A new study shows that digital innovations in the financial sector cannot replace personal service for a long time. But technology could help employees give their customers a much better experience.
Financial service providers cannot yet replace people. On the one hand, because the majority of customers still value the personal service. On the other hand, because automation, artificial intelligence, and data analysis cannot yet fully outweigh the rational mind.
However, a new study by the financial services company Avaloq suggests that banks and asset managers can use digital technologies to offer their customers a significantly improved experience, significantly improve their front, middle and back-office processes and become significantly more efficient.
Do not replace, but support
Financial institutions, bank customers, and investors worldwide were surveyed. According to the survey, the financial industry still needs dedicated client advisors, front-line employees, and regulatory and risk management specialists. People are valued: 62 percent of the investors surveyed would not want to use a pure robot service. However, 53 percent of bank customers would also like to conduct their banking transactions or invest through a non-traditional company such as Apple or Google.
73 percent of the investors surveyed stated that artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation are the industry trends that will shape the future. Low costs are still important for 69 percent of customers and a good reputation for 64 percent when assessing a service provider. Through digital improvements, banks could in the future provide a significantly improved service. But this will require new specializations and adjustments.
The thrust is: Don’t replace, but support. Digital technologies can relieve employees of a lot of unpleasant work so that they can concentrate on the essentials. Most respondents agree that digital technologies will help prevent human error and free up resources for specialized tasks.
Faster, more efficient, and more flexible thanks to AI
The authors of the study are sure that intelligent automation-based technologies such as robotics and machine learning will bring great benefits for financial institutions in the next few years. The respondents themselves expect the implementation of further cloud-based processes because they are convinced of the associated efficiency, flexibility, and a shorter time-to-market for new products.
Technologies like artificial intelligence support the financial advisor and help to appear faster and more productive. To be able to foresee what a bank customer will want or what he will do next and to react accordingly will become a decisive competitive advantage. In the middle office, the industry expects to benefit from the new technologies, especially in the area of regulation. For example, the management of time-consuming regulations for money-laundering prevention and know-your-customer becomes more efficient.
Environment and social as a benchmark
43 percent of those surveyed would consider changing financial institutions, especially if they are convinced of a company’s so-called ESG criteria (Environment, Social, Governance). The financial sector must evidently develop in line with the increased ethical demands of a knowledge society.