Adding cash flow prediction to RBC’s AI-powered assistant could help narrow gap with mobile money management rivals

The news: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has rolled out a new feature for its mobile AI-powered financial assistant, NOMI, that forecasts customers’ cash flows for seven days.

  • The feature, NOMI Forecast, provides cash flow insights by predicting scheduled pre-authorized account withdrawals.
  • RBC said the tool gives customers “a more holistic view of their account activity” and cited payments for mortgages and subscription services as uses for it.

More on this: NOMI Forecast will complement several mobile features that can give users more personalized control over their finances and security:

  • NOMI Find & Save: A special account and analysis tool that uses predictive technology to scan customers’ transactions and find savings opportunities. Excess funds that the feature highlights are placed in the special account.
  • NOMI Budgets: This tool creates a personalized suggested budget for users, keeps track of five types of spending, and uses a tracker to show customers how their finances are doing relative to their budgets.
  • Two-step verification: When it announced its forecasting-tool, RBC also said it’s giving app users a way to designate their mobile device as the primary way to access their accounts. If customers use other devices for access, RBC will give them an in-app authentication process instead of requiring them to fetch a security code from their emails or text messages.

The big takeaway: RBC’s addition of cashflow forecasting fills a key gap in its mobile feature lineup and should perform respectably with customers.

The ability for users to view a prediction of how spending and upcoming bills will affect their balance was the fourth-most in-demand money management feature in our 2021 Canada Mobile Banking Emerging Features Benchmark.

  • In the report, 16.7% of respondents deemed it “extremely valuable” and another 26.2% felt it would be “very valuable.”
  • However, only two out of seven sampled Canadian banks offered a cash flow feature, suggesting that unmet need is sizable.

RBC could benefit from broadening its digital money management mobile lineup: It came in fourth for the category, even though it finished first overall. In contrast, BMO and TD Bank, which already had cash flow features, placed first and second for money management.