Change is constant. This is true now just as much as it’s ever been, if not more so, because of technology’s mighty influence. These disruptive innovations are transforming the world as we know it—from simplifying our personal lives to refashioning numerous industries.
Sometimes these innovations are fleeting, like in the case of Google Glass, while others are steadfast fixtures of our daily lives—could you imagine life without a smartphone? The reasons why software and products fail are threefold: either the technology behind it was second-rate, it didn’t solve a problem, or consumers were unsure of its purpose. All three of these elements must be manifest in any software or product for it to work, and work well.
One industry that has proven itself a frontrunner for digital disruption is the finance sector. Banks are realizing the value of artificial intelligence and implementing revolutionary services that will not only result in more autonomous, cost-effective outcomes for them, but offer transformative benefits for customers as well.
Augmented reality & virtual reality
It’s easy to disregard AR and VR as a feature pertinent only to the gaming industry, but augmented and virtual reality are actually at the forefront of many industries, the finance sector especially. This technology makes it possible to view and present information in ways never before possible. The National Bank of Oman provides its customers with an AR app that can help them locate their nearest branch or ATM no matter where they are in the country. BNP Paribas popularized their VP service that grants customers virtual access to their accounts and uses engaging, easy-to-follow visuals to walk them through complex processes.
For customers, this means better accessibility and superior, timely customer service. Individuals can interact with their bank from virtually anywhere rather than having to go in for face-to-face meetings. Businesses, on the other hand, can use AR and VR to increase worker productivity, make analyzing large quantities of data more efficient, and can even influence traders to make better financial decisions.
Virtual assistants & co-workers
The thought of working with or alongside “robots” may seem ominous, but AI assistants are one of the most widely-used fintech advancements. In fact, last year, 79 percent of bankers predicted that artificial intelligence will be a commonplace colleague, advisor, and collaborator within the next two years.
Chatbots are already a familiar feature. The Bank of America introduced Erica back in 2016 to provide 24/7 assistance to the company’s 45 million customers. In the future, voice-powered banking will become increasingly popular as well. Singapore-based company OCBC Bank partnered with Google to create the Google Assistant, which provides individuals with financial planning advice, market updates, and loan inquiries all through their smartphones or home devices.
Similarly, collaborative robots (cobots) can help workers perform job responsibilities faster and more effectively. AI can replace more routine tasks, leaving the creative solutions to the professionals, while also cutting back on unnecessary costs—all good for your bottom line.
Reduced processing times
Everyone in the financial sector understands how laborious and time-consuming processing receipts and tracking other financial documentation can be. These tasks may seem menial, but they are paramount to business. Yet, this often requires the attention of multiple individuals, making the process slower and less accurate, as humans are more prone to error. Enter: automation.
AI is not yet intelligent enough to completely replace humans in this capacity, but it can do the majority of the job faster and more efficiently; it can even validate and double-check for inaccurate information or duplicate expenses to decrease annoying and costly mistakes.
In today’s digital world, data is money. Those who realize the importance of artificial intelligence in fintech will stand to benefit from this wave of transformation.