Me and my friend were walking back from a sports complex where we were playing badminton. So, our minds were honed on everything badminton since we were living it for the past hour or so. We pass by an apartment where we see a woman standing outside all dressed in sports attire with a badminton racquet in her hand.

My friend asks, “See they’re also playing badminton”. I ask, “Inside their apartment complex or at our sports complex?” A short pause followed, after which his retort was, “Had she been standing inside, she would have played inside but since she’s standing outside, she must be playing outside.”

It wasn’t that simple an observation- the thought that went in was also based on her attire, the fact that she had a few items with her which she wouldn’t have been carrying had she been playing inside her apartment complex.

Once he explained his theory, he called it, a Sherlock-ish observance. (copyright)

I called it Intuition.

The crux of the matter being people in the current crop have an intuition quota at a level far higher than what might have been a decade back. With the magnanimous supply of literature available in convenient means (both economically and spatially), people are learning faster, training their minds faster, attuning themselves to surroundings faster- in a nutshell, becoming beautifully intuitive.

Now, when it comes to being a much-touted harbinger of innovation in the realm of technology, Banking has always shown the way, and that’s a fact. Now the next ringer in the Banking Breakthrough Basket is Artificial Intelligence. A next Industrial Revolution, for sure.

Banking isn’t a way of life. It’s a partner in it. So, by making banking more empowered through the means of AI, banks are looking at making banking more cultivated and less of a task for the intuitive end-user. With folks on-the-go, it’s targeted at making what used to be a chore into more of a has-been.

Banking with AI is a very tricky aspect- It should be adaptive enough to empower users to Work-As-They-Think (WATT? Again, copyright). The customer thinks it and it’s almost half-done. So, a high WATTage is what is aimed for among the customer base.

Should banking be focused more on just enhancing the customer experience by leveraging the power of analytics so as to provide a discernible machine learning to the end customer? We believe not. It should go far more ahead.

AI is highly acclaimed in improving sales force efficiency by reading into sales cycles and drawing patterns and providing insights to the end-user to function better. A sales rep is done with a meeting, he gets a notification on his phone asking how the meeting went. He’s got some free time, he gets another notification asking if he wanted to schedule a meeting with someone else in his vicinity.

This goes across departments- Sales, Operations, Contact Center and many more with use-cases dwelling on fraud management, MIS management, back-end system stability management etc. Now, how does the bank provide this same AI capability to the end-customer as well and from a Digital Banking channels perspective?

Bots to the rescue.

Chat and Voice bots are coming in full force and Banks are looking to not just service the customer better but to also enable a more intuitive Customer Experience.

  • Hi Bank, what product do I invest in? The Bot, with minimal input, responds with the right product, the right capital to be invested with the decision being taken based on the transaction behavior and other derived customer insights.
  • It’s my 10th wedding anniversary and the bot notifies me to purchase a gift with also a side note that Diamonds are the expected gift for the occasion and pops up the jewelry merchant partners.
  • I have to repay my friend John, but my funds are deficit. The bot pushes a notification to ask John for an extension or to take an OD with the bank.

Sky is the limit and the use cases are endless but banking on its own isn’t a functioning organism. It’s a means to an end. It’s a tool for use. So rather than being a foil that creases out any chinks or iron out a wrinkle, it should be a fluid rubber-like foil that wraps itself around us in a way that it’s protective- from anything that hits from outside and malleable- to move as we move with no resistance at all.

What to take away from all this? Simple. Think High WATTage.


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