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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Financial Institutions. Report by Asseco and SME Banking Club

The pandemic has brought technology even more firmly into our life and revolutionized many of its aspects. Progressive digitization has changed the way we do everyday things. This also translates into what customers expect from financial institutions and how they use their services. Therefore, organizations, in order to maintain their position, should implement artificial intelligence (AI), which will allow to increase the quality of service and personalize product offers. As indicated by the respondents of a survey conducted by Asseco and SME Banking Club, these are the most important goals of customer data analysis.

The report "Artificial Intelligence in Financial Institutions. Innovative Platforms for Analyzing SME Customer Data" summarizes the current state of readiness of the European market to implement technologies based on artificial intelligence in the financial sector. It looks at the challenges faced by institutions, i.e. banks or factoring companies - better adjustment of the product offer for small and mid-sized enterprises, greater support for customers and optimization of the costs of their service. The diversity of issues depending on the institution shows how different the viewpoints and approaches of financial organizations to the directions of development can be.

"As the results of our study have shown, financial institutions are focusing on client-centricity. The key aspect is learning about the needs of their customers and striving to personalize actions taken. Support in this area is data analysis, the results of which allow for significant acceleration of customer service, better selection of offers or improvement of the financing process. The answer to these needs is artificial intelligence (AI), which is able to process huge amounts of data and make analysis on their basis. However, at this moment only 32% of respondents declare implementation of solutions based on AI. A significant portion use it in selected processes rather than across the organization. The good news is that 65% of respondents plan to implement AI-based solutions within the next two years," said Olena Gryniuk, CEE Regional Director, SME Banking Club.

Personalizing products and improving service are priorities for data analytics

90% of financial institutions are aware of the importance of customer lifecycle analysis. In addition, survey respondents indicate a trend related to knowing their customer, their preferences, their needs and offering them personalized products and services. On the other hand, the main objective resulting from the data analysis is to improve the quality of service, ensuring a better customer experience for SMEs.

"When analyzing customer data, we would like to learn as much as possible about their need for support by a financial institution - here and now. However, everyone is different and has different needs as well: having business cards, increasing their bank account limit, etc. How, then, are financial institutions supposed to know what to offer consumers at the moment? It is thanks to Customer Data Platform and thorough analysis that we can determine their needs at a specific time. The results of the survey show that depending on the industry, the emphasis of the SME customer analysis is placed on a slightly different aspect. For banks, better service and personalized offers are the most important, for factoring companies - customer retention, for other institutions - meeting the growing demands of customers. All these objectives have one common denominator - in order to achieve them, we need to know what our clients need at a given moment," emphasizes Jarosław Bryl, Director of the Business Intelligence Division at Asseco Poland.

Artificial intelligence becomes a "must have"

Currently, artificial intelligence algorithms are used in only 1/3 of the surveyed organizations. The most developed in this regard is the area of sales, marketing and customer service. Nevertheless, machine learning is gaining popularity, over 60% of the surveyed institutions plan to develop in this area.

"Nowadays, the implementation of artificial intelligence has become a certain "must have", without which it is hard to remain competitive on the market. Increasingly more companies in the financial sector are planning and deciding to use machine learning models. However, vague regulations are still a huge obstacle for many areas where full transparency is required. An additional barrier may be the fact that financial institutions often do not have teams in their organization that are specialized in artificial intelligence and could take on such a challenge," adds Jarosław Bryl, Director of Business Intelligence Division, Asseco Poland.

The survey respondents representing the banking industry pointed to customer needs as an issue having the greatest potential for the implementation of artificial intelligence. Factoring companies, on the other hand, point to the process of "productizing" the customer by offering new forms of cooperation or services, but starting from the customer's needs rather than the direct sale of a product.

"Hyper-automation is a concept that has been on the list of major technology trends for the past two years. It means using, among other things, artificial intelligence to automate tasks and processes performed by employees. However, not all of them are suitable for this procedure. Therefore, when deciding to do it in our organization, we should take into account several elements. The most important issue is access to good quality data - let's choose the area for which we are able to obtain such data. Next, we need to define the problem well and define KPIs that will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented solution. Companies that have centralized platforms for gathering information on customers and products, usually have already completed this first and most important aspect - access to good quality data," points out Patrycja Sobczyk, Product Owner, Asseco Poland.

The key challenges in organizations related to the implementation of artificial intelligence relate to integration, both with the solutions used and the processes applied. Almost half of the respondents indicated this aspect as the biggest or very big challenge they face. This is where proven providers offering analytical systems come to the rescue. Based on data and observation of customers' online activities they determine their profile and recommend the best offer in real time.

Full results of the Asseco report "Artificial Intelligence in Financial Institutions. Innovative platforms for analyzing SME customer data" available via:

About the report

The report by Asseco and SME Banking Club entitled Artificial Intelligence in Financial Institutions. Innovative platforms for analyzing SME customer data, summarizes the current state of readiness of the European market to implement artificial intelligence technologies in financial institutions. It is based on a survey in which we asked representatives of banks, factoring and leasing companies serving small and mid-sized enterprises across Europe. We asked them, among other things, about the biggest challenge of 2021, what the purpose of customer lifecycle analytics is and whether they are already using solutions based on artificial intelligence and what plans they have for their development. The collected data published in this report indicates the direction and pace of development in this area for the coming years.

About Asseco Poland

Asseco Poland is the largest Polish IT company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) and the sixth largest European software vendor. It leads the international Asseco Group that operates in 60 countries and employs over 27 thousand people. Creating IT solutions for banks is one of the key business areas of Asseco that offers, among others, central banking systems as well as omnichannel and mobile solutions addressing the latest trends in global banking. Owing to the acquired experience and competence, Asseco has implemented its IT solutions (core banking engine) in over 800 banks.

About SME Banking Club

SME Banking Club was founded by a team of former SME bankers in 2010 as a professional network to exchange information and experience in the micro, small and mid-sized enterprise segments. SME Banking Club organizes regional SME banking conferences every year, which bring together financial institutions and technology companies to share knowledge, stimulate innovation and promote SME growth in the region. In addition, it provides its members with access to detailed market analysis reports and annual studies. The main SME Banking Club activities are focused in Central and Eastern Europe.