More Than Half of Financial Services Industry in APAC Have Started on Their AI Journey

More Than Half of Financial Services Industry in APAC Have Started on Their AI Journey

by September 24, 2019

Today, Microsoft Asia and IDC Asia Pacific released findings on AI in financial services from the study Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia-Pacific’s Growth with AI, which found that organizations with AI expect to see 41% improvement in competitiveness in three years.

The study also found that more than half (52%) of the region’s FSI organizations have already started on their AI journeys. This is higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 41%, indicating that the sector is more advanced than others in the region.

FSI organizations that have already started on their AI journeys saw improvements in areas such as better customer engagement, higher competitiveness, accelerated innovation, higher margins, and improved business intelligence, recorded in the range of 17% to 26%.

By 2021, organizations expect between 35% to 45% improvements in these areas, with the biggest jump in the rate of higher margins (estimated increase by 2.1x.).

AI In Financial Services 5 Key Areas

Fig 1: FSI organizations with AI are already seeing benefits in these five areas, with expected improvements of up to 2.1x by 2021

FSI organizations need to build on capabilities, infrastructure, strategy and culture

The study found that 9 in 10 business leaders from the FSI sector agree that AI is instrumental to an organization’s competitiveness. However, the top adoption challenges faced by FSI organizations include lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs, lack of thought leadership and lack of advanced analytics and tools.

The study evaluated six dimensions contributing to the AI Readiness of the industry, including Strategy, Investments, Culture, Capabilities, Infrastructure and Data. While FSI organizations are ahead of the average Asia-Pacific organization in all dimensions, they are lagging AI Leaders in areas like Capabilities, Infrastructure, Strategy, and Culture.

AI Leaders make up 6% of organizations in Asia-Pacific. These leaders have already incorporated AI into their core business strategy and nearly doubled their business benefits today as compared to other organizations.

AI In Financial Services AI Readiness Model

Fig 2: AI Readiness Model (Asia-Pacific’s AI Leaders vs FSI Organizations). Scores indicated are metrics for FSI organizations evaluated for the study and is based on a scale of 1.0 to 4.0

According to the study compared to the rest of the organizations in Asia-Pacific, AI Leaders are more likely to:

  • Increase investments every year to support an organization-wide AI strategy
  • Have a centralized team of specialized roles to develop and validate AI models for the organization
  • Have advanced AI analytics and tools such as Robotic Process Automation and Natural Language Processing in their existing technology mix
  • Have in-house capabilities of developers, specialists and data engineers
  • Have ongoing enterprise data governance practices jointly performed by IT, business and compliance teams

The study also found that almost 50% of FSI business leaders and more than half of the sector’s workers believe that the cultural traits and behaviors that contribute to organization-wide AI adoption are not pervasive today.

Cultural traits required for AI in Financial Services lacking

Fig 3: Respondents feel that cultural traits required for AI adoption are lacking within organizations today