Why skimping on voice AI tech could cost banks billions

For years, billions in venture capital have been poured into fintech banks like Chime and N26 with the bet that these startups can wrest the lion’s share of an estimated $469 trillion in assets held by other financial institutions and banks. retailers worldwide.

AI

To speak well, start with automatic speech recognition

Banks have held their own through the pandemic, reporting record 2021 profits on low charge-off rates, rising customer deposits and thriving investment opportunities. However, a new survey of 142 banking executives from around the world, conducted by Capgemini and Qorus for the World Retail Banking Report 2022, found that 70% of them believe they lack fundamental data analytics and AI capabilities to compete in the long term.

What is the biggest concern? Customer experience. The technology that powers decentralized finance, where consumers bank when and where they want, is now complemented by a more sophisticated banking experience powered by AI. Mobile apps enable more than just bill payment, as AI-infused virtual assistants alert customers to potential fraudulent activity or transfer money via voice commands.

While fintechs and tech players like Apple and Google are creating fast, easy-to-use systems for customer interactions, established banks have outdated legacy systems that make it difficult to harness the mountains of personal, financial, and even social data that have accumulated. for each client.

Additionally, many are missing the foundational voice assistant technology that consumers are adopting en masse. Around 50% of the 8,000 bank customers surveyed in the Capgemini report mentioned above mentioned voice assistants as a feature they would most like to see, but only 35% of bank executives saw it as a priority.

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Context-aware voice AI

And even for those who are embracing automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, and natural language processing, choosing the right technology is key to everything else on the road to continued and growing customer loyalty.

AI helps call center representatives provide better responses and solutions by using virtual assistants and chatbots in the early stages of a call to understand the issue and even resolve it completely. UK-based NatWest recently reported that Cora, the bank’s AI-based conversational virtual assistant, handles 58% more inquiries year-over-year and completes 40% of those interactions without human intervention.

following the money

Resolving customer inquiries digitally leads to significant cost savings for banks, which are expected to save $7.3 billion by 2023 by using virtual assistants, according to a recent study by Juniper Research.

Banks that focus solely on those cost savings typically try to get by with voice AI software that recognizes about 80% of the words spoken by a customer. The reason: They don’t have the development resources to customize chatbot software to understand industry-unique words or phrases.

Employing that tactic, however, goes to the heart of whether a customer finds each interaction useful or useless. In competition with fintechs, automated speech recognition and text-to-speech technology must be industry and even company specific.

The innovation game

To speak well, start with automatic speech recognition. Without achieving greater than 85% accuracy, downstream services that use Voice AI as a foundation will not deliver the expected business results or deliver the expected impact.

Some of these include sentiment analysis, hyper-personalization, and even regulatory record keeping. By working with speech recognition software that already has thousands of pre-trained models, banks can quickly scale simply by tailoring additional training to their specific needs. They can then deliver the same experience anywhere: on-premises, in the cloud, and hybrid.

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Banks are still learning the ins and outs of platform innovation. Without a solid foundation in automated speech recognition and text-to-speech technology, creating and promoting new financial products, maintaining customer relationships, and innovating through partnerships are at best , unstable proposals.

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