Research from Adobe reveals that financial services companies are ahead of the curve in adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots to serve customers. According to the 2019 Adobe Digital Trends Report, 34 percent of financial services brands use AI and/or bots to drive their campaigns and experiences, compared with just 22 percent of respondents in other sectors; an additional 37 percent of financial services organisations are planning to invest in the technology over the next year.
Michael Plimsoll, Industry Marketing Director for Financial Services at Adobe, said: “The high volume of transactions in financial services, coupled with unprecedented digital disruption, especially from newcomers to the sector, make the industry fertile ground for AI adoption. In a market where products can be homogenous, we will increasingly see financial services brands use AI to differentiate their customer experiences through greater personalisation, automation, and service innovation”.
Financial services companies remain highly constrained when it comes to price competition, making the customer experience their primary route to differentiation. Indeed, customer service, product innovation, and quality are collectively highlighted by nearly half (49 percent) of respondents as the main areas where they can set themselves apart.
Commenting on how financial services use of AI to drive better customer experiences, James Keady, Director of Digital Engagement for Asia and EMEA at Citibank said: “Digitally-enabled conversational banking is a developing technology that will improve the way customers interface with banks, delivering more efficient, always on-solutions. There is still a lot of dependency between customers and traditional channels such as phone, so we are constantly building learnings around customer interactions to create better experiences, when and where customers require, as they are increasingly global and mobile. There is still a long way to go, however AI and related technology will play a key role in enabling this for our customers in the future”.
Despite leading other industries in terms of their focus on the customer journey and data-driven marketing that focusses on the individual, 48 percent of financial services respondents admit their customer experience is not as mature as they would like. Looking ahead, 56 percent say they will prioritise the better use of data for audience segmentation and targeting, while 34 percent see the delivery of real-time personalised experiences as one of their most exciting prospects.