Ever since the financial sector burgeoned from the middle of the twentieth century onwards, computers and data have played a major role in facilitating financial flows and advice. This was one of the first sectors to be heavily digitalised, creating huge amounts of data. That data played an essential role in matching services to customer needs better, so that customers could be advised automatically. This also applies to better risk assessments and optimisation of processes in order to reduce costs. But all of that does require the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Awkward in the sector where using data and AI is perhaps most controversial because of privacy concerns, especially in applications where that data technology could be used to obtain understandings about customer behaviour.
More and more parties active
Financial services have developed tremendously over recent years thanks to the rise of ‘fintech’, a collective term for financial service providers who use digital technologies such as Big Data, APIs, cloud computing and robotisation. Combined with new regulations such as the introduction of the GDPR and PSD2 (the European Payment Services Directive), these technological advances are having a major impact on the financial sector. More and more parties are operating in the sector: as well as many small players coming in, large technology companies are also developing fintech solutions.
Making the correct choices together
As the world continues to digitalise in almost every arena, it is important that the financial sector makes clear choices in parallel with other parties. What rules should apply to the use of data? How can we set privacy up together in a way that everyone can agree on? What measures are needed for creating a level playing field? What is needed to ensure that consumers and businesses perceive the value of data and the risks of its dissemination in the same way? And above all, how can we – as a society – keep it all under control? The big challenge is finding the right balance in all these aspects. Policymakers, regulators, market players and consumers all have a lot of work to do together.
Strengthening the Dutch economy
The financial sector is more than ready to share the knowledge it has already gained about confidential data management with other sectors. This covers e.g. sharing knowledge, tools and models for risk analysis, privacy and security. On top of that, there is still plenty to be learned together with other sectors about how we can use data and AI to strengthen the Dutch economy appropriately. In other words, in a way that really helps consumers and businesses.
Participants in the working group collaborate to identify the biggest opportunities and challenges for AI in financial services and fintech. Another key task is boosting the development of AI in the financial world. Separate teams are also working on specific themes: policy and regulation, market acceptance, international cooperation, data availability, talent, education and providing information.
If you’re interested in this topic and would like to be actively involved, become a member of the NL AIC and benefit from our Financial Services expertise and network, and other relevant AI themes.