NatWest trials AI compliance tool to ensure financial advice is spot on

NatWest to trial AI compliance tools to ensure financial advice is spot on

Royal Bank of Scotland-owned high street bank NatWest is trialing an artificial intelligence tool “to improve and monitor the quality of information and advice provided during regulated customer conversations”.

The UK bank will use the Recordsure compliance tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) from regulatory risk specialist TCC Group in order to record face-to-face and telephone conversations between the bank and its customers – with those customers’ consent, naturally.

The recordings are encrypted and uploaded to a secure cloud in real-time, NatWest said. The technology then allows both parties to play them back via an audio file stored on servers in data centres housed at former UK and US military facilities, built to protect data and people in the event of a nuclear attack.

The AI technology is able to analyze an interaction and then classify sections of the conversation, according to Recordsure’s creators. For example, it could determine which aspects of the conversation were general chitchat, which involved financial advice, and what topics were discussed.

Read more: Visa Europe: In Internet of Payments, convenience and security will rule

Improving compliance

The Recordsure technology is classed as ‘regtech’, a niche of the wider fintech space. The idea is that the AI tool will learn to better understand interactions between the bank and customer’s over time. As it learns, it will be able to help drive efficiencies in NatWest’s compliance efforts, something which Recordsure claims it can improve by up to 50 percent.

Les Matheson, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at NatWest, said: “We want to restore trust and give customers complete confidence in us. Last year we scrapped bonuses for frontline staff so customers would know our advice was based on their needs, not commission.

“This trial goes even further and we look forward to seeing how it can improve the service we provide.”

The initial trial will involve NatWest’s mortgage advisors, while the bank explores other areas that could benefit from the technology.

In 2014, RBS and Natwest were fined almost £14.5 million by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog, for serious failings in mortgage advice given to customers.

According to the FCA’s report: “The issues with the sales process included affordability assessments failing to consider the full extent of the customer’s budget when making a recommendation, failing to advise customers who were looking to consolidate debt properly and not advising customers what mortgage term was appropriate for them.” Bank staff also offered personal views on the future movement of interests rates, the FCA found. Two reviews of sales from 2012, meanwhile, found that in over half the cases, “the suitability of the advice was not clear from the file or call recording.”

The Recordsure/Natwest announcement follows recent news that RBS has rolled out “the first financial industry hybrid bots in the world”. The AI chabtot service provides customer’s with a better online experience by answering frequently asked questions about things like online banking.

Read more: Mastercard: “Every connected device will be a commerce device.”

The post NatWest trials AI compliance tool to ensure financial advice is spot on appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Advice From An IoT Expert: Three Things You Need To Know

In the race to go digital, most businesses today are considering Internet of Things projects. But there are still some key questions about impact, security, and value that are obstacles to adoption.

I sat down with Maribel Lopez, an Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile expert and head of Lopez Research, to get some tips for business leaders to think about before embarking on IoT projects.

One key piece of advice from Maribel, “Everyone is looking for the killer IoT app, but oftentimes it’s a combination of mundane things that offer big opportunities for efficiency.”

See below for three other pointers.

Digital is different and so is data

Businesses have been going digital for a long time, since the days when e-commerce was hot. For example, in retail, digital used to mean replicating the shopping experience online. Now it’s about locating the customer in the store, giving you a 3D view of the customer and the thing. Now things can talk to you and tell you if something is wrong or seems weird.

What’s different about digital transformation today is the availability of different types of information. You’re not just digitizing paper processes. We now have different sources of information about weather, location, usage, etc. that weren’t available before.

Data provides the power and opportunity in IoT use cases.

It gets really interesting when you think about what you can do with that information. Now that it’s cheaper to go digital, you can use the cloud to build apps that take advantage of that data. It’s a perfect storm of cheaper sensors, more data sources, and an ability to bootstrap in the cloud.

Make security a priority from day one

You can never be overly concerned with security. But security should not stall your IoT projects.

Too often, people think about security after the IoT system is in place, but you need to be thinking about it while you’re designing it. Like with mobile, IoT is up and down the stack and pervasive, so you need to think about the security the whole time and bake it in – from sensors to network to apps.

Security is not sexy like user interfaces, so often it’s the last thing designers consider before shipping a product. But you need to start with security, because it’s hard to add later.

Define value: Cost efficiency or transformation

There are a couple of ways to use IoT. The first two focus on saving and making money. The third case is the ability to do something you couldn’t do before.

In the first case, it’s relatively easy to show value – like with predictive maintenance. Then the question is what scenario will save you the most money? You need to consider what’s most important to your business and your key KPIs over the next year. Some people have very specific goals – they want to sell products twice as fast or increase quality control.

Then you can look at how IoT will help improve the product’s performance (either in sales or quality) and make decisions about how IoT can impact change the most quickly.

While you’re defining your IoT use case, make sure you can tie it to your stated KPIs for the next year or two. That will help you pick the right solution, get executive traction, know what you want to accomplish, and be in line with your business.

Then there’s the case of digital transformation. Take the Disney Magic Band – a bracelet connected to sensors all over Walt Disney World that helps visitors do everything from access their hotel room to function as your ticket to the park.

The Disney Magic Band is really different – it was designed to help improve park vistors’ experience, reduce the wait on lines, improve cross-sell, and upsell to customers. It’s unlikely that the project is going to save Disney money, but did it improve KPIs? Yes.

That was a billion dollar project, but it put Disney in a totally different place in terms of customer experience and business models.

As these examples show, IoT is a game-changer, but someone needs to be in charge. Who Will Lead Development of the Internet of Things Inside the Organization?


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Forbes Technology Council Shares Cybersecurity Advice

Feb. 7, 2017 – 10 Forbes Technology Council members, including Exosite CTO Mark Benson, shared their DDoS defense strategies. The article, “How to Shore Up Your Defenses Against DDoS Attacks,” addresses the current state of cybersecurity and offers up some helpful tips and recommendations from tech and IoT industry experts.
Exosite » Blog