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By Michael Rhodes
• Jan 9, 2018
Michael Rhodes is Group Head, Innovation, Technology and Shared Services, TD Bank Group

TD has announced the acquisition of Layer 6 Inc. (Layer 6), a Toronto-based global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Layer 6 has rapidly emerged as a global thought-leader and pioneer in the delivery of responsive and personalized experiences for the financial services industry. They have an award winning technology platform that last year the won the prestigious RecSys Challenge, one of the world's leading AI forums. For context, Alibaba won this respected award the year before.

There's no denying that there's a lot of hype around AI in the marketplace. So what's the opportunity for banking? And more importantly, how does this tie back to TD's strategy of solving for business problems, vs. chasing the next trend?

For us, it all comes down to how AI can be used drive value for our customers through predictive and personalized experiences. It does this in the following ways:

  1. AI takes banking back to the 1970’s. No doubt AI is the future of banking, but the irony is that it will actually take us back to a time (somewhere around the early 1970’s) when we knew everything about each and every one of our customers, truly understanding their needs at a personal level, and offered services to support those needs. Today with the amount of available data to power our AI capabilities, we have a tremendous opportunity to know our customer better and deliver experiences they wouldn’t have ever imagined.
  2. AI makes our people better. By creating better insights at the right time in the right channels, the technology can help people do their jobs better, more efficiently, and with a better customer experience.
  3. AI is making banking more human. When we talk about becoming an AI or data driven organization, we mean that we are focused on driving value from the data that we have to deliver better experiences for our customers, making banking better. Think of it this way – a phone channel colleague will be able to have a more meaningful conversation because software is analyzing the customer's journey and needs in real-time; loans can be approved faster; and digital applications can provide more personalized offers, advice and interactions, and so much more. It's about knowing our customers better to bring value and simplify the banking experience – and their lives.

As TD continues to accelerate its transformation AI will play a central role to elevate – and re-invent - the customer experience. We're thrilled to have acquired Layer 6 to carry us forward on this journey. Connecting the talent and capabilities of Layer 6 with our digital, data and technology ecosystem will accelerate our transformation and enable us to drive relevant, timely customer interactions in the moments that matter.

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