Banking & Finance

Automated inter-dealer brokerage

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AiX approached Rainbird with an aim to transform the Inter Dealer Brokerage market by making trading simpler, more efficient, and more transparent.

The project brings progress to a market in which the big three firms have acquired their competitors rather than innovating to gain competitive advantage, which has led to outdated practices that are both expensive and unfit for purpose.

The big three trading firms have acquired their competitors rather than innovating to gain competitive advantage, which has led to outdated practices that are both expensive and unfit for purpose

The problem
Inter-Dealer Brokerages (IDBs) allow large-volume traders to transact, but the billion-dollar market is outdated:

•      the services are notoriously slow, unreliable and expensive.
•      calculating and executing multiple deals requires substantial time and manpower.
•      new exchanges, tokens, cryptocurrencies, and platforms all need to be incorporated into the way deals are made.

In response to these challenges, AiX approached Rainbird to create a virtual broker that would increase productivity and transparency, and in doing so eliminate the errors, abuse and criminality that plagues financial markets that rely on human brokers.

The solution
The Rainbird-powered solution is an IDB virtual assistant, which offers traders the same quality of experience as a human broker would, but with much higher productivity and better outcomes.

To achieve this, the Rainbird team sat down with AiX to capture their trading expertise, building a Rainbird knowledge map with an understanding of concepts such as volatility and liquidity and their influence on pricing. Using this knowledge, Rainbird is able to review trade offerings and check them against the market to ensure that users do not waste time with unrealistic offers. Similarly, Rainbird checks responses from other traders to ensure their viability.

To compare trade offerings, Rainbird makes an API call to external data sources to retrieve the necessary information, and applies its trading concepts to calculate which recommendation to provide to the trader via an intelligent chatbot.

The outcome
When securing deals using AiX:

•      the response time for trading clients is more rapid, delivering more efficient trade confirmations.
•      the Rainbird chatbot engages in multiple marketplace conversations simultaneously in a way that a human broker never could, enabling trading to operate at enterprise scale.
•      brokers are freed up to focus on client relationships, while still maintaining close control over the Rainbird-powered automated trading.
•      the errors, abuse and criminality that plagues financial markets that rely on human brokers are eliminated.

Rainbird’s ability to explain its own actions, and provide an audit trail, is particularly important to the AiX project, as automated decisions in a closely regulated industry such as stock trading must be transparent.

Rainbird has signed an agreement for an exclusive license with AIX. In a market in which the top three players have annual revenues in excess of $6.5bn, this new tool is expected to attract approximately 75% of IDB revenues, while reducing commission by more than 50%.

AI-brokered trading with AiX is now underway – a world-first for the trading market.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Intelligent fraud detection

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Rainbird was approached by an international credit card provider who processes over half a million transactions per minute.



The number of reported fraud cases in the financial sector nearly doubled in the last year, with businesses struggling to keep up with ever-shifting vectors of attack, from new modes of mobile fraud to skyrocketing rates of identity fraud.

They wanted to improve fraud detection, reduce the time it takes to deal with false positives and improve customer satisfaction.

The ISMG reported that only 34% of C-level leaders have high confidence in their organisation’s ability to detect and prevent fraud.

The challenge
The complicated fraud-detection process required an offshore team to continuously monitor data feeds on multiple screens to determine whether customer transactions flagged by their algorithms were fraudulent or genuine. This manual process led to erroneous judgements, resulting in many unnecessarily blocked cards and huge frustration for customers.

40% of cardholders abandon cards after false declines, and a quarter of these people move their cards to the back of their wallets

In 20% of cases, the offshore team phoned the customer directly to request additional information, which resulted in expensive security steps, language barriers, and, in some cases, lost customers.

The solution
We spent time with the company’s fraud-prevention Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to create a Rainbird model that identifies fraud by replicating their best-practice methods, without relying on humans. This reduced the time spent on each case, and improved accuracy and consistent decision-making.

To do this, Rainbird took the logic from over 50 fraud cases, along with the expertise of three of the business’ best-performing SMEs to model a Rainbird-powered fraud engine that represented the company’s best-practice procedures, which was capable of handling multiple concurrent transactions simultaneously and consistently.

We also created a new model for prioritising cases that needed expert involvement so that the most high-risk cases can be assessed by the client’s most experienced on-shore team members.

Rainbird automatically calculates every transaction with a percentage likelihood of being genuine or fraud.

The outcome
The result of our work was an 85% automation of all cases and a 60% reduction in back-office processing costs.

The new process avoids the less accurate and inconsistent judgements that were being made by the client’s offshore team. 

The company benefits from:

  • Increased detection rates
  • A reduction in the number of false positives
  • Cost and inconvenience of outbound phone calls to customers

Calls to customers are now backed by Rainbird’s in-built Audit trail, which can explain why Rainbird has concluded a fraud risk and better inform the customer conversation leading to consistent, better-quality calls, and demonstrably better customer outcomes.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Bank Support Agent

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Rainbird was selected to work with the retail arm of a multinational banking and financial services company. The bank operates an extensive branch network and uses a contact centre to support their millions of customers in their banking needs.

The problem
The bank receives thousands of enquiries every day, many of which relate to regular and recurring payments such as direct debits and standing orders. Staff have access to vast amounts of information internally which they rely on to resolve these queries.

Like many such information stores, the content is very substantial and wide-ranging. Staff have to navigate these articles and on finding an article that might be relevant, must scan through pages of detailed information to find the section relevant to the specific query they are dealing with.

The articles contain general guidance, and the employee needs to determine how best to put this in context for each individual customer. This process can be time consuming, for both staff and customers.

Last year, employee turnover in banking was reported to be at a ten-year high. Banks can cover this loss of experience and know-how by encoding their expertise into a knowledge map.

