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The Rising Maturity of AI in Financial Services: Stats and Trends

Undoubtedly, AI has taken the world by a storm. We’ve already covered a variety of topics about AI in the Financial Services, but now, it’s time to dive deeper into the numbers and stats in regards to generative AI adoption rate in this industry. 


AI adoption in the banking sector has been steadily gaining momentum as banks strategically implement AI across various innovative use cases. In this blog post, we will delve into the latest surveys and reports to explore the growing influence of AI in financial services, the benefits it brings, the challenges faced, and the evolving landscape of AI adoption in the industry.


AI Strategy and Adoption in Financial Services



Clear Strategies for Success


A recent survey conducted among IT executives in the banking sector reveals that a remarkable 85% of respondents have a well-defined strategy for integrating AI into the development of new products and services. This indicates a significant growth of AI adoption within financial institutions, with banks recognizing the immense potential AI offers.


According to a separate global survey of senior banking executives, the consensus is that leveraging AI to unlock value will separate the winners from the losers in the industry. An overwhelming four out of five executives agree that AI will play a crucial role in determining success. 


While the benefits of AI implementation are evident, financial institutions approach AI adoption with caution. They carefully navigate the intricate web of business benefits, regulatory complexities, and the vital importance of maintaining customer trust. A significant majority (62%) of banks acknowledge that the complexity and risks associated with handling personal data for AI projects often outweigh the benefits to customer experience.


AI Applications in Financial Services


Transforming Fraud Detection


Fraud detection stands out as the top application of AI in banks. With sophisticated algorithms and data analysis, financial institutions can accurately identify fraudulent activities, significantly reducing losses and optimizing resource allocation. For instance, Mastercard employs transaction and authorization data to predict and detect fraud more precisely and quickly. By minimizing false positives, legitimate transactions proceed smoothly, resulting in an enhanced customer experience.


AI's potential in financial services expands far beyond fraud detection. Tools such as conversational bots and frictionless transactions like "smile-to-pay" are revolutionizing customer experience. At-scale personalization enables banks to anticipate customer needs, offer tailored services, drive customer engagement, and explore new avenues for product innovation.


Enhancing Wealth Management


AI is reshaping the investor experience in wealth management. Through big-data analysis and AI-powered tools, investment firms can optimize portfolios, analyze market sentiment, and generate risk profiles for traders. This empowers firms to provide their clients with the most suitable investment products, resulting in improved client satisfaction and increased opportunities for growth. Additionally, AI and automation are facilitating the extraction of qualitative and unstructured data necessary for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scoring.


Nurturing AI Success: People and Skills


Leveraging AI successfully heavily relies on fostering a company culture that perceives AI as an opportunity rather than a threat. Banks need to encourage employees to actively search for new use cases, freeing up time for higher-level work. By promoting a culture of innovation and embracing AI as an enabler, financial institutions can maximize the benefits of AI adoption.


A key challenge for banks lies in acquiring the right talent to support their AI-driven business models. However, the survey reveals that 22% of firms identify a lack of internal skills and talent as a top barrier to incorporating AI technologies. Smaller banks face additional hurdles due to limited budgets and influence in attracting top AI talent. The focus should be on attracting AI researchers and data scientists to drive AI initiatives successfully.


The Current State and Future Outlook


A recent survey by KPMG sheds light on the sentiment within the financial services industry regarding AI adoption. While 75% of financial services business leaders view AI as more hype than reality, it marks a significant increase of 33 percentage points from the previous year. The survey encompasses 950 executives across various industries, with 150 business leaders representing the financial services sector.


Despite reservations about the pace of AI adoption, the majority of business leaders believe that their organization's employees are prepared for AI adoption in terms of skill sets. COVID-19 has accelerated AI adoption for 42% of financial services business leaders, with 84% acknowledging the positive impact AI had during the pandemic.


As AI continues to mature, financial services institutions are embracing its potential to drive innovation, enhance customer experience, and gain a competitive edge. The surveys and reports discussed in this blog post highlight the strategic implementation of AI strategies in the industry, the wide-ranging applications of AI beyond fraud detection, and the importance of nurturing a culture of opportunity and securing the right talent for successful AI integration. While challenges persist, the financial services sector is poised to leverage AI as a catalyst for future growth and transformation.


Written by

Hanna Karbowski