Artificial intelligence to take over customer interaction by 2020, FBN Bank MD predicts

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Mr Victor Yaw Asante
Mr Victor Yaw Asante

Artificial intelligence (AI), chat bots and automated self-service technologies will take over customer interaction by 2020, the Managing Director of FBN Bank, Mr Victor Yaw Asante, has said.

He said by 2020, 85 per cent of all customer interactions would be handled without a human agent.

At the Digital Banking Summit in Accra on August 20, he said that would help free up call centre employees from routine tier-1 support requests so that they could focus on more complex tasks.

“Currently, in a six-minute customer service call, 75 per cent of that time is devoted to agents doing manual research, with valued customer interaction at a dismal 25 per cent,” he said.

He said that would also help resolve customer service issues before they arise.

Collaboration between banks and Fintechs

Commenting on how banks were collaborating with Fintechs to deliver digital financial services, Mr Asante said “there are a lot of collaborations now and it’s not by choice but due to current trends”.

“Banks are traditionally very careful and very slow in giving people access onto their platforms, but the collaboration with Fintech has become necessary to deliver digital financial services,” he stated.

“Lately, the collaborations are going up because the Fintechs are more agile. You need a lot of investment in talent to be able to develop some of these products and sometimes you cannot have all these talents to yourself and pay, so it’s necessary to tap into the best and that’s why collaborations with Fintechs are necessary,” he explained.

Digital banking on the rise

Mr Asante also pointed out that digital banking was on the rise because 40 per cent of bank customers had now accepted it.
He said that figure was expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as more people began to get comfortable with technology.

“Customers are now embracing digital banking and if you come to Ghana for instance, people used to be tech-conscious but lots of people are now doing mobile banking. It is now around 40 per cent and I envisage that we can double it within two years,” he explained.

Cyber security

With the increasing pace of digital banking in the country, Mr Asante said banks were also making sure their systems were more secure.

“The regulator is making sure that bank systems are properly done. We are now appointing cyber security officers and are proactively checking on how robust our systems are.

“We have lots of forums and the banks are meeting actively and sharing cyber security information amongst ourselves,” he noted.