By Muddu Sudhakar, CEO Aisera
The banking industry isn’t known for the early adoption of new technology or for embracing new tech in general. But, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, Banking has adopted a leadership role in technological innovation.
It’s no secret the industry is transforming and two interconnected technologies, cloud computing and AI, have the potential to both modernize and improve the overall experience for consumers. These technologies offer a pathway for banks to compete with fintech startups and align their processes and services with the modern consumer’s expectations.
So, what is on the horizon for banking in 2022?
A Measured Move to the Cloud
As 2022 continues to unfold, banks will slowly migrate operational and back-end platforms to the cloud, a move designed to reduce risk and improve agility. While risk is always present, giant cloud providers are allowing banks to pool resources and create distributed environments that are complex and less appealing targets for attackers.
Banks are consistently unable to remove constraints on growth or speed during the shift to cloud-based services, but the process is becoming inevitable. Still, according to the 2021 Accenture report, there’s a long way to go, with only 12 percent of financial institutions using the cloud.
Transforming and Modernizing Customer Care
The last two years have been game-changing for the banking industry. After the exodus to mobile banking apps and the social distancing requirements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer desire to visit brick-and-mortar branches has vanished. Now, the evolution of AI-powered platforms is transforming the industry in new ways with the rise of conversational artificial intelligence.
The old process of continually connecting consumers to a “live agent” in customer care is fading away. While human agents are still important and available to deal with escalated customer concerns, more and more financial institutions are opting to implement specialized software to deal with basic customer service issues.
These technologies are engineered to make life easier and can take over mundane, day-to-day internal and customer service tasks, freeing up live agents to deal with more pressing matters.
Conversational AI, like that created by Aisera, is designed to operate in lockstep with employees, establishing an integrated, more efficient, faster customer service experience.
Natural Language Processing technology is advancing quickly. Aisera’s solutions, for example, understand more than five billion intents and one trillion phrases across 74 languages. This ability to not only provide faster customer service but to engage with customers as it balances sentiment and language makes Aisera a tool that satisfies more than just the speed of the customer interaction but also its success.
Technology to Complement Human Capital
Conversational AI is designed to operate as a complementary technology to its human counterparts, and it’s freeing workers who have been stuck in the rut of mundane, basic call center jobs with low wages to branch out and seek better opportunities. These call centers, many of which are located outside of the United States, pay the equivalent of $5 per hour and are not set up to propel the business forward by utilizing worker skillsets. But when financial institutions implement an AI-based platform that automates many of the calls, workers are able to engage in higher-value work.
AI excels at answering certain types of questions because it can pull from multiple data sources and leverage historical context. It’s non-linear thinking at work, opposed to the more linear human brain. This technology develops problem resolutions at a scale that’s impossible for people.
At an increasing pace, banks are enlisting workers to assist in building workflows and suggest new efficiencies. Some examples might include automating international money transfers or new user checking account opening processes. Through this model, workers engage in more effective and lucrative tasks that provide benefits for them and their banking employers.
Understanding How Conversational AI Works and Why It Matters in Banking
Advanced AI platforms for service desks, such as the one offered by Aisera, are custom organized by domain and vertical. This platform focuses on customer service, sales, and marketing, and uses prior interactions to build a database of informed answers. It uses NLP to build a company’s content and taxonomy using specific industry language. The platform fine tunes the accuracy of responses by learning a client’s specific operations and customer service procedures, indexing libraries of content. It’s this data input “vocabulary” that makes AI-powered tools so powerful.
Technology always acts as a great disruptor, and while banking often lags in adoption due to regulatory constraints, it’s clear to see that conversational AI is an advancement even the banking industry cannot deny. In 2022 and beyond, the pressure to compete and streamline will continue to drive the industry to embrace more cloud-based and AI solutions designed to improve processes, uptime and the all-important customer experience.