PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

BNP Paribas and Mistral Forge AI-Banking Pact

BNP Paribas

French banking group BNP Paribas has formed a partnership with AI firm Mistral.

The agreement, announced Wednesday (July 10), is a multiyear partnership that provides access to Mistral’s current and future commercial artificial intelligence (AI) models across the bank’s business lines.

The two companies have had a relationship since last year, when Parbias’ global markets division began experimenting with Mistral AI’s models, the companies said in a news release.

“This first engagement produced strong results and, as a consequence, BNP Paribas extended the collaboration to the wider Group starting February 2024. Since that time, BNP Paribas has been extensively piloting Mistral AI commercial models across several of the bank’s divisions,” the companies said.

According to the release, the bank is using Mistral’s large language models (LLMs) in areas of its business that include customer support, sales, IT and other areas. Sophie Heller, chief operating officer for the bank’s commercial, personal banking and services division, said the partnership helps BNP Paribas develop “hyper-personalized” digital services for customers.

“As an example, Gen AI will allow us to launch high quality virtual assistants to answer clients’ questions 24/7 and to simplify end-to-end processes, enhancing the way our teams support clients,” she said. “Deploying Gen AI models within our infrastructure will ally with the latest technology with our strong commitment for security.”

PYMNTS examined the role AI is playing in the banking world last month in a conversation with Kåre Kjelstrøm, CTO of Lunar.

“AI assistants are the next step in the digital banking evolution, allowing customers to interact with their finances through natural language,” said Kjelstrøm, who spoke with PYMNTS during a discussion for the “AI Effect” series.

This marks a major shift from traditional user interfaces (UIs), allowing users to enjoy greater financial insights in ways that are intuitive and come naturally to them.

“It is a journey toward hyper-personalization,” said Kjelstrøm, adding that traditional banking systems often deliver generic and impersonal services, which can leave users feeling disconnected from their finances. This is in spite of the fact that banks commonly have extensive data about their customers, which, when used wisely, can transform the user experience.

“Banks actually have a lot of information about you that can be leveraged to help you take control of your finances,” he added, though only some of them are using AI to activate it.