AI can boost financial services revenue by $140 billion

10 January 2020 2 min. read

Artificial intelligence brings lots of promises to the financial services industry, including a way to address the scarcity of workers who possess data analytics, cybersecurity, and AI skills. If deployed to its fullest, a new study has estimated that AI will benefit the bottom line of financial services companies around the globe by some $140 billion. 

Today, there is one innovation, above all else, that is shaping the future of the financial services (FS) sector through the entire value chain, whether a retail bank or a global financial institution – and this is Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2017, a TCS study into AI across 13 sectors found that 86% of business leaders in the banking and financial services sector said they were already using this technology. Looking forward three years, almost every executive responding believed they would have incorporated AI into their operations at some point along the value chain. 

Fast forward to the present day, and 2020 has arrived, but the true potential of AI still seems to be some distance from being realised. As financial players look to meet that apparently lucrative potential, consulting firm Accenture has studied the changing face of the workforce, as disruptive technologies become more prevalent in companies around the world. The firm found that 7-10% of tasks in the financial services workforce could be automated by 2025, while 43-48% could be augmented with technology.

Unlocking up to 140 billion of industry value

Accenture envisioned a number of ways that the technology might benefit the financial sector. For example, it could aid financial advisors in making real-time stock picks or help loan underwriters better gauge the risk of borrowers. It could also enable banks to offer customised products based on an individual’s personal finance habits. 

Cathinka Wahlstrom, who leads Accenture’s Financial Services practice in North America, said of the results, “There’s a new era ahead for financial firms that see the value of combining human ingenuity and personal touch with technology efficiency and precision to create new sources of growth. This isn’t about cutting costs to improve the bottom line, it’s about embracing technology to transform the workforce.” 

At the same time, the technology could be used to address a shortage of skilled labour in the financial sector. Accenture asserted that by automating some job functions, current employees can be redirected to focus on high-value work, including the building customer relationships or the production of innovative new products or services. As with most other kinds of business, it is expected that computers will work alongside people, rather than replacing them.