BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Westpac's Tim Whiteley talks about the bank's AI and machine learning initiatives

Find out how the bank is developing its digital channels and systems architecture.

Tim Whiteley, general manager of application development at Westpac tells Asian Banking & Finance how the bank is taking advantage of AI technology and machine learning and how it is currently executing trials.

What is the status of Westpac’s digital initiatives?
We have several innovation trials underway with AI, including some simple offerings to customers, such as our Westpac Live Alexa service, plus we are partnering with several fintechs including Data Republic and Hyper Anna to trial ways to deliver improved experiences for our customers. We are analysing financial markets product performance data to provide valuable insights to our Institutional Banking and Business Bank customers. We are also currently implementing our next generation AI chatbot in the call centre (based upon IBM Watson APIs) to drive a faster and better customer experience for resolving or clarifying customer needs.

Providing great experiences for our customers requires us to continually innovate, and evolve our systems architecture. More and more, our digital channels are powered by data and analytics, with our transactional systems providing the processing in the background. This allows us to innovate and deliver faster, without always being constrained by the need to change our legacy systems.  

How does using machine learning affect Westpac’s internal and external operations?
Machine learning can revolutionise the way our customers interact with us and enable a greater customer experience. We’re working on how we use machine learning to help improve the quality of the data analytics and leverage data better for customer outcomes through creating contextualised customer experiences. We have a dedicated transformation programme focused specifically upon data where data held both within the bank and externally can be governed and used appropriately.

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