In an industry that is progressing at a blistering speed, finance’s only option to stay on top of the game is with AI, reducing the roles humans have played for centuries. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past two years, you would have seen the bedlam surrounding the stratospheric rise of cryptocurrency.

SwissCognitiveThis is particularly relevant with bitcoin, going from something at the fringe of fintech to the mainstream as every person and their dog suddenly considered investing in a real unknown quantity.

While its long-term existence remains to be seen, the continued interest has shown that traditional banks and the latest start-ups have identified that the old ways of turning up to a branch, or even using an ATM, could be the banking equivalent of watching a movie on VHS.

In its place comes a raft of new technologies, none more so apparent than the one that promises to not only shake up how customers interact with their banks, but how banks fundamentally operate: artificial intelligence (AI).

Bringing AI to the digital shop floor

From an outsider’s perspective, the most obvious sign of AI’s role in the change of banking is part of the overall digitisation of the traditional bank, whereby instead of dealing with physical branches or human tellers, you operate largely online, particularly through mobile.

One company that has propelled itself to the forefront of this new age of mobile banking is the German start-up N26, which recently closed Series C funding worth $160m, making it one of Europe’s fastest-growing banks.

Noticeably, the company said after this funding that it was to pump millions into developing AI into the core of its app. “N26 wants to take this a step further by making the banking experience even smarter and more personalised for customers through the use of AI,” it said.

“N26 believes that AI will allow the bank of the future to become more adaptive to customers’ needs and solve problems in a way that is currently missing among traditional retail banks.”

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Of course, why wouldn’t any mobile bank prioritise this as a key investment given that the app is the face of the business? […]