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AI/Machine Learning: the road ahead to transform financial services

DIGITAL VENTURES August 24, 2017 9:43 AM


One of the most focused topic on Techsauce Global Summit 2017 was the role of AI and machine learning on finance industry in the furture. Asset management firms have embraced AI as part of its functions in recent years and many more to come.

Some financial institutions have been investing in AI and started to apply it into financial services in the mass level. Data security and technological risk against financial industry, however, remain for both regulator, financial instituions and consumers themselves. This poses many challenges to those related on how to earn trust in technology use.

Tom - Suvicha Sudchai, Managing Director of Digital Products, at Digital Ventures, illustrated how financial industry will look like in the future.

  • Open a bank account online – Going to the branch and open a bank account will no longer exist thanks to the robust and effective controls in place for customer due diligence through Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, powered by AI system. It will enable you to open bank account via smartphone or wherever you can connect internet. AI is able to verify customer information through their previous behavior. Even varification through biometric technology – facial recognition and iris scanning – is going to happen in the near future.

  • Chatbot – Typically, customer service chatbots answer questions based on keywords. The most basic systems are actually document retrieval systems. Sometimes this is frustrating. The computer recognizes key words but may not recognize the context in which they are being used. In other words, the computer doesn’t recognize the way people naturally speak. However, Mr.Tom believes that the system has come a long way and continue to improve, which can applied for customer relation management in a more effective way.

  • Private Banking – AI will have a significant and complementary role to play in asset management going forward in term of giving an advice. Virtual advisors are helping meet the demands of investors who want data-driven insight and a rich, personalized experience. However, order execution remains due to regulatory requirement.

Tom added impoving and using AI/machine learning are limited due to limited regulatory requirement. Due to the increasing role of Fintech, the Bank of  Thailand has issued a set of rules that allows innovators to test their products/business models in live environment without following some or all legal requirements, subject to predefined restrictions. This is a great opportunity for banks to create innovation.

SCB is in an attempt to open API for selected startups to access bank’s database in a bid to improve services. Recently, SCB has established a data analysis unit called SCB Abacus to oversee advance data analytics.

“I think a lot more about AI we can deal with. It will be transforming financial industry. 50% of the current workforce can be replaced by robot, literally ushering into the next industrial revolution,” Tom said.

Eunice Tan, partner of Baker & McKenzie Singapore, said there are 2 concerns that Fintech startups and tech developers should be mindful: data security and technology risk management. They should be able to answer regulators’ question on the pros of cons of AI, especially on how to control risks.

During two chaotic minutes of Asian trading, the pound plunged the most since the Brexit referendum in June, with traders saying computer-initiated sell orders exacerbated the slump, resulting in flash crash of pound.

“Trust is a currency of business operation in financial industry. Once AI can prove that it’s reliable enough, it will play a more significant role. AI is totally decision-making,” said Ms.Tan