Two out of three financial services (FS) sector firms say artificial intelligence provides competitive edge and improves operational efficiency in spite of worries around data privacy and protection, a PwC-FICCI survey has found.

The survey of leaders of Indian financial institutions found 83% of the respondents saying enhancing customer experience is the top driver for AI-enabled use cases. Chat automation, fraud detection and AI virtual assistants are the top three use cases deployed widely across the FS industry, it said. Among the respondents, 57% said AI will give them a competitive edge over their peers. Enhancing customer experience, improving productivity and increasing revenue were the three key drivers.

While 83% of the respondents say they have a well-defined AI strategy, 65% say they are ahead of their peers in AI implementation, despite the dynamically changing AI landscape.

According to the survey, the top concerns of FS industry relate to availability of data, privacy of consumers and security of data, integration, operationalisation and maintenance of AI infrastructure, and the very distinctive and progressive skills required for success in AI. PwC says that its benchmarking of the current regulatory landscape for AI in India against that of global counterparts suggests the need for a well laid out and evolving regulatory plan across the entire FS industry and covering different risk categories. The findings of the survey also points to the need for a responsible AI framework to ensure ethical, fair, transparent and accountable practices.

According to the survey, India's current law infrastructure is at a nascent stage and does not address the implications of biased data outcomes, sharing of sensitive or personal data/information, not taking responsibility in the case of an accident involving human/property losses, AI model and outcome transparency, AI robots and their eventual rights (citizenship, licences, etc.) and intellectual property rights (IPRs), copyrights, competition laws and patent credits, etc.

The survey was conducted to understand the current adoption, sentiments, use cases, challenges and future aspirations surrounding AI across financial services sectors like banking, insurance and NBFCs, asset and wealth management and payments industries.

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