BMO launches its own AI financial advice tool

The bank gets in on the personalized advice trend with a mobile service centred on "actionable intelligence."

BMO is the latest of Canada’s big banks to build AI into its mobile banking with a new, personalized insights and financial management tool.

BMO Insights, as the bank is calling its new AI advice tool, uses analysis of personal accounts to deliver personalized insights in 20 different areas, such as saving, spending habits and managing cash flow. It also offers “actionable intelligence,” which the bank points out doesn’t just recognize and track behaviours, but suggests plans and actions clients can take to stay on top of savings. For example, it will identify when there is enough money in a chequing account to cover personal expenses, and suggest transferring the rest to savings.

“Across our digital solutions, we are focused on finding ways to provide value for customers and evolving how they interact with their bank,” said Brett Pitts, BMO’s chief digital officer. “We’re tapping into the power of AI to deliver personalized insights to mobile banking customers and provide them with a holistic picture of their financial lives. This is a data-driven approach to personal finance that puts the customer in control.”

The service runs on Personetics Engage, a platform that uses AI and predictive analytics to create more engaging experiences in digital banking.

Numerous other banks have been using AI to offer personalized saving advice and tools to its clients, largely in response to consumer demand for more control over their financial well-being. According to a BMO survey, 67% of Canadians feel they are stretching themselves too thin on expenses to be able to save, 45% feel like they are “playing catch-up” due to paying down debt and 37% of millennial Canadians says social pressures are keeping them from saving.

High household debt levels have also made many Canadians concerned about how to properly manage their finances for a number of years, but those worries may be finding their way to the banks as well: while BMO’s Q4 results showed a year-over-year gain, the other major banks either reported a profit loss or gains that were more modest relative to their stellar performance over the last three years, citing the need to put extra money aside to guard against the possibility of loans going bad.