Imagine a financial institution as a human body, Artificial Intelligence (AI) would then be the digital backbone holding it up! Technology disruption in the banking sector is taking place slowly yet surely. Why is there so much hype around AI? How is AI transforming the banking ecosystem? Because AI in banking has several benefits such as:

a) Automates banking tasks– AI technology can help in automating transactions, customer interactions, upselling and cross-selling of banking products.
b) Provides 365 days, 24×7 customer service – Unlike a human agent, AI platforms can serve customers and handle queries in real-time, throughout the year without any fatigue.
c) Personalizes consumer journeysAn AI platform can make proactive recommendations to customers, customize product roadmaps, and send personalized communications.
d) Handles a large volume of transactionsUnlike human agents who can handle a limited number of queries, an AI chatbot can handle a large volume of queries. For instance, interface’s chatbot can handle 15k conversations/sec which is quite impossible for any human agent.
e) Saves operational costAs AI chatbots learn with every interaction, a lesser amount of time and money is spent on training and hiring agents.
f) Provides a repository of dataAI in banking enables financial institutions and banks to obtain data that helps them in better decision making and strategizing.

[PwC ]says, “if you’re looking at using AI-enhanced advanced analytics, you’ll also have to make sure to use clean data to avoid potential distortions in results.” However, to successfully integrate AI in banking you need other important skills and resources along with clean data. Let’s take a look at the technologies and core skills required for implementation of AI in banking.

The core technologiesAI in banking runs on Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), therefore you need developers who are well versed in using such technologies.
The importance of understanding human language– You would need a tech genius who knows the importance of Intent and has profound knowledge in the human thought process.  ‘Intent’ here refers to what allows the bot to understand and perform verbal applications and human communication.
The skills to prioritize You would require resources who have deep knowledge about various programming languages which revolve around deep learning, neural networks, statistics, data modeling, and big data. 

AI skills, professionals, and technologies to look out for in 2019

• Frontend developers should be experts in making conversational flows and problem-solving
Knowledge of AI libraries like TensorFlow, Café, and Torch alongside technologies like Scala, Node.js, and R packages
Professionals who are highly proficient in Python and Java
AI and ML engineers who can take automation a level higher
• Cybersecurity professionals who can safeguard the problems around cybersecurity while implementing AI banking solutions
• UI/UX designers who can make the interface between the user and the device larger than life matching the cutting edge AI tech
• Professionals with knowledge and skills around predictive analytics
• Developers who are super-skilled coders and can execute faster deployments
Lastly, data scientists, people who are skilled to collect and organize data to drawintelligent conclusions

What you need to ask yourself before integrating AI in banking

Some of the existing banking technologies are decades obsolete and some of the new ones do not provide any business benefits. Technologies that don’t serve the purpose for the existing and future customers need to be replaced. The question is, replace with what? While AI technologies have the power to transform your business, you indulge need to ask yourself…

Do you really need a change?
Do you have enough data?
Do you have a strategy in place?
Do you know the resources, skills, and technology required?

If the answer to any of this is a NO, you need to strengthen your basics such as your objective, strategy, and plan of action. Integrating AI technology into your business is not as simple as it sounds. You have to understand that the implementation of AI in banking requires certain skills, resources, and technology. Just like magic is not possible without a magic wand, sometimes you need more than one to make things happen.

Today, children are growing up with devices like Alexa and Google Home. [16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker that is around 39 million people]. They are nurtured to develop advanced technologies and attain skills that will create a huge disruption in the industry. As emerging technologies evolve, the skills and resources required to integrate and implement this technology have to be upgraded, ensuring that you would be equipped to embrace the transformation that this technology disruption manifests.  

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