AI in Action in COVID-19





The need for social distancing and limited face-to-face interactions wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). AI has the capability to automate transactions, therefore enabling businesses like banks to continue providing timely and effective services.

According to an article on the Financial Brand website, “the need for different strategies around marketing, innovation and digital banking was clear well before the pandemic hit.”

IDC's Future of Intelligence Predictions

IDC predicted “enterprises that invest in future of intelligence (FoI) capabilities will experience a 100% increase in knowledge worker productivity”. According to them, this would result in “shorter reaction times, increased product innovation, and improved customer satisfaction”.  Enterprises that venture in FoI can ultimately enjoy “sustainable market share leadership (or achievement of their mission)”.

IDC also predicted that enterprises will be able to:

  • Execute their responses to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners in half the time of their peers.
  • Increase their success rate of new product introduction by 25%.
  • Expand their scope by offering a wider variety of experiences and increase their Net Promoter Scores at 1.5x

The same IDC report quoted IDC Group Vice President for Analytics and Information Management, Dan Vesset. He said, “In 2019, enterprises globally spent $190 billion on data management, analytics, and AI technologies and services — not even including labor costs or purchases of external data. Without a doubt, executives ponder on the return on investment for AI-related spending.

Vesset, who is also IDC’s FoI research practice lead, added that enterprises that achieve “economy of intelligence” will have a competitive advantage. He expounded that they will be in the same league as those enterprises that achieved economies of scale and scope.

Financial Institutions Levelling Up

According to the Financial Brand article: “There has not only been a major change in the way financial institutions conduct business but in the way, employees do their work and the way consumers manage their finances.”

“Banks and credit unions must use this time of disruption to consider reinventing themselves from the inside out,” it noted. It is a time when we need to better understand the way consumers expect their financial institution to support their financial needs. This includes the way banks and credit unions use data, AI, technology, and human resources. This will range areas such as marketing, innovation, and the digital delivery of products and services.

Introducing Conversational AI

IDC defined conversational AI software platforms as those which “enable communication with applications, websites, and devices in humanlike dialect through voice or text”. Conversational AI automates front-line touchpoints “across social media, company websites, mobile applications, and other communication channels”. Chatbots, as IDC explains them, “have a more limited text-oriented implication”. On the other hand, conversational AI is “more inclusive of AI technology covering voice bots, and voice and text assistants”.

These platforms help businesses “engage more deeply with customers and achieve a higher conversion rate. “Chatbots and conversational AI platforms help enterprises address uncertainties in the digital era as quickly as possible”. This was the statement of IDC India’s Senior Market Analyst, Swapnil Shende.

Indeed, the world has changed into one where human interactions are limited by the need to survive a pandemic. Businesses, especially banks and financial institutions, must also adapt. It is necessary so that they can provide services that cater to new needs among their customers.