AI in banking and fintech has been around for many years, but it has gained renewed attention in 2022 due to the boom in generative AI. Christo Davel, a digital financial services veteran, believes this is an opportunity to create a more financially inclusive society, especially in South Africa, which is known for its inequality. The combination of exponential AI, ethical and purpose-driven fintech, and high mobile penetration in the country can empower more people with access to financial services.

Davel has always been fascinated by the possibilities of AI in banking and fintech. He believes that AI can give people better control over their finances and allow them to live more fulfilling lives. The recent advancements in generative AI, such as ChatGPT, have inspired both fear and excitement in the fintech world. Davel sees this as a chance to harness AI’s power for good and create positive financial experiences for more people.

One of the benefits of AI is its ability to personalize financial services. By using customer data and good design, AI can create bespoke services that meet each individual’s unique needs. With the permission of the customer, fintech companies can gain insights into their life, goals, and priorities to provide personalized financial assistance. This can make banking and financial services simpler and more useful for everyone.

AI can also remove friction in customer experiences by offering relevant services at the right moment. For example, AI can offer insurance for a recent purchase or provide a digital coupon for a free coffee. By using AI and machine learning, financial services can be tailored to people from all walks of life, making them more inclusive.

Furthermore, AI can automate routine tasks and streamline financial processes, making banking and fintech more efficient. This can free up human consultants to focus on tasks that require human expertise and reduce back-office costs. Automation can also provide services that are available 24/7, such as retrieving a PIN or obtaining compliance documents.

Davel is inspired by the idea of AI being a capable assistant aligned with individuals’ interests and long-term goals. He envisions AI helping people gain insight into their financial lives, change bad money habits, and plan for their future. This can empower individuals to improve their financial situations and achieve long-term prosperity.

AI can also contribute to greater financial inclusion for marginalized members of society. Organizations like the UN and various companies are using AI to promote digital financial inclusion and create a fairer world. Davel believes it is crucial for the fintech ecosystem in South Africa to collaborate with banks, retailers, insurers, and others to harness the power of AI for greater financial inclusion.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize banking and fintech by providing personalized financial experiences, removing friction, increasing efficiency, and promoting financial inclusion. It is up to the industry to harness AI’s power for good and collaborate to build a humane and inclusive fintech ecosystem.

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