Banks say that AI is essential for digital transformation

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Every single bank in the UK now has a digital transformation strategy set up, new research has found.

A new global survey, conducted by IT consultancy GFT found that as many UK banks as going increasingly digital, AI is among the top priorities. Nearly nine in ten (86 per cent) of those surveyed acknowledged the importance of this technology, with a quarter saying it has ‘strategic importance’.

Things like virtual assistants, personalised customer interfaces and robot process automation are among the top wishes among banks. They believe these technologies will lower operational costs, improve customer engagement and reduce risks.

Among the top drivers for digital transformation are meeting customer expectations and boosting revenues. “The results show that the primary approach for digital transformation projects is Banking as a Platform (BaaP)”, the report says.

BaaP uses open APIs, so that banks can distribute their own, and customers can easily exchange information with suppliers. The UK leads with BaaP adoption, as well, the report says.

“If we look at the UK retail banking market as a whole, the customer is very much at the centre of most digital transformation projects,” says Christian Ball, head of retail banking at GFT.

“Meeting their needs and expectations is paramount. Banks know that they are sitting on a wealth of information, especially unstructured customer data, which is not currently being used to its full capacity. AI solutions such as chatbots, process automation and personalised interfaces, powered by open APIs, are critical to the success of digital transformation projects.”

Ball continues, “Challenges such as legacy systems, migration to the cloud and security and privacy concerns remain top concerns. It’s encouraging to see so many UK banks embracing new ways of working and recognising the increasing importance of these new technologies but there is still much work to be done. As systems, skills and technologies develop, we’re looking forward to seeing even more examples of successful digital transformation projects in the market.”

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