The AI journey in finance: How to make it part of your strategy

May 01, 2019

Start your path toward greater integration of artificial intelligence in your business systems.

Our previous artificial intelligence (AI) series provided some broad context into common AI terms and theoretical use cases. Our next series will provide a beginning-to-end map of how AI can be piloted, scaled and tested in a financial setting.

In our next series on AI, each article will present AI development through the lens of a financial company planning to test and deploy AI applications in their systems.

As a refresher, let’s define the main pillars of data-driven, automated intelligence systems:

  • Data science generates knowledge and insights
  • Machine learning identifies patterns and enables predictions from data
  • Artificial intelligence produces actions that were believed to require human intelligence
     

Our prior series also covered how these pillars can be used for more predictive actions, allowing businesses to better estimate customer responses.

 

Piloting an AI application

Perhaps you’ve decided to test an AI application with a small-scale pilot. What steps are usually taken in to a piloting phase? What questions should you ask before starting your own pilot program?

Based on what we experienced in our own internal pilots, we recommend answering the following questions:

  • What exactly are you testing? Are you testing the technology itself, or its feasibility in your broader systems? People don’t always know how to react to an AI pilot program, so you need to have clear goals on the purpose of your testing.
  • How does it map back to tangible business benefits? This is the “why” of your testing rationale. It helps clarify to senior stakeholders what they can expect from the results.
  • How will people interface with the program? Controlled pilots offer a mere glimpse into the full functionalities (and detriments) of any AI application.

Scaling an AI application

 

Congratulations, you successfully piloted your AI application. Now, you want to scale that performance across the business. What steps usually go in to this scaling phase? What are the lingering questions that arise during a scaling process?

Here’s what we recommend asking at this stage:

  • How will you move from feasibility to visibility? Pilot programs are all about testing the feasibility of a given technology. Once it’s deemed feasible you need a plan to publish your results internally or externally.
  • How different is the target architecture from the pilot system? Pilots are, by definition, small-scale tests of new applications. If the eventual client-facing architecture differs greatly from the pilot system, you may need to factor in greater time for adoption.
     

Analyzing results from an AI application

Now that you piloted and scaled an AI application for customer-facing use, how will you track results and map back to program objectives? Aligning results to goals is typical of any use case, and AI pilots are no different.

Here’s what we recommend asking at this stage:

  • Did you discover new metrics or objectives? You may have discovered new details from your testing phase or found results to measure that differed from your hypotheses. 
  • How do the new processes compare to your current systems? Provide a substantial comparison between the new AI application and your legacy platform. What are the significant takeaways?
     

Testing, scaling and analyzing an AI application can position your organization for more efficient workflows, while helping manage risk factors from emerging cybersecurity threats. 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about AI applications in finance, check out this series of AI articles.

Related content

Ask an expert Q&A: automation and artificial intelligence trends in Luxembourg

Automate accounts payable to optimize revenue and payments

Want AP automation to pay both businesses and consumers?

Banking connectivity: Helping businesses deliver the easier, faster, more secure customer experience of the future

ABCs of APIs: Drive treasury efficiency with real-time connectivity

Automate escheatment for accounts payable to save time and money

Time is money: Intelligent Payment Routing saves businesses both

What corporate treasurers need to know about Virtual Account Management

Treasury management innovations earn Model Bank awards

Digital Onboarding helps finance firm’s clients build communities

Empowering managers with data automation and integration

Buying or leasing? Questions to ask before signing a contract

Finance or operating lease? Deciphering the legalese of equipment finance

Common pitfalls to avoid in the equipment financing process

Blockchain: Separating hype from substance

Why ecommerce for small business strategy is integral

3 ways to gain loyalty with your customers

How running a business that aligns with core values is paying off

Meet the Milwaukee businessman behind Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

The secret to successful service provider integration

Drive digital transformation with payments innovation

CRE trends

Unexpected cost savings may be hiding in your payment strategy

How blockchain technology is changing treasury

The AI journey in finance: How to make it part of your strategy

P2P payments make it easier to split the tab

How AI in treasury management is transforming finance

3 ways to make practical use of real-time payments

Enhancing the patient experience through people-centered payments

Digital trends poised to reshape hotel payments

Unexpected cost savings may be hiding in your payment strategy

Colleges respond to student needs by offering digital payments

Disclosures

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.