10 Questions to Ask an AI Provider

Looking for an AI company to help power your bank’s future? Discover the 10 questions that will tell you everything you need to know about an AI partner.

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Artificial intelligence is shaping up to be the next big digital frontier, with the potential to unlock untold productivity and efficiencies in our everyday work. For the banking industry, this emerging technology is already revolutionizing areas like customer service, particularly in the form of generative and conversational AI chatbots. In fact, PwC reports the financial services sector as one of the top three industries adopting and innovating AI solutions in the near future.

But before banking leaders dive head-first into the world of AI, it’s important to take a step back and consider what you’re looking to gain with the technology. As a separate PwC report states, “Successfully adopting AI requires financial institutions to strike the right balance between prudence and urgency.” In other words, you must do your due diligence before working with just any AI solutions company.

To help you understand what to look for in an AI partner, here are 10 questions you should consider when researching providers:

1. Is Your Potential Partner a Native AI Company?

While these questions aren’t in any particular order of importance, this first question is often a good way to screen out potential providers. Partnering with a native AI company means they’ve grown their core business from the ground up in the AI industry — and not just since the recent generative AI revolution. Due to their singular focus on developing AI, these partners tend to be more adept at navigating unique challenges and rapid advancements. Ideally, these companies should also have their roots in financial services to ensure the best of both worlds.

2. Is Your Potential Partner Investing in the Future of AI for FIs?

Another key question to ask providers is how they’re investing in the field. Are they fully committed to developing and shaping the evolution of AI solutions for financial institutions, or are they only partially focused on this area, with most of their attention focused elsewhere? You don’t want a partner who puts your core banking tech on the back burner. Working with a provider who invests in advancements will put you on the leading edge of AI innovations.

3. Does Your Potential Partner Understand and Address Your Specific Pain Points?

It’s essential to work with an AI provider who can effectively identify and address your specific needs and challenges. The right partner doesn’t just provide a solution, but ensures it’s tailored to your bank or credit union and ready to go live. They should be aligned with your objectives and provide the resources, guidance and expertise to help you meet your goals.

4. How Does Your Potential Partner Measure and Help You Achieve ROI? 

A positive ROI is an obvious must for any AI solution, but your partners should go beyond simply delivering ROI by working with you to develop an accurate measurement of success. Whereas some companies focus on faulty containment metrics that obscure their product’s true helpfulness, the best partner will analyze AI interactions to understand how often they’re able to fully address a customer’s issues or inquiries. That way, you can align your solution with your specific goals.

5. Can Your Potential Partner Develop a Customized Product to Fit Your Environment?

Every financial institution has unique needs and challenges, and a one-size-fits-all solution might not always be the right fit. Your AI partner should offer the flexibility and expertise to collaborate with you on a tailored solution that suits your needs and environment. This bespoke approach to development ensures the AI solutions integrate seamlessly with your core banking tech while aligning with your institution’s operational processes and customer service strategies.

6. Does Your Potential Partner Offer No-Code Solutions For Greater Control?

Speaking of customizability, no-code AI solutions are a game-changer for banks, enabling them to make changes instantly without having to wait days or weeks for their provider to deploy resources. These platforms empower staff across various departments to easily deploy, tailor and manage AI tools without needing technical skills or a deep understanding of the software. This flexibility enables banks to quickly adapt to evolving customer needs while reducing over-reliance on specialized IT resources.

7. Does Your Potential Partner Provide Ongoing and Outstanding Guidance?

Customers should never be left behind by their software provider. Even with an easy deployment and no-code options, it’s vital to have the ongoing guidance and support of the company that developed your solution. In addition to regular updates, troubleshooting and training, your partner should offer a comprehensive, lifetime support promise with responsive services. That means free, 24/7 help within your time zone, plus regular strategy meetings to go over performance. This level of assistance not only ensures the AI functions optimally, but also accelerates issue response times to maintain continuity. 

8. Does Your Potential Partner Demonstrate Thought Leadership in the Field?

Thought leadership might not seem like a must-have for an AI provider, but partners who produce this type of content demonstrate a deep understanding of AI technology and its broader implications for the banking industry. Not only is it proof of deep knowledge and expertise, but it’s also a sign of a partner who’s actively contributing new ideas to the space, showcasing their foresight and proactive approach to development. 

9. Is Your Potential Partner Well-Versed in the Product, Backed by a Proven Track Record with Data-Driven Best Practices, and Comprehensive Use Case Knowledge?

Ensuring an AI provider comprehensively understands the product, demonstrates a track record of effective practices based on client data, and covers various use cases is crucial. Some companies may boast numerous "coverage items," but if each requires individual attention, it becomes a significant burden on the client. Confirm that the AI provider offers both primary and secondary coverage, providing a reliable fallback and minimizing uncertainties. Additionally, consider the implementation effort involved in adopting an AI solution. Does the provider include a conversational AI designer and a project manager? Be sure to assess the lift required from your end.

10. What Is Your Potential Partner Doing to Remain Innovative and Responsible?

Last but certainly not least, it’s essential to understand how your AI solutions provider operates, including their guiding principles and values. While it’s important to have a partner that’s on the leading edge of innovations, this shouldn’t come at the cost of responsibility. Any AI provider should have a clear commitment to ethical practices, ensuring any advancements are made with a keen awareness of concerns, such as data privacy, security and social impact. Striking this balance between innovation and responsibility demonstrates a provider’s foresight and conscientiousness in the dynamic world of AI in finances.

As you consider the future of AI in your institution, use these questions to help you choose the right partner — like Posh.

As a native AI company for banks, Posh delivers on all fronts. Discover how our AI solutions and Partnership for Life program for banks and credit unions can help your institution transform its operations. Request a demo today.

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