Intelligent banking with Artificial Intelligence

ABN AMRO is busily experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI). This technology is developing exponentially, with more and more fintechs and larger companies bringing innovative concepts to market. Like other banks, we see the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence can offer. That’s why we are studying how we can use it to help our clients, but also how our staff can use AI to provide a better service to clients. And always putting the wishes of the client first.

What exactly is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a collective name for technologies which together imitate human intelligence, or even surpass it. Examples include skills such as predicting, learning and reasoning, but then with the advantages of scale offered by a computer. Think of computers that can understand speech and text, or which can recognise objects and faces on photographs. Include ‘machine learning’, too, and you have all the ingredients needed to create something that surpasses our own intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence in the financial world

There are two ways in which AI could be used within the financial sector. The first involves applications which help bank staff to do their work better, for example intelligent assistants or software that performs highly sophisticated risk analyses. Then there are technologies with which clients have direct contact. Banks are investing millions in these kinds of AI systems: think of a self-learning client service app or the use of chatbots. ABN AMRO is also one of the banks that is experimenting with the technology and looking to see what value it can generate.

Golden age for Artificial Intelligence

AI applications are becoming ever more sophisticated, more personal and more proactive. There are three reasons why the conditions for this technology are so favourable just now: 

  • Interaction: previously, keyboard and mouse with the only means of communicating with the computer. That has changed: we now use speech recognition software, mobility tracking systems such as GPS and Wi-Fi, and even gesture interpretation. 
  • Intelligence: AI is becoming increasingly intelligent. The computing power of computers is growing exponentially. In combination with this, developments in machine learning are opening the way for ever more advanced applications. 
  • Data: Artificial Intelligence is fed by data. Thanks to social networks, smartphones and IoT (Internet of Things) devices, data is something that is very plentiful. In fact, the amount of data is set to grow even faster.

ABN AMRO experiments in order to learn

To discover where the most value lies, it is necessary to experiment. That applies not just for existing services, but also for new opportunities and even for innovations outside our business model. We are investigating how we can make the work easier for our staff, and how clients can benefit from Artificial Intelligence. Take ABN AMRO’s Grip, for example, our financial advice app. This intelligent digital assistant gives clients an insight into their income and expenditure – for example, how much they need to save for their summer holiday, or how much money they need to keep in their household account. 

We are also looking not only at what advice we give, but also how we give it. Facebook Messenger is an example of a new kind of client interaction. We are also investigating how we can help relationship managers to provide their clients with a more proactive service with intelligent analyses. And we are automating time-consuming and monotonous manual processes by leaving them to computers. Examples include activities in relation to risk analyses and fraud detection: AI enables us to detect small changes in patterns, however big the mountain of data may be.

The client will determine the future

Whether these Artificial Intelligence applications actually see the light of day will depend on the client. Are clients willing to adapt? Will they accept help from a computer? Whatever else happens, information protection and user security are obviously top priorities. We will continue to experiment with the unprecedented computing power of robots, though we will of course not go any further than our clients want us to. But by carrying out research into the possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence now, we will be in a position to make the best choices later.