NEW REPORT: How A Hollywood Special Effect Became An AI Banking Assistant

From selfie authentication to finance tools that respond to emojis to computer-generated avatars that look and act like real people, new technological tools are giving digital banking a makeover. The April PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker™ looks at the various ways technology is changing the digital banking landscape.

Banking Gets New Tools, New Players

Banks and FinTechs are rolling out several new technological banking solutions aimed at enticing a new generation of banking customers. With more millennial consumers joining the banking systems, companies are turning to the technologies this generation uses on a daily basis to help them deliver more modern banking solutions. From selfie authentication tools to emoji-based transactions to virtual assistants, the past few weeks saw several companies make new additions to the banking toolbox.

Many of these solutions are focused on changing the way consumers engage with their banks. For example, UnionBank of the Philippines is using a platform that enables users to use “selfie” technology to verify their identities and log into their accounts. Meanwhile, Capital One’s new text message-based chatbot assistant Eno can use text messages and even emojis like a “money bag” or a “thumbs up” to perform certain banking transactions.

Text is one way to communicate. Voice prompts are another. While some companies are experimenting with text-based banking solutions, others are taking a closer look at the potential of using voice recognition technology to reshape banking. The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has designs to introduce voice biometric to bolster its mobile banking platform’s security. Another development could allow virtual assistant Siri to act as a bank teller and allow users to make money transfers simply by speaking voice commands.

New tools like voice commands and chatbots aren’t the only changes to the digital banking landscape. Developments by various “challenger banks” indicates traditional institutions may face a new form of competition. In the U.K., the app-based bank Atom raised £83 million to release new products and expand its reach. Another challenger institution, Starling Bank, began beta testing an app and will issue a Mastercard debit card to its users.

Giving Virtual Assistants a Facelift

Digital banking could get an impressive facelift thanks to one company’s work with avatar technology. For the April Tracker’s feature story, PYMNTS’ Karen Webster spoke with Greg Cross, chief business officer for Soul Machines, about the company’s work with life-like avatars and how the AI-powered programs are able to analyze and respond to human emotions appropriately. Cross shared how the special effects technology behind Hollywood movies, including “King Kong” and “Avatar,” could change digital banking forever and discussed how the Australian government is currently putting the tech to use to serve one of the country’s most vulnerable populations.

Check out the April Tracker for the full feature story, as well as more news and headlines from across the fast-moving digital banking landscape and the Tracker’s comprehensive provider directory with 10 new additions this month: Asseco SEE, Clarity Money, Geezeo, GoHenry, Koho, MagiClick, Spendee, Squirrel, TSWG and Vipera.

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About the Tracker

The PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker™ brings you the latest news, research and expert commentary from the FinTech and consumer banking space, along with the rankings of over 160 companies serving or powering the digital banking sector.