Could a Banking Virtual Assistant Become a Robo-Advisor?

Financial technology provider Personetics is building automated saving and advice capabilities into its AI-based PFM tool offering. This new feature will allow banks to offer their customers the valuable product of auto-investment, ideally at no extra, or at least minimal, extra cost.

The added service helps the bank, not just by giving the bank another way to serve its customers, but also by helping the bank bridge its retail and wealth management side, seamlessly.

The Tel Aviv-based fintech has already laid the foundation for this in creating Nomi Find & Save for Royal Bank of Canada, Eran Livneh, VP of marketing at Personetics, told Bank Innovation. Nomi Find & Save is a separate feature from the bank’s AI-based insights provider Nomi.

RBC launched Nomi Find & Save last fall. As the name suggests, this feature helps customers save by transferring a certain amount of money per month from the customer’s checking account into a separate RBC savings account.

“This tool leaves room for creating an automated investment offering,” Livneh said. “It’s self-driving finance. There are two ways we look at a customer’s finances using the data that comes from their bank account. One is helping people with a goal that they already have in mind. The second way is taking that to the next level by helping them figure out what goal they should be pursuing, and helping create opportunities.”

RBC’s Nomi Find & Save would be in the first category, where it uses AI to analyze the existing data to transfer funds into a savings account. Since this feature involves money movement, RBC customers need to opt-in for the service.

Also Read: Royal Bank of Canada to Add Subscription Monitoring to Nomi, Its PFM Tool

So far, Nomi Find & Save “has an incredibly low opt-out rate of 0.08%, a testament to the value it provides our clients,”  Rami Thabet, VP of mobile at RBC told Bank Innovation. “NOMI has been a runaway success for RBC clients, providing our customers with unparalleled value… NOMI Find & Save has helped Canadians save over $57 million that they wouldn’t have known they could set aside on their own.”

Nomi Find & Save is not a robo-adviser, but rather an automated money management feature that helps customers automate the allocation of money to specific financial goals.

“But the foundation is there in Nomi Save & Find,” Livneh said. In order to give it auto-investment capabilities, Personetics will have to build a compliance layer on top of the existing platform.

“The customer consent on a robo-adviser,” Livneh said, “is more complex than an opt-in/out option.”

One option is adding a chatbot, that would require the customer’s consent prior to every investment as well as an added customer care service that will exclusively focus on customer experience, problems and queries specific to investment.

Current robo-advisers such Robinhood and Acorns have customer care services that are run by both automated chat bots and actual human beings, depending on the circumstance.

Royal Bank of Canada has a market capitalization of $108.2 billion.

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