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Banks use AI to enhance customer experience

(Hana Bank)
(Hana Bank)
South Korean banks are embracing artificial intelligence to better understand customers and enable them to take advantage of services more easily, as local financial institutions step up efforts to digitalize their operations.

Hana Bank, one of the five major banks here, said Friday that it would use artificial intelligence to look through customer reviews in real-time so as to expand communication between customers and staff.

“We see change every day in the banking industry. Getting immediate feedback on our financial services so we know what we need to do when we need to do it is vital to our expansion,” a Hana Bank official in charge of the program said.

AI is not only faster but also more nuanced in handling the staggering volume of reviews, meaning the machine draws clearer boundaries than humans between good and bad feedback, the official noted.

The official added that a panel comprising all-age groups, including people aged from 20s to 50s, will be expanded to account for “human voice” AI could be missing. Several financial products, already rolled out on the market with the panel’s advice, were well received by customers, according to the official.

Meanwhile, rival Shinhan Bank is also deploying artificial intelligence to help customers open accounts, handle savings and even apply for loans.

“We call this the AI banker, which will be there on the digital desk to help out customers looking for those services – the most sought-after ones among other services we also plan to provide,” a Shinhan Bank official said.

Shinhan Bank opened digital desks or unstaffed branches in September last year as demand for contactless commerce grew amid the raging pandemic. But customers had to wait for staff working elsewhere to connect to the digital desk for any transaction to take place online.

“The AI banker will get rid of the waiting because it will do the waiting for customers,” the official said, noting trial runs at 40 branches will be done this year before expanding the service nationwide.

The AI banker is part of broader digital efforts the bank’s parent company, Shinhan Financial Group, is undertaking, according to the official, who said the group’s credit arm is also following through on the slogan, which is to provide easier and newer services.

Shinhan Card said Gathertown, a metaverse platform where this year’s annual employee training takes place, will be the space for staff to deepen exchanges and discuss the company’s priorities for 2022.

“Work is going digital in many ways and metaverse training is one of tools that allows us to adopt a better corporate culture, one that will lead us to do the work right, fast and differently,” a Shinhan Card official said.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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