurity in the U.S. continuing unabated, it’s time for us to consider a hard possibility. If people are struggling, but still not engaging with their own financial wellbeing, it’s because we in the financial services industry are not giving them tools and support they can really use.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence can change this. And, unlike other industries that are still struggling to figure out how to apply AI’s disruptive potential in a meaningful way, the financial services industry has a big head start: we already have data, lots of it – and data is the food of AI.
Think about it. Providing financial services involves collecting vast amounts of client data, often over long periods of time. In fact, consumers are willing to share even more of their personal information with their banks, as long as they receive value in return. According to Accenture: “Globally, 67% will grant banks access to more personal data, but 63% want more tailored advice, and the same number demand priority services, such as expedited loan approvals, or a monetary benefit, such as more competitive pricing, in return for the information they share.”
Until now, however, the industry has been unable to put this data to work in service to our clients. But with the advent of artificial intelligence, which can identify patterns and relationships on a scale impossible for humans, institutions finally have the opportunity to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to engaging clients in their own financial wellness: the challenge of providing each client with the highly personalized, actionable advice they need, in the exact moment they need it.
Here is how it will look when we get it right:
- AI will analyze large amounts of data to provide cognitive insights into client behavior. The insights will give financial services companies deep, actionable visibility not only into what has already happened, but also into what is happening now, and what is likely to happen next. Result: a much deeper understanding of client behavior and a greater ability to respond to their needs in real time.
- Financial institutions will partner with firms that enable them to quickly bring these cognitive insights into practice – and transform them into competitive advantage. A big obstacle to unlocking the benefits of AI for financial services is the shortage of experts in this new technology. Financial institutions will sidestep this problem by partnering with fintech companies that know how to analyze customer motivation and behavior, and how to translate the resulting insights into services that are highly targeted and relevant for clients.
- AI will exploit ever-increasing connectedness across institutions and applications, allowing financial services companies to deliver the right financial advice and service – anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t matter how charming or thorough your educational material is. Only when we use data to know exactly where someone stands, and then give them the correct, actionable insight for that moment – only then will we empower our clients to engage with their financial wellbeing.
When the financial services industry taps the power of AI to reach clients in context, I believe we will finally see lives change. I’m very excited to see that future happen.