Why banks are betting on AI

Anti-money laundering, fraud prevention and sanctions processing are three of the key areas people working in in the payments industry see potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to play a role. In a survey of senior payment professionals in banks and corporates, 63% of those polled identified these three areas as potentially benefiting from AI that …

by | September 26, 2016 | bobsguide

Anti-money laundering, fraud prevention and sanctions processing are three of the key areas people working in in the payments industry see potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to play a role.

In a survey of senior payment professionals in banks and corporates, 63% of those polled identified these three areas as potentially benefiting from AI that can learn from previous experience and behaviour patterns.

That’s according to Pelican, a company that – it should be noted – helps financial institutions apply application technologies to transactions. Formerly known as ACE software solutions, Pelican says it combines tools such as natural language processing and machine learning to profile payments and apply human-like logic to transactions.

Pelican CEO Parth Desai says it’s time the industry “wakes up” to the need to replace manual processes and legacy systems for payments processing. He says the gradual appearance of AI into everyday life will raise consumer expectations of faster results and services in their banking products too.

“Not only is today’s bank customer used to getting results in an instant, they are also getting used to seeing AI in many aspects of their daily lives – whether it's online shopping to viewing TV,” says Desai.

Numbers at a glance

  • 92% believe industry needs better understanding of how AI technology can be applied to payments
  • 72% see strong potential for AI to help eliminate inefficiencies in payment processing
  • 67% say adoption of AI by banks will increase significantly in the next two years

Other areas ripe for AI also include customer retention, message repair and exception handling, as well as payment reconciliation, validation and authorisation.

Payments routing was identified by 65% of respondents as the area of payments that currently has the most inefficiencies.

Technology shifts

AI is one of the emerging technologies for which many see huge potential in financial services, but practical implementation is still in relatively early stages.

Santander’s corporate investment arm Innoventures named the technology as one of the key areas of focus for its newly-announced second fund.

Mariano Belinky, who heads up the fund in London said at the time of the announcement that the Bank is looking to invest in emerging technologies and regions.

This commitment allows the fund to continue expanding the work we are doing across geographies and investment themes. It will help us expand our portfolio to exciting geographies like Latin America and explore more opportunities across Europe. It will also allow us to explore new and exciting themes around artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, digital banking and others that allow us to further improve Santander’s value proposition to its customers.”

Meanwhile, in our recent podcast with Gary Turner, UK MD at Xero, he also talked up the coming AI revolution and the next big shift in technology.

“I am really excited about the next 5-10 years around artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation. We have had Siri on our phones for some years – and it’s really basic but basically functional. The minute voice recognition gets lashed to proper AI and machine learning services that will automate what we do – that will be the big game changer.  

“That is the fizzy feeling: that we are about to have another big shift in technology and we will look back at 2016 and think about how Victorian we all were.”

 

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