Artificial Intelligence

RBC To Spend More Than $3B On Advanced Technology

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is gearing up to spend $3.2 billion on technology with a focus on artificial intelligence, digital products and social media.

According to a report in BNN Bloomberg, RBC said it will invest in the technology with a goal of attracting more than 2.5 million new Canadian banking customers by 2023. RBC made the comments during an investor meeting in Toronto on Thursday (June 14). One of the goals of the Canadian bank is to increase its clients at a rate of three times more than is currently.

"Our story is, how does the market leader grow?” Chief Executive Officer David McKay said at the event. “There has never been a greater opportunity to connect with Canadians."

Some of the digital offerings under RBC Ventures include its platform for startups, called "ownr," as well as "Drive," a mobile app for vehicle owners. Another initiative, dubbed "finfit," is a financial advice app.

While RBC is increasing its spend on technology, the bank is no stranger to AI. Earlier this year, PYMNTS caught up with Rami Thabet, RBC’s vice president of mobile, who explained how the bank reviews volumes of data to find actionable intelligence it can use to empower customers, helping them exercise greater control over their finances. He also discussed where RBC sees opportunities to integrate voice-activated technology solutions, such as Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, into customers’ everyday banking activities.

To better serve its customers, Thabet said it’s necessary for RBC to get to know them and their spending patterns on an individual level. In pursuit of that venture, the company launched a pair of AI-powered services in August 2017 under the bank’s NOMI program — a play on the phrase “know me.”

According to Thabet, RBC’s AI strategy focuses on using AI-powered algorithms to scour volumes of users’ data and help them make improvements to their daily financial lives. The AI-backed services are available to all company clients who choose to opt in. Once they do so, the algorithm highlights and displays their financial habits in the bank’s mobile app.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.