The whole world is having to adjust to the ‘new normal’ in life as well as at work. The effects of the pandemic are even challenging and changing consumers’ traditional behaviours. Consequently, pushing them to consider and use new tools and technologies that they may not have considered using before.
Lightico conducted a survey in March 2020 that found that 82% of customers were concerned about visiting their bank branch in person. As a result, 63% were now more willing to try digital applications. Consequently, experts predict that these shifts in customer behaviour will be extremely long-lasting.
In response, the banking sector is having to undergo a paradigm shift to keep up. It is an opportunity to bring forward and implement plans to reshape its structure and operational practices.
The problem is the sudden impact of the COVID-19 virus gave little notice for banks to respond and develop plans to enable them to adapt and change quickly in the face of the pandemic.
Banks are now having to innovate to succeed and introduce intelligent technology that can be integrated with human ingenuity to create something new.
However, it is not a case of simply implementing AI technology and keeping human practices as two separate entities, but instead blending the two elements together to help improve productivity, efficiency, and to reassure anxious banking customers that all is well by delivering them with excellent customer service, on-demand.
Adapting The Banking Workforce
While the banking sector has been using intelligent technologies such as AI for a few years now, businesses typically utilise AI in parallel with workers as an artificial intelligence toolset, mostly used in automated isolation – very separate from their human workforce.
The main drivers for using AI is the cost savings and improved efficiencies it provides. However, now is the time for using AI in a more nuanced way to help banks move forward and integrate it with human capabilities to bring them more value.
A major cultural shift is needed right now in the banking sector to help build better workforce resilience, and this is in the form of the further integration of human and machine capabilities. This means using AI to boost productivity, but combining it with the creativity, empathy and innovation that only humans can bring to their role.
Dispelling Preconceived Ideas
One barrier towards more
is the fear that it will only act to replace workers rather than aid them in their role. These preconceived ideas can be intimidating and can be met with resistance by both bank staff and management alike.
However, the banking sector needs to look at utilising AI from a different viewpoint. Instead of seeing it as a threat to the establishment, they should see it as an opportunity to improve their services by being combined with human skills to yield more significant levels of efficiency.
The positive news is that these old fashioned beliefs are being dispelled with 68% of workers surveyed by Deloitte already believing that AI’s widespread adoption will yield positive results.
Optimising More Than The Mundane Tasks
Many banks are already establishing what mundane tasks that AI can adopt. This enables them to upskill or re-skill their staff and move them into more qualitative banking roles.
By harnessing the benefits of AI technology combined with reframing live human banking roles, banks can now start to draw optimal results from their investments in both AI and the costs of retraining staff.
Actively adopting AI capabilities and coupling them with their human resources can help to deliver prompt customer services. This support works to retain customer confidence in their financial services.
Keeping Customers At The Heart Of The Business
With their customers being at the heart of their business, banks need to do everything they can to keep hold of their customers and keep them happy and engaged. This has never been so critical as the chaos of the lockdown in response to the pandemic led to banking customers becoming tired of hearing that their bank is closed. Customers became increasingly frustrated. Trying to get any help or reassurance was either impossible, very confusing or took too long to access.
It is evident that banking customers demand immediate responses and answers to their questions. Consequently, utilising AI capabilities such as virtual agents and chatbots can help to deliver a timely and reassuring response to a customer’s initial enquiry. Furthermore, it can help the bank to correctly and quickly direct customers to the help they need.
AI technologies can be easily integrated as a first response service. Banks can effectively teach their AI agents to respond to common questions asked and deliver the information the customer wants, but will also efficiently redirect more complex queries to a live agent for help.
Upskilling Staff To Develop New Capabilities
To continue to build resilience in the banking sector, banking services need to have staff with a good balance of functional capability and technical skills. This involves recruiting, training and up-skilling talented staff to empower them to help the bank progress and remain competitive, moving forward into a more digital-driven future.
Innovative banks and financial institutions are investing in new methods of staff training, delivery and improving the ways to maintain employee well-being to help increase staff retention levels. This includes:
- Expert shadowing and mentorship programmes
- Progressive learning opportunities
- Providing staff with multi-lingual support networks
- Real-time and interactive centres of excellence
- Staff rewards and incentive schemes.
Agile And AI
With more banks introducing agile practices such as these to help deliver improved performance, there is a fair degree of flexibility available to them to adapt and mould opportunities to suit their needs.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for banks to take to help integrate AI and adapt existing staff skills. This is a good thing because it gives individual banking and financial institutions a chance to adopt the agile principles they need to deliver results, but in a way which better reflects their own internal workplace culture and existing processes.
This is an opportunity to reimagine their digital AI and human skills to build stronger workforce resilience. Furthermore, they can ensure they offer services to meet the financial needs of their customers while also increasing value for their business and achieving job satisfaction for all banking employees.
So, by investing in AI in fintech, banks can ensure they have the time and talent they require to reach their goals and continue to stay one step ahead of their industry for greater success.