Intelligent automation in financial services

Statista study conducted last year, revealed that 39% of the organisations surveyed indicated that they have already adopted intelligent automation (IA) at a functional level. This has likely increased significantly given the developments of recent months with the pandemic pressuring organisations to embrace a more digital approach to business. In financial services, IA has the potential to transform the way organisations operate internally and enhance customer engagement.

IA is the bringing together of technologies such as digital process automation (DPA), robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence (AI) to focus on improving business processes. Whilst financial services companies have been embracing elements of automation for some time now, it is AI that is really attracting significant interest as businesses explore the potential to unlock value through improved customer service, efficiency, and risk management.

Leveraging AI

The business environment is continually changing and adapting to market requirements. But the rate at which this has been happening in recent months has increased significantly. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently remarked that two years’ worth of digital transformation have taken place within two months. This has resulted in organisations having to move away from their reliance on manual processes and turn their attention to how best to leverage automation. Over the years, we have seen the adoption of RPA assist organisations to better manage high volume transaction processes. But while this automation can replace certain human-driven functions, there is little to no intelligence behind the solution.

This is where IA comes in. The ability to replicate human intelligence and, more specifically expert decision-making, allows traditional automated processes, which still require human intervention, to be fully automated – whilst retaining the insight of the best human decision-makers in the business. By adopting proper intelligent automation, financial organisations will be able to handle most transactions automatically – with only the most complex queries requiring any human intervention.

AI can provide the financial services organisation the ability to automate the decision-making process. However, by combining AI with complementary technologies, IA delivers end-to-end business process automation that incorporates human decisioning. Think of it as the virtualising and scaling of human intelligence throughout the business.

Delivering value

Furthermore, the ability of machines to work through high volumes of data at speeds not possible for human operators brings a distinct competitive advantage. When this is coupled with the ability to make the same decisions as a human expert, yet more consistently and efficiently, the opportunities for, and value to, the insurer are limitless. For example, the process an advisor would have taken to assess a claim, approve, and make payment, can now be fully automated in real-time. This frees up employees to focus on other strategic deliverables or spend more time on the most complex of claims requiring forensic review.

The recent partnership with Astute Financial Services Exchange has seen SilverBridge deliver a fully automated intelligent claims processing solution to the market. The solution incorporates industry risk scoring metrics, internal business rules, and intelligent decisioning to assist insurers with straight-through-processing (STP) of claims.

When it comes to the financial services industry, of critical importance are both compliance and regulatory adherence. All decision-making steps in a virtualised intelligent process are transparent and auditable. This is where the concept of explainable AI is vital. As example, SilverBridge uses the explainability of the AI to expose the thought processes and parameters considered in any decision making process which can be audited at any point in time. This is a critical component in a highly regulated environment such as insurance and gives executives the assurance that the right decisions are being made consistently within their operations.

Ultimately, IA delivers business value to insurers through improved operational efficiency and risk management. But perhaps more critically, it also assists the insurer to deliver a far improved customer experience to their clients and provides these companies with the means to free up key people to focus on more strategic objectives. Injecting automated decisioning at speed and scale can unlock more business value while continually delivering more innovative ways of driving customer engagement.


Patrick Ashton, Managing Executive at SilverBridge Holdings

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