a banking counter with someone withdrawing money

Customers are getting frustrated by counter services and would be happy to welcome AI based banking services. Source: Shutterstock

Are APAC customers ready for AI in banking?

CUSTOMERS across the Asia Pacific (APAC) are ready to embrace new banking services backed by technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

A Unisys report studied the attitudes of banking customers in Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

According to the data, customers in all the countries are comfortable with banks using software and algorithms to assess online credit card applications.

Having said that, less than half of them are willing to use this for home loans.

“There is a great opportunity for banks to use smart software to lead decision making for commodity products such as credit cards,” explained Richard Parker, vice president financial services, Unisys Asia Pacific.

He continued, “Consumers are less willing to use this for life events such as home loan applications which involve larger financial amounts and emotional involvement.”

Long queues remain the top annoyance for customers across all countries. Customers are also frustrated when they have to repeat themselves. Parker said that the annoyance at queues presents as a huge opportunity for banks to go digital.

He observed that customers are keen on using digital services. However, many online services currently offered by banks have to be completed by visiting a branch. The fragmented experience is causing customers a lot of frustration.

“Banks must remove the organizational, process and technology silos between business functions. Then artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can be used to help banks deliver targeted and relevant online services across all channels,” Parker suggested.

Additionally, the survey also studied customers’ readiness for open banking.

Open banking is an initiative that allows banks to share data with other organizations to provide new services to customers. This also acts as an additional revenue stream for banks.

Although the study shows that customers are willing to support this initiative, most are cautious. Most are concerned about privacy and the ability of banks and the third party to secure their data.

“For Open Banking to really take off in Asia, banks must address customer concerns about how they protect their customer data – not just in the bank, but across all of the departments, partners and agencies in the value chain,” Parker concluded.