ABN Amro ‘scaling up’ generative AI in call centres

The chief commercial officer, personal & business banking of ABN Amro has revealed that the Dutch bank is scaling up ChatGPT in its call centres.

On Wednesday, Annerie Vreugdenhil – who is also a member of the executive board at the bank – told delegates at Money 2020 Europe that the organisation had been trialling ChatGPT across 20 contact centre agents, revealing that the bank is currently expanding the technology to 200 employees as part of the pilot.

Traditionally, agents at the bank have taken notes during a customer call to produce a summary afterwards. The bank is now starting to use ChatGPT to create these summaries, with the agents simply checking they are accurate afterwards.

The chief commercial officer added that employees using the technology had said that they now have more time to focus on the client, without the need to "scribble down notes".

ABN is also using the technology to provide summaries of product pages. Vreugdenhil said that there are lots of these pages, which agents don’t know off by heart, which means the technology reduces time spent on trying to find a particular product.

She explained that while employees were reluctant about using the technology at first, particularly because they were concerned about losing their jobs, they’re now asking about when the next generative AI feature will be introduced to the call centre.

Vreugdenhil also told guests at the Amsterdam-based event that ABN is using automated coding, with the organisation’s developers reporting that they are “happier” because the process "makes them more productive”.

She did however explain that one challenge the bank is facing with the technology is that it needs to be able to clearly explain its decisions.

“We can’t let the AI run wild,” she said. “There’s a limitation on what you can use it for.”

She also added that recent discussions with board members had driven questions about the risks and opportunities of generative AI, with one asking whether risk departments are able to keep up with the incredible speed of development in the market.

Vreugdenhil said given that the bank is fairly advanced when it comes to the use of generative AI and ChatGPT, it might have a competitive advantage for a short amount of time. But she assured the bank's rivals that others would “catch up in no time”.

Given the nature of the technology, she explained, companies that are behind ABN will be able to catch up in a quick period.

She urged start-ups to start using the technology as soon as possible because it will allow them to “crack unstructured data”, something she says they have been trying to do for a long time.

Money 2020 Europe is taking place at the RAI in Amsterdam 6-8 June 2023.

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