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Published: 3 July 2024
Contributors: Matthew Finio, Amanda Downie

Generative AI in banking

Generative AI in banking refers to the use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks, enhance customer service, detect fraud, provide personalized financial advice and improve overall efficiency and security.

Generative AI is revolutionizing the banking industry. Advanced AI systems such as large language models (LLMs) and machine learning (ML) algorithms are creating new content, insights and solutions tailored for the financial sector. These AI systems can automatically generate financial reports and analyze vast amounts of data to detect fraud. They automate routine tasks such as processing documents and verifying information.

Generative AI can produce human-like responses. AI solutions simulate natural language by using natural language processing (NLP). Banks (for example, Morgan Stanley) use these AI tools to supercharge fintech such as customer-facing chatbots. These programs now handle an array of customer service interactions regarding topics from account information to personalized financial advice, acting as virtual financial advisors. 

The efficiency of generative AI in summarizing regulatory reports, preparing drafts of pitch books and software development significantly speeds up traditionally time-consuming tasks. This feature improves operational efficiency and reduces manual workloads, allowing teams to focus on more strategic activities.

Beyond customer service, generative AI in banking is also transforming fraud detection and risk management. By analyzing vast amounts of transaction data, AI models can identify unusual patterns that might indicate fraudulent activities. This proactive approach enables banks to mitigate risks more effectively, safeguarding customer assets. While using AI applications, data privacy and compliance with regulatory requirements are crucial for maintaining customer trust and meeting industry standards.

Generative AI-driven tools can also evaluate historical data, market trends and financial indicators in real time. This ability enables accurate risk assessments, aiding banks in making more informed decisions regarding loan applications, investments and other financial operations. These AI capabilities help banks optimize their financial strategies and protect themselves and their clients.

Generative AI can also automate time-consuming tasks such as regulatory reporting, credit approval and loan underwriting. For example, AI can quickly process and summarize large volumes of financial data, generating draft reports and credit memos that would traditionally require significant manual effort. In investment banking, generative AI can compile and analyze financial data to create detailed pitchbooks in a fraction of the time it would take a human, thus accelerating deal-making and providing a competitive edge.

Banks are increasingly adopting generative AI to elevate customer service, streamline workflows and improve operational efficiency. This adoption advances the ongoing digital transformation of the banking industry.

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Why is generative AI in banking important?

The integration of generative AI in banking is vital for enhancing efficiency, security, customer experience and innovation, positioning banks to thrive in the digital age:

Generative AI in banking fundamentally transforms the way financial institutions operate and serve their customers
  • By using advanced AI technologies, banks can significantly enhance customer service, providing 24/7 support and personalized financial advice through intelligent chatbots and virtual assistants. 

  • Generative AI plays a critical role in fraud detection and prevention. It analyzes vast amounts of transaction data to identify suspicious patterns, which safeguards both the bank and its customers from potential financial losses.
Generative AI use in banking significantly improves operational efficiency
  • The automation of routine and time-consuming tasks such as document processing, data entry and compliance checks reduces the manual workload, minimizes errors and lowers operational costs. This efficiency allows banks to allocate resources more effectively and focus on strategic initiatives.

  • Generative AI aids in risk management by providing accurate assessments based on market trends and financial indicators, enabling banks to make informed decisions and better manage potential risks.
Generative AI accelerates banking processes including credit approval and loan underwriting
  • The technology’s ability to quickly assess creditworthiness and generate necessary documentation leads to faster loan approvals and improved customer satisfaction. 

  • It reduces the time and effort required to prepare and summarize reports, helping banks stay compliant with industry regulations.
Generative AI fosters innovation within the banking sector
  • Gen AI identifies market gaps and customer needs aids in the development of new financial products and services, driving growth and keeping banks competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Common operating model for generative AI in banking

A centralized operating model is often used for generative AI in banking due to its strategic advantages. Centralization allows financial institutions to allocate scarce top-tier AI talent effectively, creating a cohesive AI team that stays current with AI technology advancements. 

This model ensures critical decisions on funding, new technology, cloud providers and partnerships are made efficiently. It also simplifies risk management and regulatory compliance, providing a unified strategy for legal and security challenges. 

While centralization streamlines important tasks, it also provides flexibility by enabling some strategic decisions to be made at different levels. This approach balances central control with the adaptability needed for the bank’s needs and culture and helps keep it competitive in fintech.

