Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to disrupt many industries, and the business payments and banking industries are no exception.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of financial and treasury professionals believe the shift to AI is here, according to a survey released by Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) and conducted at the AFP 2019 Conference.
“The potential for AI across the financial services and payments landscape is now realized but still largely untapped. It is no longer a question as to whether the banking and payments industries are experiencing a transformational shift towards AI technology,” said Bill Wardwell, Vice President of Strategy and Product Management at Bottomline Technologies. “Implementing these technologies will bring a number of benefits to the industry, including greater efficiency, automation of manual tasks, predicting and reducing payments fraud, and delivering smarter, more personalized payment experiences.”
Of the numerous advantages that come with harnessing AI technology, nearly half of survey respondents (41%) believe that greater efficiency is the biggest benefit of AI for banking and payments; followed by 37.5% who stated automating manual processes and 20% who believe it will reduce payments fraud.
However, integration is top of mind, with nearly half of respondents (45%) noting that integration into existing technology is their biggest challenge when it comes to greater adoption of AI in banking and payments. Additionally, as Real-Time Payments (RTP) gain traction, 40% of survey respondents feel that accounting and ERP integration is their primary concern with adoption of corporate RTP in the United States.
“While we’ve seen new technology change the banking and payments landscape, focusing on integration will be key for banks and corporates looking to maintain their competitive advantage and operate ahead of the curve,” said Jessica Cheney, Vice President of Product Management and Strategic Solutions at Bottomline Technologies. “When it comes to increasing adoption of RTP in the U.S., integration will be key component.”
Security and financial crimes are a larger part of an evolving conversation about the age of fraud in the marketplace, as it continues to present itself as a top concern in the industry. Looking ahead to 2020, more than one-third of survey respondents (37%) anticipate seeing a greater emphasis on combatting payments fraud and financial crimes, closely followed by increased adoption of AI and machine learning technology (35%).
As fraud continues to get more sophisticated, it has become increasingly evident that banks, businesses and fintechs must be at the cutting edge of security solutions. The survey findings are a testament to industry professionals being keenly aware of potential risks that may arise from fast-paced environments fueled by market changes and innovation.
Bottomline Technologies polled a select group of payments and banking professionals on their views of artificial intelligence, real-time-payments and industry trends in business payments and banking at the 2019 AFP Conference in Boston from October 21-23, 2019. A total of 160 individuals were polled.