Why AI & VR Can Change The Global Financial Services Industry

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Today, digital customers rule the world—banks just happen to be a part of it. Twenty percentof bank customers are now digital-only users in the world, according to an Accenture report on the banking sector.

73% think they would be more excited about a new offering from Apple, Google or Amazon than from their own Financial Services Provider (FSP).

35% of millennials don’t even believe they’ll need a bank in five years.

In the age of intelligent, connected capabilities, consumers want nothing but a satisfying banking experience that meets their evolving needs.

They desire a high level of personalization and engagement.

They want sophisticated, multi-touch experiences that span the entire organization.

They demand a multi-level of quality, agility and speed.

For financial service providers (FSPs), they need to be open, agile and integrated enough to create the future of the customer experience.

No doubt, this means creating a banking strategy around artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).

The Explosion of AI for Financial Services

It’s easy to see why top analyst firms want AI to recreate the CX more than any other technology in the next five years.

Collectively, big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Baidu have spent more than $8 billion on AI investments (Amazon itself spends $228 million per year to run Alexa and other machine learning projects).

We’re experiencing incredible AI achievements in every sector, especially in financial services.

In fact, most financial executives agree that AI will become the major channel through which FSPs and customers interact in three years.

For instance, Capital One. Last year, the brand became the first financial institution in the world to launch customer account access on Amazon’s Alexa platform.

Customers can now use the AI device to check their balances, pay bills and engage in other voice-based interactions.

This year, the provider also produced the industry’s first gender-neutral AI banking system called Eno.

The solution is a transformation of back-end infrastructure, customer-oriented channels and conversational channels.

No doubt, AI is assisting FSPs to meet next-generation customer needs; however, the technology also offers organizational benefits.

For example, using robots as advisors to ensure compliance and regulation.

We expecte that financial institutions will soon be able to use robo-advisors to create trading algorithms that always align with Department of Labor rules, ensuring compliance regardless of market conditions or client circumstances.

How Financial Services Providers can use VR

Virtual reality has become very important for FSPs to engage with customers, so much so that VR is now just as preferred as social media within FSPs’ omni-channel strategies.

Goldman Sachs estimates the AI/VR market will be worth $80 billion by 2025.

So, what can VR do to the financial services industry? Citigroup released a video last year showing the power of VR for trading.

Although the company hasn’t officially produced a VR solution, the video is an example of how traders can use VR workstations (or mobile devices) to visualize potential trades with investors together.

VR can be used for cash flow forecasting as well, which 80% of treasurers and CFOs rank as “high or of critical importance.”

The greatest use cases for VR can be found in wealth management; specifically, for the incoming generation of millennial bankers.

A 2016 Harris poll, for instance, found that 80% of millennials are not invested in the stock market, and 34 percent don’t know how.

VR can allow FSPs to uniquely attract and engage these younger investors.

For example, VR headsets can be used to bring millennials into a simulated world that allows them to gain a more contextual understanding of savings best practices and/or complex investment portfolios through data visualization.

How to Make AI and VR work for You

The benefits of AI and VR are endless: faster actions/decision making, lowered costs, improved outcomes, product and service innovation…and so on.

It’s critical that FSPs use AI and VR to transform customer journeys, innovate product portfolios, and broaden services to create an system that keeps adding value.

Of course, this requires a certain level of organizational awareness, expertise and tech sophistication.

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