Doubling down on digital personalization, TD snaps up AI company

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As more banks look to offer greater personalization to customers through digital services, the artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that helps power those personalized interactions has become a hot commodity.

TD Bank cut the latest deal in the space, announcing this week that it had acquired Layer 6, an AI company based in Toronto that uses technology to offer personalized and predictive communications to financial services customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a report in The Globe and Mail said it was worth more than $100 million.

TD has been among the banks at the forefront of personalization; it already partners with the personal financial management firm Moven and the tech startup Flybits to deliver customized financial advice to clients.

In an interview with American Banker last month, TD Bank’s vice president of innovation framework and strategies, Tim Hogarth said, personalization is a key aspect of AI technology. “I think personalization of the customer experience is the most underutilized area of AI,” he said.

Indeed, many banks are already planning for a future where an “ultimate virtual assistant” would function as the all-encompassing virtual digital financial advisory tool in consumers’ lives.

"I want to be able to call my smart assistant — say he's named Alfred — whether I'm in my car using Siri or at home using Google Home or at the office using Alexa," Moven founder Brett King said in a recent episode of his “Breaking Banks” podcast. "I want Alfred to be able to answer me and know me. He should know who I am just based on my voice pattern."

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Artificial intelligence Predictive analytics Machine learning Client retention Client strategies PFM Digital banking TD Bank