Spain’s CaixaBank and Microsoft have signed an agreement to create an artificial intelligence (AI) innovation lab and develop hybrid work environments in the metaverse.
Through the new laboratory, the two companies say they will create solutions using AI such as the development of a hybrid work environment in the metaverse and other “immersive” virtual environments to enable interactions between CaixaBank employees and customers.
CaixaBank Tech, a new IT susbsidiary of the bank launched in 2021, will be involved in the setup of the AI innovation lab, which will be located in Barcelona. Microsoft’s AI R&D hub in the city will be involved in the collaboration.
The projects will aim to improve efficiency, customer experience, cybersecurity and other areas, according to the firms.
An example they give is the creation of a “cyber-assistant” that could help employees and back-office units to “significantly reduce low-value-added tasks so they can devote more time to their main activities”.
“The combination of CaixaBank’s in-depth knowledge of financial markets with Microsoft’s experience in AI and other innovative technologies will make it easier to develop solutions that will transform the experience of financial services customers,” says Alberto Granados, president of Microsoft Spain.
As part of the agreement, CaixaBank and Microsoft will also run training curriculums for the bank’s technical and business departments along with enhancing technical training on cloud, security, data management and AI.
CaixaBank is Spain’s largest bank and a major financial institution in Europe with 20.4 million customers and 11 million customers for its online banking and digital services.