Request a demo

generative ai for financial services
generative ai for financial services

Harnessing Generative AI for Financial Services Innovation: What You Need to Know

Saurabh Bajaj

Oct 18, 2023

The digital transformation of financial services has skyrocketed in recent years, opening up new avenues for innovation and optimization. Among the vanguard of these technologies is generative AI, a subfield of artificial intelligence known for many uses, such as creating new content, be it text, images, or complex simulations. Generative AI for financial services will mean institutions adopting it for various applications from fraud detection to customer service.

According to the renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in their article “Financial services will embrace generative AI faster than you think”, the financial services industry will be one of the big winners of the generative AI revolution by cleverly utilizing large language models trained on historical financial data, driving innovation in a variety of human labor-intensive use cases.

This comprehensive article will guide you through the evolutionary journey of generative AI, its underlying mechanisms, and its diverse applications. We'll also explore the challenges and ethical considerations that accompany this innovative technology.

Here’s what you’ll learn about how generative AI will be used for financial services:

  • The evolutionary journey of generative AI

  • How generative AI works

  • Evaluating generative AI models

  • Types of generative AI models: an overview

  • Why use Generative AI for financial services?

  • Generative AI use cases in financial services

  • Challenges and future directions

The evolutionary journey of generative AI

Generative AI is not a new concept; it has been around since the 1960s, initially appearing in chatbots. However, generative AI gained significant traction in 2014 with the introduction of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). These networks could create convincingly authentic images, videos, and audio of real people. 

Since then, the technology has evolved rapidly with transformers and large language models (LLMs) playing a critical role in its mainstream adoption. 

The journey from simple algorithms to complex neural networks has been nothing short of revolutionary, and the future promises even more advancements.

How generative AI works

Generative AI models leverage different learning approaches, including unsupervised or semi-supervised learning for training. This allows organizations to easily and quickly use a large amount of unlabeled data to create foundation models. 

Foundation models can then be used as a base for AI systems that can perform multiple tasks. Examples of such foundation models include GPT-4 and Stable Diffusion. The algorithms behind these models are complex but incredibly effective, often mimicking the human brain's neural pathways to generate realistic and coherent outputs.

The promise of this new technology is that it will transform industries that are still heavily reliant on the human touch. One such sector is banking and financial services, where a range of activities from personalized customer care to financial analysis, reporting, and risk management still require specially trained professionals to run.

Financial services institutions that embrace generative AI can thus be at the forefront of this transformation.

To do so, it’s worth to understand what exactly we mean by generative AI. What are the underlying models and their different use cases, and how do you choose the right one for the job? 

Let’s dive in.

Evaluating generative AI models

When evaluating a generative AI model, there are three key requirements to consider:

  1. Quality: The generated outputs should be of high quality. When it comes to the financial services industry, the model has to be as accurate as possible, as confident-sounding hallucinations would have dramatic consequences.

  2. Diversity: A good generative model should capture the minority modes in its data distribution without sacrificing generation quality.

  3. Speed: Many applications require fast generation, such as real-time image editing. These criteria are essential for assessing the effectiveness of a generative model and ensuring that it meets the specific needs of various applications.

While generative AI has become more of a catch-all phrase, it actually covers different technological approaches. The next section will provide a quick overview of the different kinds of models in use, and what they empower.

Types of generative AI models: an overview

types of generative ai models

Understanding the different types of generative AI models can help us grasp the technology's versatility and potential.  

Let’s take a closer look at a handful of the most noteworthy gen AI models:

  • Diffusion models

  • Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)

  • Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

  • Transformers

  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs)

Diffusion Models

Diffusion models, or denoising diffusion probabilistic models (DDPMs), are generative models that use a two-step process of forward and reverse diffusion to create high-quality outputs. 

These models excel at identifying subtle patterns, making them valuable for compliance or certain risk management processes. 

Additionally, diffusion models are optimal for synthetic data generation, which is useful for training AI models for fraud detection. However, they are computationally intensive and may not be ideal for real-time applications.

Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)

Variational Autoencoders (VAEs) are a type of generative model that consists of an encoder and a decoder. The encoder compresses input data into a latent space, and the decoder reconstructs the original data from this compressed form.

While VAEs are particularly useful for image or text generation due to their generative modeling abilities, within financial risk management they excel at tasks that require speed and efficiency, such as real-time fraud detection.

While they may not produce outputs as detailed as diffusion models, their faster processing times make them a practical choice for scenarios where quick anomaly detection at scale is essential. 

VAEs offer a balanced trade-off between quality and computational efficiency, making them a versatile tool in the generative AI landscape.

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are a class of generative models that consist of two neural networks: a generator and a discriminator. The generator creates new data, while the discriminator evaluates its authenticity, and the two networks are trained together to improve their performance.

