CaixaBank and Microsoft create an innovation laboratory in Artificial Intelligence and metaverse

  • In this AI Innovation Lab, companies will create experiences based on disruptive applications of Artificial Intelligence, such as the development of hybrid work scenarios in the metaverse and immersive virtual environments in which CaixaBank employees and customers interact.
  • The new laboratory will allow to execute projects together between AI specialists from CaixaBank and the developers, data scientists and experts in machine learning that integrate the AI R&D Hub of Microsoft in Barcelona.
  • CaixaBank is one of the most recognized banks for the use of Artificial Intelligence in banking, with pioneering innovation projects at an international level and operational services for customers and employees.

CaixaBank and Microsoft have established a strategic joint innovation agreement with the aim of promoting the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in new financial solutions, as well as creating new innovative work environments located in the Metaverse.

The agreement implies the commissioning of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation Lab between both entities, with special involvement of CaixaBank Tech, the technology company launched in 2021 to boost the technological evolution of the CaixaBank Group. This CaixaBank IT subsidiary has a team of professionals specialized in the application of Artificial Intelligence to the financial sector, and also has its own Center of Excellence to promote innovation in this area. The new Laboratory, located in Barcelona, works in coordination with the R&D Hub in Artificial Intelligence that Microsoft has in the city, composed of about a hundred developers of software, data scientists and specialists in machine learning.

Disruption in financial services thanks to Artificial Intelligence

The AI Innovation Lab will focus on developing proofs of concept, prototypes and use cases that explore disruption in financial services from the application of AI technologies.

Among the first co-innovation projects identified, those standing out are related to the improvement of AI models using new incipient technologies that are currently in the field of research, as well as the ones that incorporates Artificial Intelligence in the day to day (‘AI at Scale’).

These initiatives may be aimed at improving the efficiency of processes, the customer experience or cybersecurity, among other areas. An example of these innovative projects is the creation of a ‘cyber assistant’, which would help employees and backoffice units to significantly reduce the activities of lower added value they perform, in order to have more time for managing their main activities. Another possibility would be to explore the improvement of the user interfaces of the systems, so that both customers and employees can communicate with the technology of the entity through natural language, without having to remember menus or circuits.

CaixaBank and Microsoft will also work on the creation of interactive virtual environments (metaverses) that offer immersive experiences, with applications in the improvement of the experience of customers and employees, as well as in the implementation of hybrid work scenarios. The metaverse can have multiple possibilities in the financial sector, from the creation of a new interaction channel that would extend the customer experience to the creation of internal collaboration models in virtual offices, through the incorporation and development of talent, among many others.

«CaixaBank began to explore the uses of Artificial Intelligence in the financial sector more than a decade ago and that has made it one of the most active entities in the launch of new services based on this technology, with projects that have been a novelty worldwide, and a professional team of reference nationally and internationally. Joining forces with Microsoft in Artificial Intelligence research will help us accelerate the creation of real products and solutions by applying the most innovative technology that exists in this field and thus make it available to our customers and employees,» says Luis Javier Blas Agüeros, Media Director at CaixaBank.

«The combination of CaixaBank’s deep knowledge of the financial market, with Microsoft’s expertise in Artificial Intelligence and other innovative technologies, will facilitate the development of solutions that will transform the experience of financial services customers,» says Alberto Granados, President, Microsoft Spain.

CaixaBank is the most innovative bank in the application of Artificial Inteligence to financial services in Spain.  The entity has been a pioneer worldwide in the training in Spanish of  conversational AI and in the implementation of cognitive assistants to serve employees and customers. Today, CaixaBank is applying the full power of AI to the development of tools for its managers and customers, as well as to other strategic objectives, such as the training of its employees.

Professional training to accelerate innovation

As part of the co-innovation agreement between the two companies, CaixaBank and Microsoft will define a series of training itineraries for professionals in the bank’s technical and business areas, including the AI Business School for Financial Services, a training program whose objective is to acquire strategic knowledge about the impact of the application of Artificial Intelligence to financial services. Likewise, technical training in the areas of cloud, security, data management and AI will be reinforced, in line with the specialization in technological careers that is promoted at CaixaBank Tech.

About CaixaBank

CaixaBank is the leading financial group in Spain. With a volume of assets of 689,217 million euros, it is the largest bank in the domestic market and holds a relevant position at European level.  Its strong presence in Portugal stands out, where it controls 100% of BPI.  The group, chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri and led by Gonzalo Gortázar, has 20.4 million customers, the largest network of branches and ATMs in Spain and Portugal and the leadership in digital banking, with a base of 11 million digital customers.

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