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Microsoft Partners With Spanish Bank For AI Development


By Michelle D. Madsen

CaixaBank and Microsoft are changing financial expectations.

The Spanish bank and the software/cloud-computing giant have inked a strategic joint partnership to advance artificial intelligence (AI) applications for financial solutions and build creative work environments in the metaverse.

(AI means building smart machines that can perform tasks that require human intelligence.)

The AI Innovation Lab will build concept testing, prototypes and use cases to study how AI can disrupt and change financial services.

This effort will increase efficiency, customer experience and cybersecurity. A cyber-assistant could help employees and back-office units eliminate low-value-added duties, allowing them to focus on their main responsibilities. Another option is to develop user interface systems so customers and employees can utilize plain language with bank technology.

The work also involve CaixaBank Tech, a unit created in 2021, to improve the CaixaBank Group’s technological progress. This CaixaBank IT subsidiary has AI experts and a Centre of Excellence to boost innovation. A new Barcelona Laboratory will cooperate alongside Microsoft’s AI R&D cluster, which employs almost 100 software developers, data scientists and machine-learning professionals.

CaixaBank is known in financial circles for its high-tech offerings and innovations. (CaixaBank)

CaixaBank and Microsoft will construct interactive virtual worlds (metaverses) to improve consumer and employee experiences and hybrid work environments. The metaverse offers numerous opportunities in the financial sector, from creating a new interaction channel to incorporating and developing talent.

“CaixaBank began exploring AI use cases in the financial sector more than a decade ago. Since then, we’ve become one of the most active players in delivering new AI-based solutions, with global firsts and a benchmark team domestically and internationally,” said Luis Javier Blas Agüeros, CaixaBank’s media director.

He said collaborating with Microsoft on AI research would speed up product development and provide the bank’s clients and workers access to cutting-edge tech.

“Combining CaixaBank’s financial market expertise with Microsoft’s AI and other breakthrough technologies will make it easier to develop solutions that improve the customer’s experience with financial services,” says Alberto Granados, president, Microsoft Spain.

CaixaBank is based in Valencia, Spain, with major operations in Madrid and Barcelona. (CaixaBank)

CaixaBank is among Spain’s most advanced AI-using institutions. The bank trained conversational AI in Spanish and implemented cognitive assistants to help employees and customers. CaixaBank is also using AI to produce solutions for managers and customers, as well as employee training.

CaixaBank and Microsoft will create a number of training curriculums for the bank’s technical and business departments, including the AI Business School for Financial Services, which intends to deliver strategic expertise on the influence of AI on financial services, enhanced cloud, security and data management.

CaixaBank has 20.7 million customers and the largest branch (5,314) and ATM (14,426) network in Spain and Portugal. It also has a 73.1 percent share of digital customers in Spain, as of the end of 2021.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

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