What AI can do for credit unions

AI expert Ayesha Khanna shared her thoughts at the World Credit Union Conference

Ayesha Khanna, co-founder & CEO, ADDO AI, discussed the potential of artificial intelligence in her keynote speech at the World Credit Union Conference.

She encouraged credit unions to view AI as an assistant which can do a lot of repeatable tasks, analyse huge amounts of data, give reports and insights, and make recommendations. It also allows companies to be far more customer-focused and customise their services, she said.

“Everybody has a different wealth management need, everybody has a different type of transaction history,” she told delegates at the online event. “Over time, using digital, you can give people the credit that they need, the loans that they need, the wealth management advice that they need, the transparency that we need in terms of the fees they’re paying, so that when they open your digital account, they feel like it’s totally personalised to them. That’s useful advice, and it’s coming based on AI.”

At the same time, AI allows businesses to automate their processes to cut costs and focus on their core value proposition – and can play an important role in preventing money laundering, said Ms Khanna. She gave the example of Ayasdy, a machine intelligence software company which uses machine learning to detect suspicious activity and highlight suspicious transactions.

Another start-up, Kasisto, offers conversational AI for banking and finance, with chatbots that have personality. And Affectiva, a software company, builds artificial intelligence that understands human emotions.

“Gartner [a global research and advisory firm] said that by 2022 your personal device will know more about your emotional state than your own family,” she added; Amazon is already using technology that analyses the voice of customers to decide whether they in the mood to shop or receptive to certain music.

AI also allows disruptions within the market – which do not always come from industry rivals, said Ms Khanna. She explained how Norwegian telephone company Telenor has bought Pamir, a micro finance bank in Pakistan, and Easypaisa, a Pakistani mobile wallet, payments and branchless banking provider.

These acquisitions enabled it to provide financial services through e-wallets via telephone subscriptions. The company also uses AI data to then analyse customers’ behaviours and assess their credit score.

“You can’t be complacent that only competitors from your own industry or country will come,” Ms Khanna said.

There are also risks from AI, she warned, such as it being used to generate fake news, fake images, fake videos or fake voices; the European Commission’s GDPR laws are a good example of how customers can be protected. In April the Commission proposed new rules which would be applied directly in the same way across all member states, based on a future-proof definition of AI, following a risk-based approach.

“They’re not very specific about these guidelines but they’re saying that if it [AI] affects somebody’s life, then it has to be monitored and regulated,” she added.

Her main recommendation to credit unions was to think of AI as a member of their team that can help them make informed decisions. “Work with AI partners to manage the downside, amplify our own potential and do more for your customers,” she said.

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