Financial Markets

Banks Employ Cognitive Automation and Gamification to Personalize Services

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roboshakeHow much money should I save and how should I invest my savings in order to retire comfortably? Financial advisors and wealth managers hear this question regularly. Yet, answering this common and seemingly simple question isn’t easy. In fact, the most experienced investment advisors say it is a delicate and onerous process because the response is different for everyone and changes with market expectations and life events.

This scenario highlights where challenge meets opportunity for financial planners, wealth managers and bankers. Delivering an answer to this popular retirement savings question requires banks to ditch their traditional cookie-cutter methods yielding to a more personalized approach where customers are treated as individuals.

Instead of selling traditional one-size fits all products, financial institutions are looking for ways to adopt value-added services that put customers at the center of operations. By employing technology to simulate market forces, investors can maximize their financial gains, even during times of uncertainty.

With new regulations on the horizon such as fiduciary standards and transparency requirements, wealth managers are looking at ways to streamline operations, automate certain practices and use advanced technology to deliver personalized advice to boost customer engagement.

Banks are opting to use digital services to preserve their organization, yet they are at risk of relegating wealth managers and other third parties to lower margin businesses. In response wealth managers need to deliver value-added services providing more to their clients with fewer costs.

Robo-Advisors, Cognitive + Automation: While we are not going to see a host of robots behind the desks of financial institutions anytime soon, financial advisors are looking to automate business operations to free up their time to accommodate more clients and tackle strategic projects.  One way is through automation, enlisting the support of software ‘robots’ to perform daily, time-consuming tasks such as portfolio re-balancing. Where Robo-Advisors are able to conduct repeatable tasks, cognitive automation uses analytics to deliver insights and recognize patterns of data to help financial advisors make better decisions, faster.  Cognitive automation makes it easier for wealth managers to provide clients with more informed recommendations taking into account different factors and scenarios.

Gamification to Self-Direct Financial Plans: Another value-added service that wealth managers can deliver to clients puts new tools into their hands for self-directed financial planning and investment.  Using gamification technology, banking and financial planning is as simple as game play. It allows clients to run a variety of scenarios in a simulated environment with the goal of determining the best options for saving and investing given market volatility and unforeseen market conditions.

Robo-Advisors and other automated services are spurring innovation and value-added services at banks. The game-changer in digital wealth management is using a combination of automation, robo-technology and gamification in the ways that wealth managers can facilitate a holistic Goal-Based Investment (GBI) approach. While GBI is not new to the industry, it now represents the ultimate step in personalization. A cross between wealth management and innovation that combines goals, priorities and risk tolerance, advisors can determine the probability of achieving and missing a financial target by modeling a variety of scenarios.

To address sweeping industry changes, many wealth managers are mixing and matching the industry’s disruption with technology innovation and new approaches to create revenue streams and boost customer loyalty.

To hear Paulo discuss value-added services for financial planners and wealth managers, meet us at Sibos.  To learn more about IBM activities at Sibos, visit To reach out to Paulo directly, visit

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