Why Financial Services Organizations Need to Be Ready for Increased AI-Driven Customer Service and Regulations

Through Amy Chesson, Legal advisor for the integration of intellectual property.

Automation and AI-powered technology are playing an increasingly important role at every stage of a customer service journey, from chatbots to analyzing customer data. Driven by the effects of the pandemic, the integration of AI and automated technology has become a crucial aspect of customer service that financial services organizations have to offer, helping them improve efficiency and streamline the customer journey. .

Yet delivering optimal customer service through AI comes with new and expanding security regulations. Next year the EU is set to introduce new widely negotiated AI and data privacy regulations. While the specific impact outside the EU is currently uncertain, it would not be out of place to assume that similar obligations and regulations could also be implemented in the UK next year. For the financial industry, which is already rife with compliance rules and regulations regarding the sharing and storage of sensitive customer information, realizing that the customer service landscape could change dramatically, with privacy and security playing a central role as as technology becomes more and more sophisticated, is crucial.

The rise of AI in customer service

Many financial organizations have been using AI tools for years. Personal financial management provider Intuit Mint, for example, created its “Robot-advisor“in 2006, offering investment advice backed by AI, while ZestFinance found AI to be effective in establishing credit scores for clients with little or no credit history using”lightweight file borrowers”.

But hybrid and remote work has been an unexpected catalyst for the expanded use of AI. The large-scale migration to remote work has pushed organizations to reinvent their operations, especially when it comes to customer service, with many moving their contact center and customer relations teams entirely to the cloud to combat the problem. increased customer demands and staff shortages. Even the Bank of England found that the pressures of hybrid labor were eased by the move to the cloud and officially migrated last year. Additionally, the move to the cloud has enabled businesses to take advantage of new technologies, including AI.

AI and the cloud have always had a mutually beneficial relationship: the cloud makes AI solutions accessible to a wider market while AI streamlines processes hosted in the cloud. So when the time came to migrate to the cloud, many companies have found that the choice of AI-enhanced capabilities has grown significantly, especially in the customer service space.

Indeed, the tastes of the line chatbots enhanced by automated or AI-based Q&A, have become the tool of choice for many financial organizations. First, because they help customers find answers to their questions while taking some of the pressure off customer service agents who don’t necessarily need to speak to the customer on the phone. In addition, automated chatbots, voice channels and more can be invaluable in helping financial services improve their customer service while providing customers with an omnichannel offering – allowing them to find their answers 24/7, 365. , via a platform adapted to digital savvy. customer today. Finally, automation can help organizations better collect customer information and analyze it to provide insight into how they can improve customer service.

While AI and automation may be the key to unlocking a streamlined customer journey that is beneficial to customers and service agents, and which will undoubtedly continue to gain popularity over the next year or so, the responsibility and responsibility for compliance must be at the forefront.

The rules and regulations of 2022

The backbone of the new EU AI policy stipulates different levels of risk ranging from unacceptable risk to minimal risk. While we can’t predict what will happen in the UK, it wouldn’t be completely ridiculous to assume that a similar test could be the basis of everything. UK AI policy in 2022.

Based on current definitions for each risk level, none of the AI ​​customer service features currently in the cloud, such as chatbots, Interactive voice response Technology or caller line identification tools, are considered unacceptable risks, which means that all cloud contact center operations can continue as normal. However, the financial industry in particular should note that data on an individual’s credit scores and loan application is under the control. high risk category because the data is very sensitive and could be personally harmful to an individual if improperly managed. In this case, financial services need to be clear across all platforms, including AI-powered chatbots, where this information is used, how data is used and stored, and why.

Most other interactions with contact centers are of limited risk. This means that although sensitive data can be extracted, the customer is informed of the process when they provide personal data to a human or a machine. For example, caller line identification tools, which can use AI-powered voice channels to collect customer details in preparation for a connection with a human agent, make it clear when the customer is communicating. with an automated machine. Because the customer is aware that their data is being collected by a machine, they can choose not to continue at any time.

Online dashboards are other areas of AI integration that face more stringent regulation. Examine how the now ubiquitous online banking platforms are in place before UK regulations are finalized would be beneficial for banks wishing to get started without disrupting important service to their customers. AI uses data from these dashboards to personalize the online experience – it can analyze the most popular features of online banking and direct users to frequently used tabs. For example, TSB moved entirely to the cloud during the pandemic and now uses AI to operate its “Intelligent agent»Directly via its online banking application.

AI customer service is well and truly here and is more than likely to stay.

Using AI to open doors

As the hybrid work and the effects of the pandemic continue, financial organizations will undoubtedly continue to look to the cloud and AI for new customer service applications that will improve the customer journey and lighten their workload. its agents. By November 2021, Gartner predicts that more than half of all current cloud data centers will deploy the technology with AI capabilities by 2025. Investments in this area are only growing and the proposed new European regulations strengthen the influence of AI on every sector, in every business transaction.

For financial services, the proposed changes are likely to have an impact on how the industry operates, especially how organizations can maintain customer trust. But that shouldn’t dissuade embracing all the possibilities that a successfully integrated AI and cloud solution can bring. For organizations keen to adopt scalable and scalable business models, AI opens the door to a world of limitless possibilities.

Stephen V. Lee