Should mortgage lenders use artificial intelligence?

by Steve Randall13 Sep 2019

Artificial intelligence is permeating wide areas of our lives, often without us even knowing. But should the mortgage industry adopt the burgeoning technology?

A new report from TD Bank Group reveals a generally positive view of AI among Canadian consumers with 72% comfortable with companies using the technology.

But 68% of respondents said they don’t know the technology well enough to truly understand the risks.

As part of a discussion among experts from banking, fintech, technology, academia, public and not-for-profit organizations  around the responsible use of AI, it appears that while there could be advantages for the mortgage industry to use AI solutions to provide new or streamlined services to customers, it will need careful explanation to avoid damaging the trust that customers put in the industry.

“The trust that our customers place in us is central to our innovation philosophy, no matter which set of technologies we're exploring," says Michael Rhodes, Group Head, Innovation, Technology and Shared Services at TD. "As the adoption of AI develops and continues across financial services, we believe this is a critical time to advance an industry-wide discussion that moves beyond principles to create world-class services for Canadians in a responsible way. We see this report as an important step in that direction."

Consumer concerns

The TD report finds that consumers are most concerned about control over how their data is used (70%), transparency about the use of the technology (55%), and that decisions made using AI are easy to understand and explain (28%). 

There are also concerns about a detrimental impact on society (77%) and the speed at which AI is being rolled out, which impacts understanding of the risks.

A lack of diversity of those working in the AI space is also a concern as it could lead to bias within the technology.

"It is clear that Canadians recognize the value that AI and digital tools can add to their lives, and want their banks to keep pace with innovation, but they're looking for a greater understanding of the technology and how it is being used," says Rhodes. "We want to ensure we are building and supporting an approach to AI that keeps consumer trust at the centre."

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