AI Banking Chatbots can blend the SuperApps concept with data power to shape the future of digital banking

Traditional banking services are undergoing a remarkable transformation in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. As with digitalization, very little will remain untouched, and though it is unlikely to change what banking does, they will dramatically transform how it does it.

In this article, the evolving mobile banking apps and digital wallets as sort of Super Apps, with the help of conversational AI, unleash the power of data and pave the way towards next-gen banking in the financial industry.


Today we are witnessing the convergence of two powerful forces, Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI), that can reshape the future of banking, enabling financial institutions to deliver personalized, seamless, and innovative services to their customers via their mobile banking applications. With data analytics and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms at the core of this equation, banks are already unlocking new opportunities and redefining how they engage with customers. 


Super Apps - real opportunity also for Europe?

Super apps have emerged as a game-changer in the world of mobile technology especially in Asia, and the most famous among them being WeChat. These multifunctional platforms combine various services and features under one umbrella, allowing users to access multiple services from a single app. Super apps are able to leverage vast amounts of data generated by users' interactions, transactions, and preferences. This treasure trove of data enables banks to gain deep insights into customer behavior, enabling them to personalize services, tailor recommendations, and create targeted marketing campaigns. 

Digitalization has enhanced banks' capacity to address customers' fundamental banking needs. However, discussions concerning customers' financial aspirations and the ways in which the bank can support them in achieving their goals are currently lacking.

This represents a crucial aspect for banks to enhance sales cross-selling opportunities, boost product attachment rates, and ultimately increase revenues. Therefore, the focus should shift from merely providing digital services to fostering meaningful digital conversations and not just providing financial services through mobile banking apps that resonate with customers.

Banks have never been closer to their customers, quite literally residing in their hands, yet engaging customers to open the app regularly entails a distinct dialogue, particularly for digitally native generations who constitute upcoming customer segments. Though the younger generations are more receptive to a super apps offering in Europe, according to a 2023 survey by PYMENTS,  it is important to note the successful super apps don’t just bundle services. They are trying to combine them in a way that is going to offer a more enhanced value to the end user. In Europe, many fintech companies claim to be a "super-app" by adding complementary finance or financial management features to their platforms or apps.

“Many fintech companies have misunderstood the difference between platform engagement in financial services and what happens in non-banking journeys. They wrongly conceived super-apps as marketplaces of white-labeled opportunities instead of engagement mechanisms to activate clients through their journeys. A financial marketplace is not a super app.” - quote in Forbes

Paolo Sironi

Author of Banks and Fintech on Platform Economies and Global Research Leader for Banking at IBM

A super-app enables end-users to access and carry out activities and purchases across various industry sectors. This concept gained momentum in Asia due to two key factors identified by Insider Intelligence: the rapid adoption of mobile payments by unbanked populations and strict app regulations governing app marketplaces. Conversely, the concept has not gained as much traction in Europe, possibly due to the established banking population and robust privacy protection measures. However, the evolution of banking apps presents a distinct opportunity. Wallets for example functioning as open platforms that integrate third-party services and enhance customer functionality, could serve as identity providers, besides embedding the banking experiences. In this evolution track towards super apps they could offer a more promising avenue for amplifying the benefits derived from data and AI.

Unlocking the full Mobile Banking Apps Potential with AI

Artificial intelligence plays a pivotal role in harnessing the potential of data within any mobile application. AI-powered algorithms analyze vast datasets, identifying patterns, predicting customer behavior, and offering proactive solutions. Machine learning models continuously learn from user interactions, refining their understanding of customer needs and preferences over time. As a result, banks can provide hyper-personalized experiences, anticipate customer requirements, and offer timely recommendations that enhance customer satisfaction and drive engagement. 


“Banks can only remain competitive if they strengthen relationships with customers by creating engaging, meaningful capabilities for their apps. When this is implemented properly, a customer is less likely to move and more likely to use additional services, and AI is here to help“

Tobias Ott

Head of Sales, Digital Banking

Banks are likely to benefit more from generative AI than any other industry

An Accenture analysis of operational efficiency indicates a potential to boost productivity by 22-30%, while a further study quoted in the analysis found that revenue could be increased by 6%. Another study by Juniper investigates 16 separate use cases for GenAI within banking, underlying the solutions that will drive efficiency and create transformation within the highly complex banking space, such as enhancing compliance processes, improving the customer experience and reducing cost.

AI chatbots and virtual banking assistants transform customer interactions, offering conversational assistance, real-time support, and financial guidance. They simplify conventional banking activities such as account openings, loan applications, and fund transfers through intuitive interfaces and sophisticated natural language processing, guaranteeing digital security and ease of use. Accessible through the mobile banking app or digital wallet, these services may also integrate offerings from other industries and evolve towards the popular concept of Super Apps.

The impact of super apps and AI is not limited to customer experiences alone. Banks are utilizing data-driven insights to optimize their internal operations, improve risk management, and enhance decision-making processes. By leveraging conversational AI algorithms, and the data from the mobile banking apps banks can gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers' financial health, allowing them to offer personalized financial advice, identify potential investment opportunities, and manage risks effectively. This data-driven approach also enables banks to streamline back-office operations, automate manual tasks, and drive operational efficiency.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. The increasing reliance on data and AI necessitates robust data privacy and security measures. Banks must prioritize data protection, ensuring compliance with stringent regulations and implementing cutting-edge cybersecurity measures. Transparency and informed consent must be at the forefront of data collection and utilization practices, fostering trust between banks and their customers.


How could the future look when exponentially accelerating technologies converge?

As we look into the future, the potential of banking apps' evolution towards the concept of super apps, together with conversational AI and machine learning leveraging data in the banking industry, seems boundless. The convergence of data, technology, and customer-centricity holds the promise of a banking experience that is seamless, personalized, and intuitive. Mobile banking apps will continue to evolve, integrating new technologies such as blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality (AR), further enhancing the banking landscape. Moreover, AI-driven insights will enable banks to go beyond transactions and become trusted financial companions, empowering customers to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals, but also bring in other industry services to an ecosystem format that they can orchestrate. 

In conclusion, the symbiotic relationship between super apps, AI, and data is revolutionizing the banking industry. By harnessing the power of data, banks can deliver highly personalized experiences, streamline operations, enhance security, and drive customer engagement.

The future of banking lies in leveraging the potential of evolving current mobile banking apps and digital wallets towards the concept of super apps and AI to unlock the total value of data, creating a transformative banking experience for customers and setting the stage for the next era of financial innovation.

Lennart Schmidt

Associate Sales Director, Digital Banking

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