Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
The financial services sector has long been criticized as being insulated, elitist, and discriminatory. Will artificial intelligence finally open up and “democratize” this industry? It’s likely, and will happen a number of ways – by empowering customers, by opening up services to underserved communities, and by increasing the breadth of capabilities companies can offer.
While still in the minority, a growing number of financial services executives are bringing in AI as a part of their customer experiences and operations. About half of 500 executives (48%) responding to a survey conducted by Economist Impact and SAS in March 2022 identified advanced data analytics as among the most important technologies to harness, and 34% specifically cited AI and machine learning as their paths to the future.
Similarly, a study from Deloitte AI Institute confirms that 32% of financial services executives indicate their organizations use AI. “It’s undeniable that AI is the future of financial services,” the study’s authors state, adding that while “many FinTechs have embraced AI, the financial services industry is largely in the early stages of AI adoption.”
AI and machine learning introduce great complexities, and many financial services companies are still assessing where and how to invest in these approaches. “There are a lot of moving parts with AI and machine learning,” says Michael Upton, chief digital officer at First Tech Federal Credit Union, which exclusively services Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and employees of other technology firms. Once put in place, however, these technologies have a critical role to play in the emerging digital enterprise. “Covid really accelerated digital, and the industry did a good job in customers’ needs from a tactical and transactional perspective. But I think industrywide, we lacked some engagement, we lacked some warmth, we lacked some relevance, particularly through digital channel. We need to re-instate humanization into digital, and AI is a tool that’s going to help us get there. Combined with in-person contact, AI can help deliver more personalized, more relevant, services in tune with what customers need at a particular moment.”
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