TD announces AI-driven advice service

MyTD will provide quick financial advice to customers, but bank insists it won’t replace the role of expert humans

TD announces AI-driven advice service

TD Bank Group today announced a new AI-driven advice service called MyTD.

Still in its test phase, MyTD will use predictive AI models developed by Layer 6 to give customers quick assessments of their finances and help them make day-to-day decisions. TD insists that the new service won’t conflict with the role human financial advisors play in customers’ lives. 

“We see what we're doing, from an AI perspective, as complementary,” says Imran Khan, Vice President, Digital Customer Experience at TD. “The intelligence that we're bringing to the customer…it's not the kinds of things they're going to a financial advisor for. It's small ‘a’ advice.”

Khan cites the example of a client who’s overspent in the last month, debating whether to leave a bill unpaid, pay it from savings, or take out a line of credit. He claims that MyTD will be able to give that client advice in real time, over a financial question they’d normally keep private. Khan thinks that the intelligence gained from MyTD could even help advisors when their clients need bigger-picture advice.

“It’s good for [an advisor] to know the customer has managed their cash flow in a certain way, maybe they took money out of savings,” says Khan. “It gives everybody that full view and that full capability.” Though it’s still early days for MyTD, Khan sees a time when the AI will recognize when a client is ready to make a major financial decision, like buying a home, and send them to an advisor to pursue that goal.

MyTD will start out as part of the TD mobile app, though Khan doesn’t see the product as exclusively geared towards millennials. He claims a broader range of clients are more algorithm-friendly and know how much of their information TD has at its disposal. “They’re looking at the bank and saying, ‘you guys have the insights and intelligence about me, don’t make me do all the heavy lifting'.” MyTD, in Khan’s view, will use AI to do a little more work for customers.

Even with the AI lifting more of the customers’ decision-making burden, Khan doesn’t see it replacing the work of human advice. “It’s not advanced enough for that,” he says, “and we believe that human expertise is still required.”

TD bank hasn’t set a hard launch date for MyTD, but Khan expects a rollout soon. Given the service’s information-gathering capabilities, he thinks it won’t be long before it’s taken out of testing and widely available to customers.