GANs have gained prominence for their ability to produce highly realistic and detailed outputs, making them a strong choice for complex fraud detection tasks in the banking sector. Their capacity to generate data that closely mimics real-world transactions allows for more accurate and robust fraud detection systems than the traditional rules-based approaches.

Trained on historical data, they can accurately tell legitimate transactions while excelling at anomaly detection to predict if a transaction is fraudulent or not.

However, GANs can be computationally intensive and may require significant resources for training and deployment. Despite these challenges, their high-quality outputs make them a compelling option for fintech companies looking to enhance their fraud detection capabilities.


Though not traditional generative models, transformers like Google's BERT and OpenAI's GPT are effective in natural language processing (NLP) tasks and are incredibly versatile. Transformers have been adapted for various applications in generative AI, thanks to their highly parallelizable architecture and ability to handle sequences effectively.

Transformers have become increasingly popular in fintech for their versatility and efficiency. They can encode not just text but also transactional data, making them highly effective for both fraud detection and risk assessment. Additionally, their parallel processing capabilities enable quick decision-making, which is crucial in real-time applications.

Transformers also power virtual assistants, which can either augment the ability of risk analysts, help customer service agents, or act as customer-facing chatbots. 

While training generative AI models like transformers may require substantial computational resources, their speed, and adaptability make them valuable assets for organizations aiming to bolster their risk management systems.

Learn how to use the latest AI-powered lending and fraud prevention software for fintechs.

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs)

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are a class of neural networks designed to handle sequential data by maintaining a form of internal memory. This allows them to capture temporal dependencies, making them well-suited for tasks involving time-series data.

RNNs are often employed for fraud detection in time-sensitive transactions and for assessing risk in financial market trends. Their ability to capture sequential patterns enables them to identify irregularities over a period, providing a dynamic approach to fraud detection

However, RNNs can be prone to issues like vanishing or exploding gradients, making them less efficient for long sequences. Despite these limitations, their proficiency in handling time-series data makes them a useful tool for specific fraud and risk assessment scenarios in fintech.

Why use Generative AI for financial services?

generative ai for financial services use cases

Generative AI offers a unique set of capabilities that make it a transformative technology across the banking industry, both for incumbents and challengers. Financial tasks, risk management, and even customer service calls can be improved by deploying the right AI tools for the job. 

Here are some compelling reasons to consider using generative AI in the financial services space:

Versatility in Applications

Generative AI can produce a wide range of outputs, from text and images to more complex data structures. This versatility makes it applicable in diverse domains, whether it's generating summaries of financial reports to aid analysts or creating synthetic financial data for training machine learning algorithms in risk management.

Enhanced Decision-Making

Generative AI models can simulate various scenarios, providing valuable insights for decision-making processes. For instance, in fintech, as generative AI would have access to all the relevant data in the system, it can quickly make connections and recommend actions to analysts, providing the relevant context with human-legible reasoning to catch fraud that otherwise would be hard to spot.

Learn more about decision engines and how they are used in financial services, here: How decision engines transform digital businesses.

Data Augmentation

One of the significant challenges in machine learning is the lack of sufficient, high-quality data for training models. 

Generative AI can create synthetic data that augments existing datasets, thereby improving the training process and the model's subsequent performance. Public sentiment analysis is also made easier when it comes to predicting future trends in financial markets. 

Real-time Analysis

Advanced generative models can process and generate data in real time, making them ideal for applications that require immediate decision-making, such as real-time fraud detection in financial transactions. AI tools can analyze vast amounts of customer information, financial statements, transaction history, and other existing data to highlight risk factors beyond the capabilities of older machine-learning models.

Automation and Efficiency

Generative AI can automate various tasks, from content creation to customer service, thereby reducing manual effort and increasing operational efficiency. Virtual assistants can help human operators in their day-to-day work, whether it comes to analyzing financial data, creating reports, or communicating with customers, augmenting human expertise while cutting operational costs at the same time. 

In fact, an earlier study from this spring that monitored 5,179 customer support agents found that AI assistants increased productivity by an average of 14%.


Generative models can be trained to adapt to new patterns and scenarios quickly. This is particularly useful in rapidly evolving fields like risk management, where new types of threats emerge frequently. Trained on proprietary data, generative AI excels at anomaly detection, which means they are able to predict fraudulent transactions before they turn sour.

Personalization at Its Best

In personalization, Generative AI shines by offering tailored experiences and dynamic content generation. This enhances user engagement and boosts business performance by offering personalized and engaging user experiences, potentially leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention.

In the realm of fintech, the name of the game is “next best action”, which means using advanced AI tools to analyze the behavior and transactional history such as the spending habits of a customer, offering them tailored services or deals at just the right time.

