Wells Fargo Gets New Focus on Innovation, AI

light-bulb-current-light-glow-40889 (1)What is the best application of AI for financial  institutions? Wells Fargo is set to find out.

The bank announced the launch of a new team today, dubbed the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise Solutions group, which will focus its efforts on AI (as the name suggests). The group is part of an effort to increase Wells Fargo’s “emphasis on emerging technologies,” the bank said in a statement.

The new team is part of Wells Fargo’s recently formed Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation Group, founded in October this past year, and presently led by Avid Modjtabai.

Modjtabai’s group has also announced teams focusing on specific solutions for payments and APIs. From Modjtabai’s statement:

Customers want new types of services that make banking and managing finances convenient and easy – without disrupting their ability to interact with us how and when they desire…our goal has been to redefine the next generation of capabilities and offerings, and to prioritize research and development that elevates the customer experience.

AI in consumer banking is gaining traction, with the most common exploration of the technology being chatbots, such as Bank of America’s much-anticipated Erica. More and more banks and fintechs are using AI assistants like Teller (a fintech which provides an AI assistant to banks) to better serve the financial needs of their consumers.

Steve Ellis, EVP, head of Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group, told Bank Innovation:

We’ve identified strong use cases for AI that can ultimately help in enhancing customer experience, protecting against fraud, and furthering our application of deep learning algorithms. This can be as intuitive as using text or speech within a mobile app, or to automate a task beaded on previous behavior. We also recognize the potential of AI to help customers anticipate their financial needs, receive personalized guidance, and ultimate improve their financial health.

It’s important to note that the implications of AI are incredibly broad. We’re exploring how the technology can enhance and refine key priorities across the bank, not just in isolated areas.

For consumers, artificial intelligence can help provide quick, detailed financial advice through their most favored digital channels—for instance, users can ask Teller’s AI assistant questions like, “how much should I be saving for my retirement?”—while businesses and banks can use the technology to create a branded, more personalized experience for the end user.

Focusing on data-driven AI solutions for bankers, the team will be led by current head of the Wells Fargo Innovation Group, Steve Ellis.

To learn more about the latest trends in AI for banking, join us in San Jose on March 6-7 for Bank Innovation 2017, where the best conversations in fintech take place. Request your invitation here.

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