Artificial Intelligence is an ingenious reality in today’s business world and is being widely applied across several industries. The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector especially is positively embracing artificial intelligence in order to offer a more proactive and personalized customer support. According to a survey conducted by CMR and NASSCOM, 74% of top Indian IT decision makers saw artificial intelligence play an important role in BFSI Sector. Artificial Intelligence in BFSI is now growing by leaps and bounds with the passage of time.
“The BFSI sector is very positive about using AI. According to our survey of IT decision makers from BFSI, 74% feel that there’s a strong need for AI in the segment, and their primary business objective is to provide a more proactive and personal customer support. However, choosing the right AI offering from different vendors is still a major challenge due to lack of common standards or frameworks to guide them through it,” says Mr Anil Chopra, VP-Research and Consulting, CyberMedia Research.
Mr John Santhosh, founder and CEO of GIEOM Business Solutions, states similar thoughts while saying that the BFSI sector has always been one of the first adopters when it comes to new technology innovations, and are already exploring and implementing AI. Although the applications of AI in BFSI are wide, he says that the industry was seeing great interest in incorporating AI powered solutions for increasing customer relationship, optimizing back-end processes, manage risks and compliance, enhance security, and so on.
Nonetheless, AI doing a world of good to the BFSI industry does not come without a few challenges. “Data is the support system of AI, and any vulnerability that arises from unverified information could have serious consequences. Whether we use AI to build chatbots that can converse in dozens of Indian languages, or a solution for the bankers to ensure regulations are adhered to, its effectiveness is directly proportionate to the kind of data the AI engine has access to. With growing concerns on data privacy, and advent of such as GDPR, availability and usage of data will continue to be a crucial aspect while implementing AI systems for the BFSI sector,” says Mr John.
Will Automation of BFSI Via Artificial Intelligence Impact Hiring?
Mr John is of the view that although the introduction of AI and ML across industries has disrupted manual processing by a large extent, AI cannot ever completely replace humans. “Banking has usually been a very people-oriented sector since customers are more comfortable to have a human handling their finance,” he says. Banks spend lot of time and money in customer on boarding which is a predominantly a manual process, and AI can become a great support to ensure errors are minimized at source and manual data capture work at the back office is reduced.
“GIEOM’s Blueprint product is designed to equip bank employees with tools that make them more agile and process oriented so that customers get the best service possible. The Financial Services Industry today is very dynamic, the regulations and policies change frequently and banks struggle to keep their employees updated on these changes to guarantee best customer service. Usage of GIEOM products ensure that these policy changes are notified to the concerned employees in no time on their core banking screens without having to look for it anywhere,” says Mr John.
Mr John also feels that just as how a human body cannot work with multiple brains like AI can do, a banking organization also cannot work with just robots. Hence, the need for human intervention will always be crucial in the sector. The idea is not to replace humans with robots but leverage them to act as the assistant and make humans better at their tasks. Financial institutions are integrating bots and AI into their digital and customer care strategies right alongside their human agents. The focus in the BFSI sector is mainly to “integrate” AI and not “replace” humans, says Mr John.
“For the BFSI industry, the implementation of AI and ML’s primary objective is to provide a more proactive and personal customer support while the second area of focus is to automate certain back-end processes to reduce errors and improve efficiency. Banks are already using chatbots to improve customer care experience and reduce costs. Some banks are even switching out tellers for self-service ATMs that allow customers to video chat with an agent thus providing remote banking service offerings. AI and ML are also used for banks’ analytics capabilities to pick out nonstandard behavior patterns and fraudulent transactions for trading and for risk management,” he adds.
Apart from Mr John Santhosh, in an interaction with DataQuest, Mr Philip Varghese, Executive Director, Digit Insurance (general insurance company based completely on cloud) too had echoed similar thoughts. Moving from the manual process to a completely digital platform does not necessarily mean that employment will be hit. Digitization creates employment opportunities in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning in turn, Mr V Philip had said.
How Efficient is Artificial Intelligence making BFSI
GIEOM recently launched its AI powered product called Digital Validator that enables faster onboarding of new customers in financial services sector using machine learning and computer vision. This technology reads the KYC documents, checks their correctness, extracts information from it and auto-populates in the digital application form making the customer onboarding process easier and faster.
In case of paper-based application forms, Validator can check whether all the mandatory fields are filled or not thereby reducing errors in the very first step. In cases where customers are using digital channels like internet and mobile banking, Validator helps in reducing the effort for data capture as it reads the KYC documents uploaded online, check if it is the correct document using computer vision and then auto-populates the form using data extracted from the KYC documents. Hence an AI technology like this increases customer satisfaction, says Mr John.
While adding that Artificial intelligence is a game changer, Mr John says that such technologies are here to stay and will play a crucial role in shaping this data driven industry in coming times.