Context-Aware Recommendations

Generative models can incorporate various contextual factors into their algorithms, such as location, time of day, sentiment analysis, and even current events. Context information can be paired with the usual analysis of user cohorts and historical data to automatically determine what would be the most enticing for a given user while they are browsing your website or app.

Neatly interwoven with personalization, context-aware recommendation systems (CARS) are the next evolution of recommendation engines and will play an important role in improving user experiences as well as conversion rates.

Realistic Simulations and Modeling

Generative AI has the prowess to create highly realistic simulations for various applications, such as generating synthetic transaction data. These simulations can significantly increase the efficiency of fraud detection algorithms by enhancing the training sets.

Generative AI is not just a technological advancement; it is a transformative force reshaping various industries and enriching our lives in numerous ways. As we continue to explore its capabilities, it promises to usher in a future where AI works alongside humans to create, innovate, and solve complex problems, marking a significant stride in artificial intelligence.

Generative AI use cases in financial services

AI risk decisioning
  • Risk Management and Fraud Detection and Prevention: Generative models can analyze patterns of normal transactions and generate anomaly detection algorithms to identify potential fraudulent activities.

  • Algorithmic Trading:  Generative algorithms can simulate market conditions and optimize trading strategies by generating predictive models for stock price movements.

  • Customer Service Chatbots: Virtual assistants can understand and respond to customer inquiries, providing real-time support for account-related queries or transaction issues.

  • Credit Scoring and Risk Assessment: Generative models can analyze diverse data sources to generate more accurate credit scores, incorporating non-traditional factors such as alternative data for a comprehensive risk assessment.

  • Personalized Financial Advice: Generative AI in financial services can analyze user financial data, preferences, and market trends to generate personalized investment advice and financial planning recommendations.

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Regulatory Compliance: Generative NLP models can assist in analyzing and interpreting complex regulatory documents to ensure compliance with financial regulations.

  • Portfolio Management Optimization: Generative algorithms can analyze historical market data, current economic conditions, and user preferences to generate optimized investment portfolios.

  • Market Sentiment Analysis: Generative models can analyze social media, news articles, and other textual data to gauge market sentiment, helping traders make informed decisions.

  • Credit Underwriting: AI tools can assist in underwriting processes by analyzing a wide range of data, from traditional risk factors to emerging trends, to assess credit risks accurately.

  • Predictive Customer Analytics: Generative models can analyze customer behavior data to predict future financial needs and preferences, enabling banks to offer targeted products and services.

Challenges and future directions

Despite its immense potential, generative AI is not without its challenges:

  • Scale of Compute Infrastructure: The computational requirements for training generative models are significant, necessitating substantial capital investment and technical expertise.

  • Sampling Speed: The time it takes to generate an instance may introduce latency, especially in interactive applications like chatbots.

  • Data Quality and Licenses: High-quality, unbiased data is essential for training generative models. Additionally, obtaining commercial licenses for existing datasets can be challenging.

  • Ethical Concerns: The rise of generative AI has also raised various ethical concerns, including the potential for misuse and abuse, such as generating fake news or impersonating people for social engineering attacks. The outputs may sometimes be inaccurate or biased. Organizations that rely on generative AI models should reckon with the reputational and legal risks involved in unintentionally publishing biased, offensive, or copyrighted content. To mitigate these risks, it's crucial to carefully select the initial data used to train these models and to keep a human in the loop to check the output before it is published or used. Ethical considerations are not just an afterthought; they are integral to the responsible development and deployment of these technologies.

Generative AI and financial services: driving innovation

With advancements in technology and a better understanding of their applications and limitations, generative AI applications, autonomous agents, and smart assistants are poised to become an integral part of financial services in the future. 

Even in its infancy, we are seeing promising applications of AI tools in finance, whether they augment human agents, power the next generation of risk-decisioning platforms, or offer tailored customer experiences. 

Whenever there’s a breakthrough in technology, there’s an opportunity for both established players and upstarts to leverage innovation and reshape the very meaning of the industry they operate in. At Oscilar, we are busy building the next-generation risk decisioning platform to aid the champions of tomorrow.

Next Steps: How to get started with generative AI risk decisioning for your business

Ready to revolutionize your decision-making with cutting-edge AI? Take the first step towards enhanced fraud detection, reduced false positives, and improved operational efficiency with Oscilar's Generative AI for Risk Decisioning. 

  • Join the RiskCon Community to be part of the largest group of experts in risk, credit underwriting, and fraud prevention.   

  • See the capabilities of the Oscilar platform by viewing our tour video

  • Sign up for the best newsletter in the Risk & Fraud management space below

  • Or by booking a demo directly to see Oscilar in action.

See Oscilar in action, schedule a demo