Knowledge degradation is also an issue, in areas of the bank where staff turnover is higher, such as in contact centres. Expert knowledge can be lost if experienced staff leave, and the consistency of judgements can suffer as a result.

Less experienced staff tend to seek out experts, who then become a focal point for queries, detracting from their own day-to-day responsibilities.

The solution

The bank engaged Rainbird to build a tool that any employee could use to answer client questions and resolve problems with complex recurring payments. Rainbird was integrated with IBM Watson’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) front-end to deliver a chatbot that can resolve over one hundred different trajectories of enquiry. IBM Watson is used to identify the intention of the employee asking the question, and Rainbird then takes over, handling the staff consultation and decision-making process leading to a contextual solution.

The result of this collaboration was a Rainbird knowledge map incorporating all of their knowledge with the information from the internal knowledge management platform.

The resulting chatbot is available to staff who can efficiently consult with it to rapidly solve customer queries. The result includes a high-quality contextual recommendation including detailed advice on how to meet the customer’s needs and signposting to the actions required.

The chatbot is being deployed across the branch network and UK based contact centres, ensuring consistency of judgement across all areas of the business – using this powerful shared repository of knowledge.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

81% of UK businesses say a shortage of talent is the biggest hurdle to AI adoption

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The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Rainbird, surveyed senior decision-makers in enterprise organisations. It found that the main reason behind businesses not implementing AI is a shortage of talent in their workforce for handling automation processes. While this was the overall biggest barrier to adopting AI in the UK, when broken down into professional services, financial services, insurance and IT, the data highlighted a number of different concerns across business functions.

Find the full report here

James Duez, CEO at Rainbird, commented: “In order to truly understand what processes will benefit from AI, businesses must review their strategies. Rather than pushing AI investment into IT departments, organisations should recognise where the most important decisions are being made – within the business. Symbolic tools are business-friendly, rapid to work with and completely auditable and it is these that will unlock the streamlining and automation of operational decisions.”

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Neural networks can disempower human workers: the case for human intervention amidst rapid AI adoption

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Neural networks have become the alchemy of our age, the search for a magical, mystical process that allows you to turn a pile of data into gold. It is widely seen as a silver bullet that can generate new insights and expert decisions on an unprecedented speed and scale. Yet this ignores the reality that ‘deep learning’ systems are difficult to create or audit and most organisations lack the necessary in-house expertise or ‘data hygiene’ to use it effectively.

To read the full article, see Neural networks can disempower human workers: the case for human intervention amidst rapid AI adoption on Digitalisation World. 

 

 

 

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Ghosts in the Machine: How Machine Learning is Transforming Business

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According to new research from Rainbird – the AI-powered automated decision-making platform, 81% of those surveyed revealed that their organisation planned to increase investment in AI over the next five years. Of those who plan to increase spending on automation technologies, 22% suggested this investment would be significant. Interestingly, the financial sector is set to be the biggest adopter, with 94% of those surveyed planning to increase investment in AI over the coming years.

James Duez, CEO at Rainbird, commented: “AI should be brought into organisations to help employees, not hinder them. UK organisations – and beyond – need to fundamentally change the way they are adopting AI and, think beyond big data and machine learning. ‘Data scientists only understand black box solutions, and there are huge benefits to be had by moving towards more transparent symbolic technologies which can achieve automation outcomes beyond those available with data-only approaches. Such accessible tools also have the added benefit of addressing the skills gap by making AI far more accessible to employees without a degree in data science.”

To read the full article, see Ghosts in the Machine: How Machine Learning is Transforming Business on Silicon UK.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Predictions of future robo-advice 'premature'

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Mr McNamara, chief executive of the fintech group Evalue discusses with Ben Taylor, CTO of Rainbird, the issue of regulation and the challenges businesses faced within the robo-advice space.

Mr Taylor said: “Regulation will look very different depending on what type of robo-advice is being used. It might be that we’re using statistical methods to do some prior analysis of data to do future predictions. Regulating that would be a very different kettle of fish to regulating some sort of human type reasoning, which you could explain. It depends on the underlying technology and what the customer outcomes are expected to be.”

To read the full article, see Predictions of future robo-advice ‘premature’ on The FTAdviser.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

91% of UK IT businesses say a shortage of talent is the biggest hurdle to AI adoption

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The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation technologies in the UK is still being stunted by a lack of digital skills in businesses according to new research by Rainbird, the AI-powered automated decision-making platform.

To read the full article, see 91% of UK IT businesses say a shortage of talent is the biggest hurdle to AI adoption on Digitalisation World.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

The financial sector must embrace transparency in artificial intelligence to ensure fairness

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The recent news that the FCA is partnering with the Alan Turing Institute to explore the explainability of AI in financial services is a welcome development. While financial institutions are increasingly using AI to improve efficiency and productivity, there is little transparency in how so-called neural networks make decisions, putting organisations at risk of inaccurate and even fraudulent decisions. Even worse, it is far more difficult for financial institutions to audit bad decisions by AIs than it is to audit human decisions.

Read the full article, The financial sector must embrace transparency in artificial intelligence to ensure fairness on The Fintech Times.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

Rainbird AI platform puts people first to improve automated decision-making

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The digital transformation of financial services is in full swing, as tech-driven challengers look to disrupt the market while the incumbents scramble to modernise their own ageing IT systems.

But the widespread implementation of tools like artificial intelligence (AI) across the industry is not without its drawbacks, with concerns existing about the scale and transparency of fully automated processes, as well as the potential for the technology to begin replacing real people in the workforce.

Read the full article, Rainbird AI platform puts people first to improve automated decision-making on NS Banking.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.