Ant Financial said this week its latest AI-powered technology has helped 27 China-based asset management companies increase their operational efficiency by 70%, widening their customer base while halving their costs.
Launched in July last year and called “Caifuhao,” which means “wealth” in Chinese, it is an AI-managed interactive service for which asset-management firms can sign up on Ant Financial’s wealth-management online platform, Ant Fortune.
By opening a Caifuhao account, the firms can directly communicate with their customers, share relevant information, including investment tips, answers to questions posted by customers and make customized recommendations for various financial products that meet the customers’ individual needs.
Caifuhao also provides an unprecedented opportunity for asset-management companies to get to know their customers, many of whom purchased the fund via a third party sales channel, such as a bank or other financial institution. The connection helps both sides have a better, more insightful and personalized experience, said Ant Financial.
Speaking at the Ant Fortune Partners Summit in Beijing Monday, Zu Guoming, Ant Financial’s vice president of wealth management business group, said China’s asset-management industry is experiencing an “incredible digital transformation, with customer service becoming increasingly more important than sales functions.”
“With our proven track record of supporting financial institutions, Ant Financial is ready to share a full suite of AI capabilities with ecosystem partners in the asset-management industry,” he added.
Together with its joint-venture partners dotted around the world, Ant Financial currently has over 870 million users globally. The company aims to provide the latest technologies to help its partners in China’s burgeoning financial industry upgrade their digital capabilities and increase their operational efficiency. Ant Financial is also the operator of Alipay, the most-ubiquitous e-wallet in China.
In recent months, Ant Financial has accelerated the pace at which it’s opening up its array of technological capabilities, including blockchain, various AI-products and cloud-based tools, to financial institutions. Chinese banks including Huaxia Bank, China Everbright Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, China CITIC Bank and Bank of Tianjin have all sought out Ant Financial to support their digital transformation.
Driven by machine learning and AI technologies, Caifuhao is an intuitive technology that helps asset-management companies establish a more-intimate relationship with customers. The smart system can also churn out the most-suitable content for users, attracting more traffic.
According to Ant, for companies that have opened a Caifuhao account, the collective number of daily visitors has increased 10 times. Investment made by returning customers has also grown threefold.
Among the 27 companies is China’s biggest asset-management company, Tianhong Asset Management Co.
“Many of the subscribers of our Caifuhao account write to us and share with us their investment ideas and their own analysis of the market. Even those who have only invest 10 RMB will get regular personalized greetings from us. This is a big, pleasant surprise for many of our fans,” said Xiao Zhigang, a Tianhong manager
Other firms that have established Caifuhao accounts include Misheng Royal Fund Management, China Asset Management, and Bank of Communications Schroder Fund Management.
Ant said the 27 companies are among the more than 100 asset-management companies that have signed up to join the Ant Fortune platform since its inception in 2015, representing over 90% of all fund-management companies in China.
Launched in 2015, Ant Fortune serves as a comprehensive wealth-management platform that caters to individual consumers with little financial management expertise.
Traditionally, most wealth management products available in China were designed for high-net worth investors and portfolio management and require both time and expertise. Ant Fortune launched, hoping to provide investment options for those who have little time or know-how to increase their wealth by lowering the threshold of participation, Ant Financial said.