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Have we created Generative Finance yet?

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Question: Have we created Generative Finance yet?

Answer: No.

Everyone has been talking about Generative AI for the past year or so, particularly after ChatGPT and OpenAI hit the market … and yet a lot finance is still really dumb. Where is the intelligence in finance? And, when we do get AI integrated with finance, will it be Generative Finance or something else?

Well, it’s difficult, some would say.

The issue is that most of the data in traditional banks is all over the place. It has not been rationalised and consolidated effectively, which means the bank has a fragmented view of the customer’s data. You cannot be intelligent if data is dumb.

This is the big opportunity being leveraged by challenger banks, such as Monzo who just hit nine million customers. Monzo launched nine years ago and has grown rapidly by being cooler and more informative about personal finance than traditional banks. More than this, and their killer app advantage, is being more intelligent about finance which, surprisingly, is the theme of my new book.

The reason for this intelligence is that they don’t have data spread across the organisation in silos and historical structures. They started afresh and anew, and therefore can be far more focused and integrated with customer data than traditional financial providers.

Another example of Generative Finance development is Bunq, the major Dutch challenger bank. In a December 2023 press release, they announced that they are the first AI-driven bank. They have also been quite successful, hitting eleven million users across Europe at the end of last year, and have rolled out a service called Finn (sounds a bit Chase to me) which answers any question you have about your financial life. Stealing from their press release:

Finn will be familiar to anyone who’s ever used OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It has a chat-style text box where users can ask questions or seek advice about their bank account, spending habits, saving and anything else related to money. Finn gives answers to advanced questions like “What is the average amount I spend on groceries per month?” or “How much did I spend on Amazon this year?”. It can even combine data to answer questions that go beyond transactions, such as “What was that Indian place I went to with a friend in London?”, or “How much did I spend at the cafe near Central Park last Saturday?”

This does intrigue me as my traditional bank just gives me transactional data based upon their traditional system. You spent this much at this place on that date. In fact, it’s worse than that as, when I say this place, it’s usually SPRC123. Some internal bank code that represents this place.

So, when we talk about Generative Finance – integrating AI with transactions – what we are really talking about is a world where every single time I pay, anytime, anywhere, is intelligent. It’s intelligent money. It’s Generative Finance.

In a few short years, this will be the biggest challenge for dumb banks. How can we create Generative Finance?

If Monzo, Bunq, Chime, NuBank, WeBank and others can do this – because they started with a blank sheet of paper from day one with fully integrated customer data – how can we do this? If we, the traditional bank providers, have data everywhere in silos and zero integration but full fragmentation, what can we do to compete and keep up?

This will be the biggest battleground for the next decade.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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