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Financial Services

The expectations on AI-driven customer services

Nando Di Santo
Nando Di Santo

By Nando Di Santo, Senior Client Partner and Strategic Advisor, Publicis Sapient

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), including Generative AI (GenAI), has opened opportunities for banks to innovate with new business models and tools. In particular, through analysing huge amounts of data, it has enabled banks to provide elevated personalised customer experiences at scale.

This shift to AI-driven online services and personalised customer support promises much greater speed and efficiency, but it also stirs mixed feelings among customers. A majority of people want banks to offer personalised services and conversations, with 74 percent of respondents in our survey expecting them.

Although many Australians recognise and appreciate the presence of AI in banking, there's some concern about the lack of personal touch. The Publicis Sapient Customer Banking Report 2024 investigates this concern in detail, examining how banks can combine the advantages of AI with their ability to make interactions more personal.


Personalisation now an expectation

One interesting survey finding was that customers who visited a physical location of their bank in the past month were far more likely to expect a personalised service (83 percent) compared with those who hadn’t visited a branch in more than six months (62 percent). Customers appear to associate personalised services with physical channels, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for banks to shift these expectations towards digital channels.

Customers also expressed frustration with AI's current inability to understand and resolve issues as a human would. This raises the question on how can banks set realistic expectations when it comes to AI, in terms of its benefits and its limitations?

Enabling personalisation at scale

For banks, the role of omnichannel personalisation is increasingly critical to manage the shift in customer behaviours towards digital channels. Banks urgently need to provide greater personalisation to tailor services and interactions to meet individual needs, yet in a cost-effective way. This means developing a strategy that leverages AI technology as an enabler that scales and builds upon investments already made by banks on customer data and digital capabilities.

But to successfully leverage AI at scale, it is crucial to align with customer expectations to drive satisfaction and loyalty. Banks must navigate the use of AI carefully and holistically, as customers are already wary of the service challenges it may bring. As banks mature in their application of AI, they must provide reassurance to customers about the use of their data in interactions and lead the way in providing the solutions to common fears.

The AI paradox in banking

While AI promises enhanced service quality, questions remain with most Australians (62 percent) who are aware that their bank already uses AI to some degree, but nearly all (96 percent) have concerns.

Younger Australians are more optimistic than older generations about the potential of AI on banking services (69 percent vs 38 percent for 65+). The majority of people over 65 (62 percent) believe it will worsen service quality.

The top concern about AI in banking is that most Australians would prefer to speak with a person (58 percent). After that come fears of job losses (54 percent) and data security and privacy (49%). This suggests that people don’t fully understand the difference between chat bots, automated phone calls and broader applications of AI.



Banks are now tasked with the pivotal role of integrating AI to enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. By harnessing AI for tailored personalisation, banks can amplify customer experiences on a grand scale. Although the advantages of AI in the financial sector are evident, it is imperative that banks also address the associated concerns. Through education and reassurance, banks can alleviate customer apprehensions, thereby aligning with the evolving demands and expectations in this era of AI-driven banking solutions. Successfully navigating this landscape is key to winning customer trust and loyalty in the competitive realm of financial services.

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Mockup of the Customer Banking Report 2024

Australia Customer Banking Report 2024
Diving into emerging trends reshaping the Australian banking industry

Nando Di Santo
Nando Di Santo
Senior Client Partner and Strategic Advisor, Publicis Sapient

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