SINGAPORE (Sept 27): Some 52% of financial services companies in the Asia Pacific region have adopted artificial intelligence (AI), higher than the average level of 41% across industries.

This is according to a survey of 168 business leaders and 94 workers from the financial services industry jointly conducted by Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific.

This indicates that the financial services industry is more advanced than others in the region, the survey says. And the use of AI has led to positive tangible results.

Financial services companies recorded better customer engagement, higher competitiveness, accelerated innovation, higher margins and improved business intelligence, according to the survey.

Still, there are challenges faced by financial services companies in adopting AI.

These include the lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs, lack of thought leadership and lack of advanced analytics and tools, the survey notes.

Scepticism among employees also plays a factor, according to Connie Leung, senior director, financial services business lead, Microsoft Asia.

“There is clearly much more to be done at the top to encourage empowerment, innovation and greater collaboration for FSI organizations to unlock the potential of AI and deliver new revenue streams that will in turn improve bottom-line performance,” she says.

Victor Lim, vice president, consulting operations, IDC Asia/Pacific, says AI deployment and development need to be explored from a more holistic perspective.