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Artificial intelligence: How it's transforming financial services in UAE

Being around for more than 60 years, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our daily lives - be it chatbots, robo advisors, cognitive computing and much more that act as an aid to many financial institutions. For many businesses transforming technology means enhanced customer experience to make it as personalised as possible. It has proved to be faster, engaging organisations further helping them grow. AI is the key to successful business operations. Apart from enhanced customer service, any financial institution can use AI to enhance its competitive position and improve performance.

Each sector is adopting AI for example, banks use chatbox for advanced customer services, insurance holders to claim processing to streamline flow and erase frauds. These days AI is accepted widely around the globe since it is secure, efficient and saves cost by eliminating manual work to be done by the back office. Some of the techniques have been highly successful but the rapidly changing market environment points that a strategy cannot always be successful.

Taxing is one of the most complicated processes that mainly relies on human expertise because of which AI is being slowly implemented. Many companies have started using revenue models, even investment managers have started using AI tools that ask individuals a few questions and then generate a retirement strategy to best fit their needs and risk profiles. Many firms use AI for capital planning, natural language or graph processing to track transactions. For all businesses there is one question - how will AI shape the business?

Though the uses are low stream, it will increase as they move towards mainstream processes.

While exploring options for AI solutions a firm should consider factors:

Operational AI

This kind of AI can be carefully reviewed to watch productivity.

Customer satisfaction

Applying AI can yield better insights to problems like getting better customer satisfaction and retention by analysing data from the source.

AI extensions

Make an AI extensions of your data analytics team. It is considered better to choose an AI extension rather than an AI officer for review and analytics.

Finding the right balance

It is vital to strike a balance between servicing costs and customer service needs. One should swap customers to live support if AI or any other service does not provide complete satisfaction.

Challenges

Even with the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, it is limited to how can it help business depending on its utilisation.

Machinery dependence

Gradually AI will replace humans in functions like personal assistants, digital labour and machine learning but challenges remain in terms of values like privacy, trust, lack of trained staff and regulations.

Insights

With advancement in data, cloud computing and processing speeds more companies will use cognitive computing and machine learning to advance for performing advance analysis or patterns.

Robo-advisors

Robotic advice is altering to bionic advice that combines digital and human delivery of advice due to pricing pressures.

Cognification processes

Moving ahead from digitisation and automisation firms are expected to include AI more with processes that rely on machines for very accurate decisions.

This kind of technology also has an impact on professionals which in turn changes their roles and responsibilities in the organisation and help them improvise, increase productivity levels.

Considering all the factors, AI is no longer a technology of the future. Financial services firms are actively exploring the technology and exploring ways it can benefit business. There is a substantial growth in the use of AI globally. The impact in the region will be similar to the global market albeit at a much slower pace due to the maturity level of the industry and market limitations in some cases and lack of complex investment instruments. The main shift we see how financial professionals work. The type of roles will change for such professionals as they will be working hand in hand with artificial intelligence experts. True growth does not entirely depend on applying and testing the latest technology but has to be more customer-centric, enable perspective to drive customer loyalty, engagement, consumption and satisfaction. It is the key to provide tools, insights and accelerate tomorrow's market leaders to thrive in this environment.

Appearing in Business, Khaleej Times, on July 30, 2017 - click here to read more

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Authors

Baasab B. Deyb
FCA, Partner