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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Getting out of debt is hard. If it were easy, the statistics would tell us we are making headway in reducing household debt. However, your bank book doesn’t lie and we continue to struggle.

We all talk about the importance of discipline around reducing debt – but the human brain isn’t always wired to make the best decisions, and artificial intelligence just might be the answer that will enable us to help us. It can act as that inner voice of reason we can tend to ignore.

“If the power of predictive technology is harnessed in a significant way, Canadians can find money they didn’t know they had and start paying down debt,” according to Neil McLaughlin, group head, personal and commercial banking at RBC.

We so often think about cutting back on discretionary expenses, tracking cash flow, and sticking to the dreaded budget. But you have to wonder if this approach is outdated. You have heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It just makes sense to explore new options and that is where AI comes into play.

An example of AI working to help with saving is NOMI Find & Save, a tool introduced by RBC in October 2017. It uses predictive technology to find money that people can spare and automatically saves it for them.   

The potential of this technology to impact savings on a mass scale is great. According to RBC, the average NOMI Find & Save client saves $150 per month. In a year, that’s $1,800 that could be put towards household debt and ultimately savings.

Some are skeptical when it comes to predictive technology, kind of like big brother looking over your shoulder, making some feel very uncomfortable. However, if it can help you make behavioural
changes so that savings become automatic –  and not an afterthought.

It might even give some credence to the concept of becoming “the automatic millionaire.”