Artificial intelligence consistently tops the list of hot issues for the future of the financial services sector. In a time of major disruption in the sector, it is an important tool for providers of financial products and services to remain relevant and to deliver more sophisticated services to customers in a faster and more personalised way. We expect AI to have a major impact, and so building appropriate structures around its adoption is key to building trust among customers.
Through our industry initiative in partnership with Innovate Finance we have engaged widely with the financial services sector and talked directly to customers about their perceptions of AI. We have explored the opportunities and the risks and we have identified where the challenges lie if AI is to become embedded in financial services. Our discussions have shown that there is a consistent appetite to engage with AI and explore the benefits it can offer, always with the overall aim of improving the customer experience.
We are at the beginning of an exciting journey with AI – a journey that we believe will spark a revolution in the financial services sector. We hope that this paper is the catalyst for discussions about how AI evolves and develops for the benefit of customers.
Customers want access to digital services that are intuitive, trustworthy, and quick and easy to use. For businesses operating in the financial services sector, artificial intelligence (AI) offers scope to deliver on these customer demands while lowering costs and streamlining processes.
Research carried out for this report has found that many consumers are open to the use of AI in financial services, at least in some fashion – they can see how it can help speed up the process of obtaining a mortgage and gain access to more personalised motor insurance cover, for example. Yet, as with the early stages of any new technology, there are legal, ethical and cultural challenges to overcome for institutions and fintechs seeking to deliver AI-powered services.
A number of governmental and industry initiatives are focusing on the implementation and ethical challenges presented by AI. These initiatives collectively point the way forward – the urgent need for organisations to establish and test core ethical principles to govern all uses of AI. However, they also highlight the continued development of global technical standards to better protect how AI systems are designed, developed and deployed, as well as how their use is overseen.
As this report explores in detail, today's challenge for businesses in the financial services sector is to shift their focus from what they need to do internally to the needs of their customers. Providers of financial products and services must understand the role that existing laws, regulations and frameworks play in the bigger picture of building customer trust in the use of exciting new AI technologies of the future.
This report focuses on what the use of AI by providers of financial products and services means for the customer. It considers what the introduction of AI means for customer communications and transparency, and the overarching principle of treating customers fairly, as it maps over to a world where algorithms, data and machine learning outputs are shaping decision-making affecting customers.