A lot written about generative AI still frames the technology like something to prepare for. To keep an eye on. An opportunity for the future.
The story is no different in financial services. The rate at which this technology is advancing is remarkable and if banks don't try and adopt it now, particularly across the channel and payment landscapes, they will get left behind.
AI is going to help make banking easier and better - particularly for businesses at an institutional level and their treasurers. That’s a given.
What’s less focussed on is the second and third order of help. Not only will it help clients, but also assist banks and their staff - both of which will also ultimately benefit customers.
How it will help customers
What really excites me about generative AI is what it means for customers. At ANZ, when we talk about channels, what we mean is the ways in which we interact online with our customers and deliver the services they want. The customers’ digital experience.
In my view, generative AI is going to be a new channel itself.
At ANZ, our existing channel experience uses customised widgets which can offer users anywhere up to 20 different views of something they might need and make use of. There are some trade-offs in this approach when it comes to the user experience.
When we build digital tools now, it’s based on what customers might need today. But in fast-changing sectors – and in an increasingly digital world, that’s pretty much all of them – they will need something different tomorrow, and the next day.
In an AI world, we don't need to worry about compromising and trying to work with what we think our customers might need. We can just focus on helping them do what they want to do, when they want to.
In a few keystrokes, treasurers could have access not just to insights into their sales data, but forecasts of their cash flow in the week ahead. Data mapped to retail locations. The list goes on – all using the valuable, anonymised and secure data ANZ already has access to.
AI is offering opportunities for banks to present a different lens on their data to customers in a way that really makes sense for them.
How it will help bankers
Life is likely to get a lot easier for relationship managers at banks thanks to AI – freeing them up to form closer relationships with their clients.
As I said earlier, banks produce a lot of data – but also a lot of guidance, procedures, news and messages, creating leviathan corporate networks, hosted across a wide array of interfaces. Banks also have a lot of data in different places, making it difficult to connect the data in ways that make sense. This can make it hard for relationship managers to find the information they want – and then work out what to do with it when they find it.
For example, an AI model using banking data could provide an easily accessible resource for RMs ahead of client meetings, instantly providing them a detailed brief on the customer’s business. And some AI tools can even understand and generate human language, making complex data easier to grasp.
A RM could ask an AI for a report on a particular sector, from a particular time period, in a particular postcode. They could ask for the information to be charted and delivered in the form of a presentation. And they would receive that – quickly.
This, alongside information about a business’ industry, interests, need, risks and opportunities, will help empower and embolden RMs in ways that make them smarter and better – and make interactions with them much more valuable for clients.
Sibos is back again. After a successful post-pandemic return last year, the world’s premier financial services conference will bring the best minds in the business to Toronto in 2023 – and ANZ will be among them.
From September 18 to 21, the Sibos financial services conference will provide a forum for industry participants to set the agenda for banking in 2024 and beyond.
In the lead up to the event, ANZ Institutional Insights will provide thought-leading conversations from ANZ’s experts that will offer a sneak peek at the ideas set to dominate the conference – and future of the industry.
How it will help banks
Banks need to take the opportunity now to think about how they can reimagine their services. A report from Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia in July suggested GAI could add between $A5 billion and $A13 billion a year to the professional and financial services sectors in Australia by 2030.
At ANZ, we’re already looking at our own ‘version’ of the technology, ZGPT, and results have so far been interesting.
The way AI will help the banking sector get better at being itself I think is remarkable. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to think AI could reimagine the way we do customer service in just a few short years.
When blockchain first emerged on the scene, I used to joke the tech was a solution looking for a problem. AI is not that - it’s a solution already solving problems. And it’s happening right now.
Leigh Mahoney is Head of Wholesale Digital at ANZ
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