Generative AI in banking use cases

Common generative AI use cases in banking include:

Customer service and support: Generative AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle a multitude of customer inquiries, providing instant responses and personalized assistance. These AI systems can answer questions about account balances, transaction histories and financial advice, improving customer satisfaction and reducing the workload on human support teams.

Credit approval and loan underwriting: AI integration in credit scoring and risk assessment allows for accurate evaluation of credit scoring, credit risks, improving decision-making in loan applications and credit card issuance. In loan underwriting, generative AI can automate the creation of credit memos, including executive summaries and sector analyses, speeding up the process and reducing manual effort.

Debt collection: AI can aid in debt collection efforts by interacting with borrowers to provide repayment options, identify patterns of delinquency and recommend appropriate collection strategies, improving recovery rates and customer relationships.

Fraud detection and prevention: Generative AI can analyze large volumes of transaction data to identify unusual patterns and potentially fraudulent activities. By continuously learning from new data, these AI systems become more accurate over time, helping banks to proactively detect and prevent fraud such as account takeover (ATO) and money laundering.

Personalized marketing and lead generation: AI-based systems can interact with potential clients to understand their needs and preferences, creating personalized product recommendations. This targeted approach improves marketing efficiency and enhances customer acquisition efforts.

Pitchbook creation: Pitchbooks are sales presentations that a bank uses to persuade a client or potential client to purchase the bank's services. Generative AI can gather, process and summarize information from various sources to quickly create these pitchbooks.

Regulatory compliance and reporting: Generative AI can assist in summarizing and preparing regulatory reports, ensuring that banks stay compliant with industry regulations. It can automate the extraction and organization of relevant data, reducing the time and effort required for compliance tasks.

Risk management: Generative AI can analyze market trends, financial indicators and credit histories to provide more accurate risk assessments. This ability helps banks make better-informed decisions about lending, investments and other financial activities.

Generative AI in banking benefits

Generative AI in banking offers numerous benefits that enhance both operational efficiency and customer experience:

Accelerated loan processing: Generative AI streamlines the credit approval and loan underwriting processes by quickly assessing creditworthiness and generating necessary documentation.

Effective debt collection: Generative AI systems can interact with borrowers to offer repayment options, identify delinquency patterns and recommend effective collection strategies, improving recovery rates.

Efficient operations: By automating routine tasks such as document processing, data entry and compliance checks, generative AI reduces manual workload, minimizes errors and lowers operational costs.

Enhanced customer service: Generative AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide 24/7 support, handling a wide range of customer inquiries instantly. This leads to faster response times and improved customer satisfaction.

Improved regulatory compliance: AI helps in preparing and summarizing regulatory reports, ensuring compliance with industry regulations and reducing the time and effort required for these tasks.

Innovative product development: AI identifies market gaps and customer needs, aiding in the creation of new financial products and services.

Personalized financial services: AI can analyze customer data to provide tailored financial advice and product recommendations, improving customer engagement and loyalty.

Proactive fraud detection and prevention: AI systems analyze vast amounts of transaction data to identify unusual patterns and potential fraud. This proactive approach enhances security and reduces financial losses.

Proficient risk management: Generative AI evaluates market trends and financial indicators to provide accurate risk assessments, helping banks make better-informed decisions and manage risks more effectively.

Reduced costs: By automating and optimizing various processes, generative AI helps banks reduce operational costs and allocate resources more effectively.

Generative AI in banking challenges

Using generative AI in banking presents several challenges and limitations. One major issue is data privacy and security. Generative AI can handle vast amounts of financial data but must be used cautiously to ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. Integrating data-driven AI systems increases the risk of data breaches, requiring continuous monitoring and updates to protect sensitive customer information. Furthermore, AI models rely on accurate and up-to-date data to produce reliable results. Poor or incomplete datasets can lead to incorrect outputs, negatively impacting financial decision-making and customer trust.

Another significant challenge is the integration of AI technologies within existing banking systems. Many banks operate with legacy systems that might not be compatible with new AI frameworks, which can create costly and time-consuming issues. Also, while AI can automate and streamline many processes, it should not have the final say in critical decisions such as loan approvals. Instead, AI should handle data analysis and initial assessments, leaving the ultimate decision to human financial professionals. This approach ensures that AI serves as a powerful tool to enhance banking operations without overstepping its limitations.

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