Salesforce eyes financial services market using AI, machine learning

The financial services industry has been product-centric and it is clearly bringing the customer into the centre and trying to reimagine itself, says Sunil Jose, senior vice-president and country head of the company
Salesforce is betting big on the financial services sector in India with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The San Francisco-based customer-management software maker is setting up a vertical to tap the country’s financial services market. The initiative includes rolling out its Einstein Analytics for Financial Services, a suite of AI-based customisable tools, targeted at wealth advisors, retail bankers and managers.

“For a long period, the financial services industry has been product-centric, now its is bringing customer into the centre and trying to reimagine itself, as new age banks are going to change the game. For us, it is a clear opportunity,” said Sunil Jose, senior vice-president and country head, Salesforce India. “India is one of the key and fastest-growing markets for us outside the US,” Jose said. 

According to Salesforce, banks and wealth management institutions are facing a rapidly changing industry landscape, as new fintech entrants and consumer technologies are simplifying how people save and invest their money. Using Einstein Analytics for Financial Services, retail bankers and wealth managers will have access to AI-powered insights and recommendations, specifically tailored to their role and their customers. It does this by bringing together data from Salesforce Financial Services Cloud and other data sources. The users can instantly surface actionable insights to grow their books of business and deepen client relationships.

For example, financial advisors can now receive updates on which clients are most likely to increase their assets under management or churn. This would help them focus their energies on client retention and growth.

The pre-built industry-specific templates — such as client financial goals and interactions, referrals, deposits and fees — enable front-line wealth advisors and retail bankers to begin using analytics immediately. They do not have to rely on data scientists for daily insights and decision guidance around the most common key performance indicators.

Users can quickly and easily build custom analytics apps and connect to external data sources to get a full view of their book of business to understand their customers' financial goals and needs. For instance, they can bring in external data on loan payments and credit card balances, as well as customer satisfaction to provide proactive and personalised advice and services. 

Salesforce is working with customers such as Janalakshmi Financial Services, Edelweiss Global Wealth Management, Home First Finance for the Einstein Analytics platform. 

Globally machine learning and AI are set to transform the banking industry, using vast amounts of data to build models that improve decision-making, tailor services, and improve risk management. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, this could generate value of more than $250 billion in the banking industry. Financial services companies are also helping lead the path in embracing AI, with banks expected to invest $5.6 billion on AI solutions in 2019, second only to the retail sector, according to research firm IDC.

After Einstein Analytics for Financial Services, Jose said Salesforce was planning to roll out other AI and ML products and services in the India market. These include Einstein Voice, which enables users to dictate memos and perform administrative tasks, and Salesforce Einstein Voice Bots that can engage with smart speakers such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. The other products include Einstein Translation and Einstein Optical Character Recognition. “We are having conversations in India and we would start seeing these trends coming very soon,” said Jose.
 
Key takeaways

 

  • Salesforce setting up a vertical for financial services in India
  • Users can instantly surface actionable insights to grow their business books and deepen client relationships
  • India is one of the fastest-growing markets for Salesforce outside the US
  • Globally, AI and ML could generate more than $250 billion in value for the banking industry



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