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HPS’s Abdeslam Alaoui Smaili Talks AI, Big Data and the Generation Gap

by Matthew Dove

As the theme of family ran throughout the HPS User Group Meeting, we thought it fitting to quiz its chairman and HPS executive director, Abdeslam Alaoui Smaili, on the generation gap…

In Marrakech, you mentioned that Generation Glass (or Generation Z) has “become the product”, what do you see as the long-term outcomes of such data-centric business models?

I believe that we will see very personalised offers, fitting perfectly with customers’ needs. I believe that suppliers would also be able to stimulate needs in a much efficient way. I guess that regulators would jump in to protect consumers of being completely at the suppliers’ mercy.

Mohamed Horani mentioned in his opening remarks that AI is needed to process and analyse the vast amounts of data being mined by such models. Is it possible to assess the true value of this data before the potential of such technology is fully realised?

The AI is reality now, we can see this live in the cars without drivers, in medicine, in financial risk analysis, fraud … And the pace of progress is phenomenal, the computing power offered today is opening new horizons as well.

Is it possible that the value of all this data is vastly overestimated?

I do not think so, it has real value today.

I believe that we will see very personalised offers, fitting perfectly with customers’ needs. I believe that suppliers would also be able to stimulate needs in a much efficient way.

My father was loyal to his bank because it gave him a mortgage when he was 26. Can it be argued that Generation Glass (GG) isn’t loyal to financial services providers because it isn’t being offered anything meaningful?

I guess that the programmed obsolescence in which GG has lived does not help to build loyalty to brands or products. The loyalty to a brand resides in its digital visibility: how many likes it has, but as soon as this starts to reduce, the loyalty vanishes as well.

In Marrakech, you mentioned that GG is less careful (with data etc.) than previous generations. Do you agree that GG is less careful because it has less to lose in terms of its lack of access to mortgages, loans, jobs for life etc.?

The fact that GG shares intentionally a significant amount of personal and sometimes intimate information on the social network they do not mind serving more.

What steps should fintechs and legacy institutions be taking to gain and retain the loyalty of GG? What is HPS doing?

I trust that GG loyalty can be retained by offering them what they expect and this can be achieved by constantly analysing their consumption behaviour, and being a step ahead of their needs. This can be achieved using consumption habit information. HPS, on its side, offers tools to analyse the trends and make sure that the offers in the markets can be adjusted to customer needs in a very agile, quick and cost effective way.

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