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Artificial Intelligence-enabled financial complaints management for central banks in Africa

Proto Africa and Bankable Frontiers Associates Global (BFA)
Context

Consumer protection frameworks exist in most African countries but, due to capacity shortfalls and reliance on manual processes, regulators cannot ensure their effective adoption. This need for more suitable tools is especially critical given the large volume of first-time financial consumers susceptible to misconduct.

The project will establish a complaints-handling system for financial regulators, using multi-lingual chatbots and Artificial Intelligence that will interface with key financial service providers in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia. The system will incorporate key local languages for ease of use, record customer complaints, including audio complaints from those unable to read and write, and track their resolution across all regulated financial institutions.

Objectives

For central banks

  • Decrease manual burden of complaints management by automating the collection and categorisation of at least 40% of the annual complaint volume.
  • Raise financial institution accountability by delivering automated and tracked reminders to financial institutions to enable fixed response times and the creation of complaints processing standards.
  • Increase speed of identifying market misconduct by collecting highly-structured data, conducting analysis of complaint trends and notifying central bank staff of potential market misconduct.
  • Deliver a solution for women by women by implementing technical components of the solution using a team with 3 trained female engineers from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
  • Improve financial literacy by enabling proactive communication with financial consumers via messaging apps and SMS to allow central banks to deliver financial advice to consumers who are most likely to benefit from increased financial knowledge and automatically collecting data when a customer sends a complaint.
  • Promote greater trust in the state and the central banks by strengthening consumer protection and service quality and establishing direct engagement with financial consumers, especially in overlooked rural areas.

For financial service providers (FSPs)

  • Reduce customer care investment by reducing required effort to collect customers complaints.
  • Seize this opportunity to enhance the customer retention by improving end-user experience and increasing their trust and loyalty in financial service providers.

For customers

  • Improve customer experience by creating an inclusive and reliable means of financial complaint recourse via central banks for all customers, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with reduced duration of complaints processing.
  • Increase financial inclusion for customers on low incomes and living in rural areas by enabling consumers to make complaints in all major languages of their state via messaging apps and SMS feature phones, as well dialogue with chatbots.
  • Strengthen the voice of consumers in communication with regulators and financial service providers.
Outcomes
  • Clear understanding of central banks/end-users’ expectations
  • Adhesion of stakeholders and customers
  • Positive changes within the ecosystem due to a better complaint management
Impact
  • Increased number of customers (especially the most vulnerable people, including women) effectively sharing their complaints through the platform, as well as the number of complaints successfully handled
  • Improved tracking of customer complaints made to financial services providers
  • Strengthened support for marginalised groups, which will build confidence in the use of financial services
  • Improved collection of consistent data to be used for the development or improvement of consumer-protection policies

ADFI Focus Areas

Digital Products and Innovation
Customer Awareness Creation Programs

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