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What Finance Companies are Excelling in AI? What Finance Companies are Excelling in AI?
Many finance companies are getting some massive help from AI handling things like security, loss prevention, and predictive decision making—think underwriting for mortgages or... What Finance Companies are Excelling in AI?

Many finance companies are getting some massive help from AI handling things like security, loss prevention, and predictive decision making—think underwriting for mortgages or credit decisions.

[Related Article: Generative Adversarial Networks for Finance]

While AI is making the rounds for many companies and organizations, a few are taking that capability to a new level. Let’s take a look at a handful of companies doing amazing things with AI.

ZestFinance: Underwriting the Underserved

ZestFinance is using its proprietary machine-learning software, Zest Automated Machine Learning (ZAML), to help companies with underwriting for a particular segment of the population.

Borrowers with little to no credit history aren’t always a borrowing risk, but it has always been tough for companies to assess which ones are a risk and which aren’t. ZAML is taking thousands of data points to create a picture of risk through transparent decision making, giving companies a better idea of who’s a safer risk.

The company itself claims that using ZAML has cut a certain auto lender’s losses by as much as 23%.

Sun Life: Chatbot Excellence

Wading through benefits paperwork is a hassle, and a surprising number of people have no idea what’s going with their benefits at any given time. Sun Life, a Canadian company, is best known for life insurance, but the organization has implemented a fantastic example of chatbot solutions.

Ella, Sun Life’s friendly chatbot, uses advanced NLP to interact with consumers, helping them to manage their benefits, pensions, and make alternations at different life stages. It helps consumers sort through their benefits packages and stay connected.

Trim: AI Negotiations

Trim is another example of a robot assistant using a variety of technologies to integrate with a user’s finances, cut out unnecessary subscriptions, negotiate other bills, and find better insurance options.

The robot analyzes its users’ spending habits and tracks where the money is going. The longer the user is with the company, the better the robot gets at predicting where money is going and deciphering unnecessary expenses.

The app added some new services in 2019 to round out their holistic financial services with debt coaching, a high yield savings account, and other financial coaching options. The platform claims it’s saved users over $1,000,000 in the past month alone.

Keeper Tax: AI Freelance Tax Service

Keeper is a tax software that uses an NLP chatbot to comb through users’ accounts looking for tax write-offs. It learns habitual expenses for businesses and claims to help users find over $1200 on average from the first assessment.

The chatbot uses text messaging to ask questions and get answers about expenditures and learns its user’s habits to predict better what might be a claimable expense at tax time. It targets freelancers and 1099 employees that may not have access to a full-time CPA, helping them save money on business taxes.

TD Bank Group: AI Customer Service

TD Bank Group is reducing customer service volume by implementing KAI, a conversational chatbot from startup Kasisto. KAI provides customers with a suite of self-service features that better address their questions and is now part of TD Bank Group’s move towards AI.

The chatbots can give users recommendations, similar to what customer service representatives would do, giving people the chance to deal with higher-order tasks while robots deal with more straightforward requests.

Kasisto’s tech gives TD Bank Group the chance to provide real-time insights and feedback to customers without wait times. AI can handle a large number of requests, unlike human customer service, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction along the way.

Nerd Wallet

Nerdwallet recognized the friction happening with consumers using the platform to predict their potential for gaining credit. Nerdwallet built an entirely new machine learning platform that allows them to train data in days where it formerly took a month or more.

Companies are beginning to understand the vital role AI will play in streamlining performance for customers and Nerdwallet has stepped up their machine learning capability to a much higher level. (And as a testament to how good Nerdwallet’s talent is—Joshua Bernhard will be leading a half-day training on recommendation engines for ODSC East, “Recommendation Systems in Python“).

Abe AI: Alexa-driven Finance

Our increasingly interconnected lives provide AI developers a chance to make it right into our homes. Abe AI uses Google’s Alexa and smart home platform to provide a conversational banking experience designed to give consumers the freedom to manage money with a simple set of commands.

Abe is a set of intelligent banking APIs designed to put a user’s entire life right at a voice command. This streamlines a user’s daily tasks while maintaining security through Google’s identity management suite. 

Abe capabilities are broken up into what it calls “crawl, walk, run.” Abe can provide knowledge support for users, moving up to personal finance management, and finally provide conversational banking. The API is also part of what they’re calling “Human handoff,” or products designed to integrate better with human teams. 

Xencio: Business Financial Management

Xencio offers businesses the chance to transform bookkeeping from a disordered group of papers to a seamless dashboard. Their program, FININT, provides treasury management and financial forecasting, reducing human capital and increasing an organization’s awareness of its money health.

Xencio is tapping into the need for data-driven financial decisions. Organizations have cloud options, as well as private cloud and on-premise options. They service organizations like GE and Unilever, providing corporate finance solutions that provide real-time insights. The company estimates a time savings of five to ten hours per week managing cash flow.

JP Morgan COIN: Contract Intelligence

JP Morgan has invested billions in tech in an effort to stay ahead of industry disruption. One area the company revamped with AI is contract and document review. JP Morgan estimates it saves around 360,000 hours wading through mundane tasks. Now, finance and legal teams can get back to higher-order tasks and leave those loan servicing issues to the machines.

JP Morgan is using machine learning with NLP handling unstructured data. The company estimates human teams were reviewing roughly 12,000 new documents per day, so COIN is also cutting down on human error. The company sees it as an opportunity to use human teams to the best of their ability by removing mundane, morale busting actives from their schedules.

Naftali Cohen, AI Research Lead at JP Morgan, will be delivering at talk at this year’s ODSC East. Make sure you register to check it out!

Fidelity Investments: Fintech Before It Was Cool

Fidelity is betting big on tech and AI, investing in the newest tech like blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Fidelity is benchmarking itself against digital native companies like NVidia rather than traditional financial investment firms, which could give it an edge among younger investors.

The 72-year-old company is a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley conferences, looking for top talent for their AI departments. In fact, the company has quietly been forward-thinking since the ’60s, buying a mainframe computer before it was mainstream and becoming the first finance company to sell mutual funds through a telephone line. You can see Igor Halperin from Fidelity discuss reinforcement learning in Finance at ODSC East 2020 (“Reinforcement learning and inverse reinforcement learning in finance“), and Victor Lo will be speaking on Uplift Modeling (“Uplift Modeling Tutorial: Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics“).

[Related Article: Big Fields Hiring Data Scientists for 2020]

AI Transforming Finance Companies

Other applications of AI in FinTech help increase security, decrease fraud, and help finance companies keep up with all those moving parts. These companies are examples of startups with an innovative AI-driven FinTech product/service or organizations using AI products/services to boost their business’s bottom line. As AI gets better, we’ll continue to see exciting things in this industry.

Ready to learn more about how to apply AI and data science to your career in the finance industry? Be sure to check out the Ai x Finance track during ODSC East 2020 this April 13-17!

Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC

Elizabeth is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for startups. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do. Connect with her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethawallace/

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