Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wells Fargo Develops Artificial Intelligence-Based Technology

As an ongoing effort to strength their digital offerings, Wells Fargo has created a team to develop an artificial intelligence-based technology. The purpose of this new technology is to help Wells Fargo provide more personalized customer service through its banker and its online services as well. Wells Fargo’s AI team is focusing on banks and other large financial institutions as they increase their investment in the emerging technology, which is trying to train computers tasks that would normally require human intelligence. The new intelligence system will be able to spot payment fraud or misconduct by employees, as well as make more personal recommendations to clients on financial products. It was also announced that Danny Peltz of Wells Fargo has been tasked with establishing relationships with other companies in the payment landscape, as well as being put in charge of the bank’s new API services. The API services technology will allow customers to integrate Wells Fargo products and services into their own applications. It is said that the teams will respond to virtual solutions and innovations, which is a division that was developed in October in an effort to enhance Wells Fargo’s digital products and services by combining their innovation teams and a couple of their business who are most affected by the changes in technology.
 I believe that the development of this new artificial intelligence based technology is going to be extremely beneficial to Wells Fargo. Last year in 2016, Wells Fargo’s was big in the news headlines for an accounts scandal that had occur. It was discovered that Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without their customers knowing since 2011. The reason they did this was because the accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees which allowed employees to boost up their sales figures and earn more money. Employees were then able to meet their sales goals and receive bonuses. The employees did it by moving funds from existing customers’ accounts into the newly created ones without the customer knowing. The customers were then charged with over drafting fees and insufficient funds due to low amounts of money in their original accounts. As a result of this scandal, Wells Fargo was fined $185 million and $5 million towards refunds to customers. The company also fired 5,300 employees as a result. The new artificial intelligence based technology will help prevent incidents like this scandal from reoccurring by being able to spot payment fraud and misconduct by employees. Many customers after the scandal lost a lot of trust in Wells Fargo, therefore, by implementing new security options to ensure customers information is safe the company is slowly recovering from the scandal.

1 comment:

Kelly McNamara said...

I think artificial intelligence-based technology is risky depending on the medium that it will be implemented. For example, if Wells Fargo is planning on using this technology to answering incoming phone calls to their customer service, I do not think that will go over well with their customers. Many of the people that make calls into a company to either get information or to ask a question, instead of going online, tend to be people who are either not very up-to-date and/or do not understand how to properly use technology and they therefore prefer to talk to a human being on the phone as opposed to a computer of some sort.

You mentioned that part of the reason that Wells Fargo is investing in the development of artificial intelligence-based technology is to improve and personalize their customer service. If Wells Fargo is looking to come up with ways to integrate technology into their customer service and perhaps cut back on human employment in that field, I would suggest to them to further develop their online customer service website, like you mentioned they were doing. I believe there is a huge demand in that area of banking for multiple reasons. It is often said that people prefer to not talk on the phone and they prefer to talk over digital mediums, like text messaging and the internet, and I think the same can be said about when a customer wants to interact with a company’s customer service. By spending the money to improve the online experience that Wells Fargo’s customers will have with their customer service, they will be more likely to retain their customers and assure their customers that any problem can be easily solved and that they will get the help they need quickly and the help will be of high quality.

With Wells Fargo’s recent sandal with dishonest and conning employees, everyone can understand the appeal in replacing human employment and the responsibilities usually given to an employee with artificial intelligence-based technology. I think this technology will help to assure customers that a similar incident will not happen again and also prove to the public that Wells Fargo is a company that takes action to protect their customers. Security is one of the main, if not the top, priority of people looking to put their hard-earned money into a bank, so I think it is smart of Wells Fargo to invest in technology that protects their customers money but spotting payment fraud and other threats to one’s bank account.

Overall, I think that Wells Fargo’s investment in developing artificially intelligence-based technology is smart because that is the path that all companies, of any industry, are taking and also it makes sense as a way to improve their security and regain the trust of their customers and/or potential customers.