C. Myblog

All I Want for Christmas is AI

December 19, 2018

Written by David Loftus.

A few weeks back, I asked my seven year old daughter what she wanted for Christmas.  Her reply, an Alexa.  My first thought was that she seems a little young so I thought I would ask a few questions.  “Why do you want an Alexa?” I asked.  “Because she does what I want, right now,” she replied.  What she really meant was that she could boss Alexa around.

A week later, while driving to school, I was getting my five year old son ready for the day by asking him a few math problems.  He struggled coming up with the right answer to one of the questions.  He quickly asked for my phone.  I assumed he wanted to use my calculator.  No, he told me that he was going to ask Siri.

For those with young kids, these remarks may not seem out of the ordinary.  Obviously, children say crazy things and are also consuming technology at an exponential rate.  But what really stood out this time, probably because I’ll ultimately be the one to pay for Alexa, is what banking will look like by the time they are adults.  A few examples that came to mind:

  • After bossing Alexa around for the next 15 years, what will that now 22 year old woman expect when buying a car?  Or, should the question be whether she will want a car? 
  • How sensitive will her deposits be with Alexa constantly shopping for the best rate? 
  • With Alexa, Siri, and advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) playing a bigger role, will my son ever have to worry about over drafting his checking account or paying other fees? 

At this time, nobody really knows the answers to these questions.  Earlier in the year, we posted a blog that surveyed readers on how long it will be before AI will impact credit union business models and strategies.

The responses were heavily weighted toward the shorter end of around two years.  Change is happening and along with it come opportunities.  While I may have concerns around technology and AI impacting my children’s lives, I can’t help but also think of the opportunities.

If credit unions have artificial intelligence on their radar screen, they may be able to take advantage of the opportunities such as the ability to gather business intelligence, deepen member relationships, and improve efficiencies to name just a few.

As mentioned earlier, spend some time imagining how various applications of AI might change your credit union and continue to broaden your thinking on what it could mean for your membership going forward.

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