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For Greek Banks, Virtual Advisors Will Replace Humans

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

ATHENS - You knew this was coming - now fast - when virtual advisors will replace human account managers at Greek banks and banking will be done with a computer and more likely, a phone, for virtually - make that actually - all services.

In a feature report, Kathimerini outlined how fast it’s happening with customer experience rapidly being digitalized across many platforms, with online banking becoming increasingly dominant and just no need to go into a building to make a deposit, withdrawal, get a loan, get a mortgage or talk to a real person.

Bank officials overseeing the turnover from brick-and-mortar offices - many of which are fast being shut down across the country - told the newspaper that technology is mutating everything in the sector and that soon there may be only a few real banks left standing, people doing their banking instead on through artificial intelligence and connected networks and devices.

Officials said virtual advisors will be able to help customers with whatever they need - including, hopefully, when an ATM takes your money but doesn’t credit it to your account - and that there won’t be any need to talk to a human, except to sort out a problem and that can be done on the phone and not at a bank branch because there won’t be any.

Clients can be provided with a virtual financial adviser who can advise them on a wide range of financial management issues, including getting a loan or a mortgage - some companies already offer this on a phone and on the spot.

Those programs can also provide ideas about travel, based on algorithms that analyze the clients’ transaction patterns if clients allow, the report said, and the virtual advisors can draw up an individual or family budget for any length of time and give virtual advice.

The turnover will be tough for older customers swept into the digital age and used to going into a bank to get their pension and other services and for whom the experience is a chance to socialize, with some elderly unable or unwilling to use computers or phones.

The change also means you can send money on your phone or through other social media devices and that there won’t be any communication with bank workers anymore because there just won’t be any left