AI Growth In The UK Financial Services Industry!

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As more and more industries embrace artificial intelligence, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that AI’s impact on growth and development is a fruitful one. Especially in banking!

Some of the largest banks have already taken the initiative to implement AI. They are using it in their front- and back-of-house operations and reaping the benefits. Not to mention outshining the competition as they progress with certainty into the future. 

Whether it’s creating effective data pipelines, implementing machine learning or developing interactive chatbots, AI is quickly branching out and changing things for the better. And no matter which way you look at it, every industry will transform through this technology in some way or the other.

Digital marketing agency, Sagittarius, and cloud-hosting and consultancy company Wirehive, partnered up to research how AI is changing the UK financial services industry. These were some of the findings:

Services – Chatbots, NLP and Personalisation

The research conducted found that customer service enhancement is one of the biggest motivators in adopting AI. 40% of the interviewed banks gave this as one of the primary reasons to engage in AI implementation. They are all well aware of the benefits that it could bring the industry as a whole.

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is one of the processes that programs and enhances customer interactions through chatbots. These chatbots provide users with 24/7 access to banks in the case of any queries or questions that need clarifying. Chatbots can provide users with immediate feedback, assistance and insight at any time of the day without hassle.

People are also becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of interacting with chatbots. The communication process is progressively becoming more fluid and easier to engage with.

One of the other benefits of the advanced features of customer services through AI is personalisation for the end-user. Rather than dealing with monotonous service and a lack of attention, AI can personalise customer treatment. This could include personalised advice, content, opportunities, insurance offers and more. This allows for more loyalty from the customer and far more opportunity for the banks implementing this technology.

With only a fifth of interviewed banks comfortable with their investments into the next 3 years, most were interested in financing customer service (71%) and data and data analytics (71%).

Interestingly, the perceived impact of particular AI functions (ranked according to low, medium and high impact), the most significant perceived impact was customer service at 29%. In comparison, data and data analytics received 43% for medium impact.

Data and Data Analytics

The other biggest reason for adopting AI is the benefits that data and data analytics can bring to banking. This was the biggest reason why banks invested in AI. And a total of 50% of the interviewed banks are aware of the benefits that come with implementing it. 

Data and data analytics mostly refer to the handling of big data (vast amounts of unprocessed data) and insight generation. These allow banks to automate specific tasks and services, ultimately resulting in reduced operating costs.

Some of the most distinct advantages that AI and data provide is to back-office processes. This could be to keep track of backlogs, manage tedious processes and increase workflow efficiency. This will allow more time for staff to focus on high-value tasks.

These advantages extend to predictive analytics through the use of big data. This helps with forecasting market outcomes and reducing financial risks through deep learning and neural networks. With AI, big data is also transformed into operational intelligence. This helps with the company’s day-to-day decision-making.

Other Findings And Insights (Benefits and Barriers)

Findings show that more financial services organisations are ready to embrace AI in their systems, strategy and data availability.

Also, all of the interviewed organisations already use some form of cloud service or infrastructure. They often use more than one service, with 60% using Microsoft Azure and around 30% for AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Not every organisation understands the use or benefits that come with AI. 10% understand it very well, and 50%, quite well. Yet 60% of the interviewed banks are well aware of the practical uses of AI. There’s undoubtedly a massive shift taking place.

It was also found that the most significant perceived benefit was task automation. This would be to help further reduce costs and save more money.

The biggest barrier that AI currently faces in the financial industry is reluctance by organisations’ to implement this technology. This is usually due to a lack of understanding and often a lack of resources. Due to skill and staff limitations and the lack of investment, AI implementation is either outsourced or completely discarded from investment plans.

The findings have already confirmed that AI will enable financial services companies to prosper through improved efficiency and a better, more tailored customer experience.

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