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Wells Fargo launches persona and AI-driven digital banking platform, Vantage

Wells Fargo launches persona and AI-driven digital banking platform, Vantage

Wells Fargo has unveiled a new digital banking platform, Vantage, to more effectively service its commercial, corporate, and investment banking clients.

Wells Fargo Vantage is described as a one-stop-shop for digital banking, drawing together Wells Fargo’s suite of financial products and services in a single platform, designed to meet the increasingly consumer-centric demands of corporate treasurers and SMEs through AI and ML technologies.

Speaking to Finextra about the announcement, Reetika Grewal, EVP, head of digital for commercial banking and corporate and investment bank, Wells Fargo, explains that the “magic” of the platform is that it is accessible to all clients - regardless of whether they are a “family-run shop or global corporation, they all need to be able to manage their finances using digital tools that scale seamlessly.”

Grewal adds that client expectations have changed dramatically, and were particularly accelerated as a result of Covid-19. While the existing Wells Fargo platform called the ‘Commercial Electronic Office’ is “solid and has great functionality built into it,” Grewal furthers that Vantage will move it toward a more client-centric experience.

“We have an amazing breadth of products and services available, so stitching it together the right way for people to be able to discover, self-serve and execute product fulfilment - that's what we are accomplishing with Vantage.”

The challenge of solving for the specific needs of clients is significant for Wells Fargo, which has to consider a very large range of clients across commercial and corporate investment banking.

This is where Wells Fargo’s ‘persona-driven AI’ has come into its own. The bank spent a lot of time at the outset of the Vantage project focusing on how best to go about perfecting the platform’s personalisation features.

As the bank’s clients are not only diverse but very dynamic and growing at different rates, Grewal explains that the team needed to build in a modular way to suit the needs of each client.
“At the end of the day it is about making sure that banking services, lending products, marketing, capital markets are all available in a single portal. Many banks currently offer multiple portals across these services, but clients don’t think about their banking in this way.”

Building an overarching dashboard experience was a core objective for the Vantage platform, so that clients aren’t inundated with product names or payment types when they set out to do their banking.

“You shouldn’t have to learn ‘banking speak’ in order to run a business. We have pulled this complex language back with Vantage, using simple phrasing and leveraging the personalisation engine in order to really bring consumer-grade experience and deliver it to businesses […] We see our AI and ML in action by taking the data we already know about a client, and predicting what they might need next.”

Helping companies in their efforts not only to scale and mature, but to progress their digital transformation journeys is another area of focus for Vantage, explains Grewal. She notes that onboarding will be brought into the Vantage platform process to help achieve this; setting clients up for a digital experience from their first interactions with the bank.

The platform was built and deployed in under 12 months, and clients will be onboarded onto the platform in a phased rollout. “People might think that we’re slow moving, but we very deliberately pulled-in cutting edge technology to bring this solution to market quickly,” Grewal notes.

Fargo, the bank’s virtual assistant which was launched in October this year will complement the Vantage platform, adding to Wells Fargo’s holistic digital transformation which also the release of its consumer mobile app in late 2021.

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