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Swiss banks spend more on online advertising but lag in AI

Retail banks have increased investment in digital marketing by 16% in a bid to attract younger clients. 

In 2023, budgeted sums in this segment will total CHF 47.6 million ($52.8 million), up 16% on last year, according to an estimate by Colombus Consulting in its study on the digitalisation of the customer experience, published on Thursday.

UBS, Postfinance and Raiffeisen occupy the online advertising podium. 

+ Troubled Swiss banking sector sees drop in profits

"The major retail banks have invested massively in new digital functions, while maintaining a hybrid approach with relationship services and advisers who remain at the centre of customer relations," Jean Meneveau, Associate Director of Colombus Consulting Switzerland, was quoted in a press release. The banking sector has made a special effort for its under-18 customers by introducing dedicated applications for "spending, saving, growing pocket money, sponsoring and sending money to friends".

In terms of audience, monthly visits to the websites of Swiss establishments - more than a quarter of which come from organic or paid search - fell by 8.7% to 26 million, while the number of subscribers for the industry as a whole on the main social networks jumped by 16% to 2.7 million.

While the financial services sector is keen on artificial intelligence (AI), as evidenced by various projects focusing on conversational services, banks are investing twice as much in this area in the United States as in Europe. 

"Banking software vendors are also keen to lead the way, notably Temenos, which now offers generative AI within its platform for its banking customers," said Meneveau.

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