Artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing are redefining numerous areas of business, including banking. Processes and functions that involve large amounts of information, significant complexity and nuanced analysis are prime candidates for an AI-enabled revolution. By dramatically expanding human capabilities and profoundly diminishing administrative complexity, cognitive systems can help improve processes, significantly reduce time delays, increase accuracy and reduce cost. And given the information-intensive nature of banking, multiple processes and functions are ripe for cognitive-enabled transformation.
That said, Indian banks are investing heavily in AI-enabled, digitally-transformative technologies. One of India’s largest private-sector banks, ICICI, is employing robotics to automate selected banking processes. Having automated more than 200 business processes across retail banking, agri-business, trade, foreign exchange, treasury and human resource management, ICICI is using AI-enabled technologies, including facial and voice recognition, natural language processing and machine learning. Given its success, ICICI plans to more than double the number of robots employed to over 500 by the end of 2017.
And the nation’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), uses analytics solutions to achieve a single view of customer data, enabling it to better manage accounts and operations and make more informed and timely product-launch decisions. Analytics tools also support SBI with real-time visibility and early warnings for non-performing assets, which helps significantly in managing credit default risk.
Meanwhile, a cognitive bank is enabled by AI and cognitive computing across all business functions and processes. From account opening to product marketing, from bond and equities trading to financial advisory, a cognitive bank, at its core, possesses cognitive capabilities. By employing AI-enabled capabilities so broadly, a cognitive bank can personalize customer engagement through its ability to exploit continually deeper insights, contextual understanding and real-time learning. A cognitive bank also includes best-in-breed fintech or other providers’ services synthesized seamlessly with its own proprietary systems and operations to the advantage of customers. A cognitive bank is able to orchestrate the various inputs and interests of powerful ecosystems of partners to meet customer needs.
Perhaps most important, by fundamentally redefining roles and re-engineering business operations, a cognitive bank enables advanced and enhanced actions and decision-making processes of dynamic learning across the organization.
A number of Indian banks are looking at the benefits of cognitive technology. For example, Yes Bank, one of India’s largest private-sector banks, was one of the first institutions to publicly announce innovation in payments using blockchain and cognitive capabilities. The bank is embracing cognitive and blockchain to enhance the digital experience for partners, corporate clients and developers.