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Agility through Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is becoming a key business driver for all the financial service providers and their organizations. From being a new gained curiosity to becoming an essential part of the life of finances, AI has come a long way. In the past few years, financial institutions (FIs) began to think about AI being beyond the abstract and discovered many practical yet profitable use cases for the emerging tech. With the growing number in financial institutions there is a greater understanding for the importance of using AI in enhancing not just the customers’ but also the employers’ experience.  FIs are becoming more used to the idea of adopting these technologies as the AI becomes clearer and valuable as use cases emerge and it is helping across a wide range of key business functions. And in the year 2021 there is a high scope for the financial institutions to evolve beyond agility and embrace intelligence by incorporating these cognitive techs into their operations. The time after the FI completely make use of the AIs in capturing deeper customer insights, make informed and data driven decisions, manage risk and increase efficiencies, they will transform themselves into Intelligent Enterprises and bring more value to their customers and teams.

Agile enterprise acts as an essential foundation when discussing any form of the intelligent enterprise as it should be enabled first. Without having a strong foundation to support the countless back office processes it will be very difficult for an institution to make the effective and efficient leap into the Artificial intelligence. Back off processes includes customer relationship management (CRM), document management, collateral analysis, covenant tracking, loan origination, portfolio analysis, regulatory compliance, customer service, the digital channel and on and on. Through achieving agility an institution can begin its journey toward becoming an intelligent Enterprise.

Techs related to AI, including machine learning, natural language processing and cognitive computing, all these serve as the foundation of the Intelligent Enterprise. There is a huge wave of current and potential use cases with the FIs for AI and other related techs which range from robo-advice and next-product recommendations to anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and credit card fraud protection. Cognitive technology can be utilized to bring a true return on investment to the institution. Having a successful deployment of the Intelligent Enterprise helps tackle many issues from varying degrees, as it depends on the specific usages like increasing revenue, growing profitability, improving efficiency, reducing costs and mitigating risk. And implementing cognitive techs into core banking can deliver optimized results over time with a positive ROI. While maintain the human touch with customers, the aim is to focus on seamlessly incorporate cognitive tech into the existing processes. That is to build AI solutions and engage the employees to put the customers first. This can be achieved by deploying a single platform, a system of engagement that integrates and analyses data from the customer channels across the organization. The Intelligent Enterprise really begin to take flight when every employee has the same holistic platform with access to the same information.

Together AI and Cognitive techs are improving banking platforms for us by enabling the FIs to increase revenue, gain operational efficiencies and meet the customer expectations. With AI around the FIs need not have to do manual work again and at the same time can offer its employees an opportunity to do more with the technology and save time and 2021 is all about adopting new AI tools and reformations.

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AI role in customer experience in banking

The concept of banking first sprung up around 8000 BC. Then, there came various drastic changes to expand their services and innovate their business models. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are applied to help banks and financial institutions nowadays. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that 77% of banking executives believe that the use of AI will ultimately differentiate between winning and losing banks.

This pandemic has triggered a sudden socioeconomic shift from physical to digital. There is a rapid switch to digital channels. Recent research by YouGov was conducted in June 2021. And that revealed that digital services have become the de facto way of conducting business and access services during the pandemic. EIU’s survey showed that enhancing the user experience through better personalisation ranked first in the most valuable uses of AI.

Customer propositions are no longer fit-for-all. It involves both banking and non-banking products and services. To identify the customers’ needs the banks must take an entirely new approach to innovation. They should adopt a customer-centric view. This starts with understanding the customer needs. AI makes it much easier to analyse customer preferences. The redesigning of customer loyalty program gives banks an accurate understanding of customer. Effective personalization offers customers not only better leads but also a more unique experience. The customer experience can be improved by applying AI. Banks must also build out their capabilities to strike new partnerships.

Businesses across all industries are working hard to retain their customers, including banks. AI can become a banking institutions’ superpower. This can take the customer experience to new heights, resulting in happier and more loyal customers. It will also reduce a bank’s operating costs and enable increased revenue per customer. To become AI First, banks must focus on streamlining their technology layer. They also require a strategy to engage customers through channels owned by them and their non-banking partners. Business and technology must work hand in hand, with cross-functional teams breaking up organisational silos.

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Amazon to offer insurance to UK businesses

The technology giant’s first foray into business insurance in the country, broker Superscript said that Amazon is going to start offering insurance to small and medium-sized UK business customers. Members of Amazon’s Business Prime program will be able to buy cover from superscript such as contents insurance, cyber insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Superscript spokesperson said that those would be underwritten by major UK insurers. A discount of 20% will be offered to current rates. This is to entice the businesses over to them.

50% of customers are prepared to buy insurance from non-traditional players. A recent survey of 12,000 people globally by consultants Capgemini showed this. Cameron Shearer, co-founder and CEO of Superscript, said in a statement that the insurance industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers. Amazon’s move into UK business insurance comes after U.S. insurtech Next Insurance said that it was offering cover to U.S. small businesses. And that too via Amazon Business Prime. Molly Dobson, Country Manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, said in the statement that as the businesses come out of the pandemic, they want customers to have the best-in-class tools to run their business.

Financial institutions are worried that tech firms will steal their business. But industry sources said that the insurers and tech firms are more likely to forge partnerships. Because of the given difficulties and expense for outsiders in entering the highly regulated finance sector. Amazon also offers warranty insurance and “buy now, pay later” services in Britain.

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In NFT fantasy soccer game, SoftBank leads funding

Blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has raised $680 million. This is through a funding round, which is led by SoftBank. According to the company, it includes players such as ex-England international Rio Ferdinand and Spain’s Gerard Pique. Paris-based Sorare said that the investment valued the company at $4.3 billion. Sorare is an online game, since 2018. Here players buy officially licensed cards that represents soccer players. They can build teams and play against each other. This is based on the players’ performance in real-life games.

The cards are traded in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The market for NFTs has seen major growth in 2021. Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International, said that they think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets. This evolution from physical assets to digital assets is very powerful. This also creates a lot of exciting potential business models. NonFungible.com is a website that tracks NFT market data. According to them, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume. They are planning to open an office in the United States. So that they can expand into other games out of Sorare.

Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare said that they saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other. They believe that this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant. Since January 2021, there have been $150 million of sales on Sorare. The fundraising round was SoftBank’s first time investing in Sorare. SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed. Other investors in Sorare’s raise are such as venture capital firms Accel and Bessemer Ventures, Pique, Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta.

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