BankingMillennials, artificial intelligence and the future of banking

Millennials, artificial intelligence and the future of banking

Recent research has unveiled the truth around millennials' expectations when it comes to their online banking platforms. A surprising 40% of millennials surveyed have already changed banks due to poor service. The Global Treasurer spoke exclusively to Ed Smith, chief product officer and founder, Humley, to get his opinion on what the research means for banks.

A survey has been conducted by AI technology platform Humley into the banking habits and preferences of 1,000 Americans. Its findings included:

  • 77% would switch if they found another establishment offering a better service
  • 31% would change banks if it meant reduced call waiting times
  • Two thirds of millennials felt an AI-powered chatbot would be useful to assist them with queries

The research is an indication of the future of banking and the evolving needs of the customer. Banking success in the future will rely on these experiences alongside developing a sufficient platform to keep abreast of technology.

With 68% of millennials accessing their online banking via a mobile app, this also highlights the importance of creating mobile-friendly platforms that are app-specific. Organizations can make the mistake of creating a desktop version that is not mobile-friendly – this research demonstrates the need for amendment and investment.

The survey also found that positive and consistent experiences for consumers led to an increased level of brand loyalty.

Regarding the chatbot questions in the research, it wasn’t just millennials that were interested in this kind of service. Two-thirds of those surveyed (who were aged between 18 and 70) were on board with talking to a chatbot after-hours instead of visiting the bank the next day.

 

The Global Treasurer spoke exclusively to Ed Smith, CPO at Humley, about what this research means for the future of banking

 

Following the report, what advice would you give to banks to make sure they are engaging millennials?

Customers are choosing their platforms and market share will be won or lost depending on how well banks support those platforms.

Most of these platforms require effective natural language services.

 

Do you feel chatbots are part of the future for banks, and how long do you think it will take before they are fully utilized among organizations?

Chatbots are the future and should be seen as a benefit to both organizations and customers.

Chatbots are quicker, more consistent and less judgemental for customers, while for banks they are more cost-effective, accurate and better for regulation compliance.

The biggest advantage for banks, however, is that they can encourage greater contact with chatbots, and have a better understanding of their customers when they do. Natural language is powerfully nuanced.

We can already see larger banks adopting this technology, but the winners in this space will not be the banks that build colossal chatbot projects, but the banks that prototype, experiment and grow. My guess is five years from now we will see the market share moving to the agile banks who have experimented and deployed.

 

Do you think there is a general consensus that it is just the younger generations who want these technological advancements?

Generalizations are useful, but they hide much of the truth.

In the US and Europe, PCs were our first access to the internet and mobile phone internet came later. For much of Africa, mobile phones were the first experience of the internet and for many, they are still the only experience.

Generationally, I think we assume millennials are the advance party for technology adoption, but as technology makes things easier (there is no typing with Alexa, no complex App UI for Siri, and chatbots are pretty self-explanatory) we may find those assumptions need to be re-assessed.

Final comment 

Humley believes in a paradigm shift to encourage more contact and bigger conversations. Rather than channeling or limiting customer contact to ‘manageable volumes’ or ‘scalable websites and apps’ we should encourage more conversations with customers; make things easier and as a result provide the reactive convenience that regular contact and interaction can.

 

 

 

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