How AWS is helping Emirates NBD build AI enabled bank of the future

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Seattle, US: Emirates NBD, a major bank in the Middle East is gearing-up to become artificial intelligence (AI) enabled bank of the future.

In doing so, Emirates NBD is collaborating with AWS to drive technology innovation within the bank and build personalized retail banking experience for customers. Last year, the bank partnered with Hortonworks to take further its digital transformation journey.

The bank is leveraging AWS machine learning (ML) services for these new initiatives. Besides, the bank will also utilize AWS data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and other advanced technologies as part of its ongoing efforts to improve customer engagement and simplify banking.

To create a more rewarding and customer-centric banking experience, Emirates NBD is also leveraging Amazon Personalize, an AWS machine learning service that enables the development of individualized recommendations to launch new personalized retail banking applications.

Amongst these applications is a personal finance manager, which works on an automated, self-learning system to deliver a highly personalized banking experience to customers. It helps to predict what each individual customer needs and match it with the most appropriate solution. The system utilizes Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology so customers can interact with call center automation in a more natural way.

To support this work, Emirates NBD is using Amazon Polly, a cloud service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to convert written content into human-like speech, in its automated call center to further enhance customer interactions by delivering lifelike voice banking experiences. As part of Emirates NBD’s journey with AWS, it is also exploring how to better serve customers at bank branches with convenient and secure authentication, leveraging AWS’s image recognition and IoT solutions.

“Our vision is to be the Middle East’s most innovative financial services organization and to achieve this we have chosen to work with the world’s most innovative technology company, Amazon Web Services,” said Suvo Sarkar, Senior EVP and Group Head – Retail Banking & Wealth Management, Emirates NBD.

“Emirates NBD and Amazon share common values of innovation and customer centricity and we look forward to leveraging AWS’s technologies and innovation practices to make banking more easy and intuitive for our customers,” added Sarkar.

“Across every industry, companies are starting to meaningfully use machine learning in their businesses and AWS offers the broadest and deepest portfolio of machine learning services to help them solve some of their biggest challenges. We are excited to see how these technologies are helping transform the financial services industry in the Middle East and around the world,” said Andy Isherwood, MD – Amazon Web Services, EMEA.

“Emirates NBD is one of the most valued and innovative financial institutions in the Middle East, and we look forward to continuing to support them as they embark on a journey to transform how they serve their retail banking customers and build their organization into a bank of the future,” added Isherwood.

In addition to AWS cloud services, Emirates NBD is continuing its investment in AWS led machine learning workloads and services namely Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed machine learning service for building, training, and deploying machine learning models to provide relevant real-time banking experiences.

Emirates NBD’s initiatives towards becoming bank of the future is a bit contrast to many other banks in India and other regions, which have leveraged some of these emerging technologies in bits and pieces to meet their specific banking requirements.

Over the next three years period, banks will increase investment by 60-80 percent in data and analytics, cloud and mobile technology, according to E&Y Global Banking Outlook 2018 report.

While, banks will increase investment by 40-60 percent in other technologies like Artificial Learning (AI), Machine Learning (ML) Cryptography / Cybersecurity, Authentication software based on biometrics, Omnichannel Customer Experience and Open platforms/API architecture based identification software. Interestingly, these set of technologies is expected to see a high uptake going forward.

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