Future Ready Financial Services

Takeaways from AIBP Insights Future Ready Financial Services: Hyper-Automation and Low Code as cornerstones of Financial Services Innovation

AIBP Insights is a series of discussions held online which brings together a focus group of ASEAN stakeholders to discuss topics related to enterprise technology adoption in the region. This is part of our ongoing engagement with enterprises to look at topics affecting digital transformation for their businesses, enable the exchange of ideas between industry stakeholders and spearhead creative collaboration across industries and countries.

Earlier this year, we hosted a series of discussions ranging from, Hyper-Personalisation for BFSIs: Revisualising Customer ExperiencesA Data-driven Approach to Direct-to-consumer (D2C) Distribution, and The Tech Edge for ESG.

In recent years, cognitive technologies such as machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and intelligent automation (IA), are increasingly being adopted by many regional BFSIs. In addition to automating processes, BFSIs are also looking to embrace these tools to accelerate innovation and fuel their digital transformation efforts.

This is reflected in AIBP’s 2020 ASEAN Enterprise Innovation Survey, where respondents from ASEAN BFSIs listed big data analytics (66%), machine learning (41%), artificial intelligence (40%), and robotic process automation (27%), as the top technologies that they are planning to invest in over the next two to four years.

In today’s AIBP Insights discussion, three Finalists from AIBP’s annual ASEAN Enterprise Innovation Awards came together to present and showcase some of their innovative projects/initiatives. They subsequently shared their experiences and views on the role of digital technologies in their respective roles.

Intelligent Automation, Hyper Automation, Low-Code and No-Code in Financial Services 

Cognitive RPA refers to RPA tools and solutions that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies like Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Text Analytics, and Machine Learning to improve one’s workforce and customer experience.

Mr. Tong Van Tien, Digital Innovation Director, IT Division, Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank), Vietnam, shared that TPBank currently has over 260 bots in operation, with around 10-20 Intelligent Automation bots in the works. AI is being used in a variety of front-end and back-end functions, including facial recognition, 24/7 chatbots, and document processing, where various technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are being used. Mr. Tien emphasised that, in addition to leveraging data analytics, TPBank frequently generates reports for respective managers to track and monitor progress.

In addition, RPA, according to Khun Nopparat Khaohirun (K.Nop), Assistant Vice President, Business Project Office & CEO Office, Generali Life Assurance, Thailand, is a complete organisational transformation rather than an IT project. He shared the three drivers in Generali’s Robot Operating Model. The Center of Excellence (CoE) is the driving force and custodian of the Automation and Robotics Initiatives’ holistic and long-term success.

It governs all aspects of the automation lifecycle, from strategy to execution, and drives day-to-day operations, beginning with opportunity identification. The second component, Generali’s business units, own the digital workforce, run the robots, identify improvements, and implement the associated operational change. Finally, the technology stack provides support for the automation technologies’ application and infrastructure platforms, as well as identity and access management for all applications.

Fortunately, achieving the flexibility and agility required to thrive in a rapidly changing work environment is no longer solely the responsibility of developers and your IT department. The advancement of “no-code” and “low-code” software, which requires little or no coding expertise, enables users to become their own “citizen developers” capable of creating and customizing the high-fidelity applications they require.

No-code capabilities enable anyone, regardless of technical skill level, to customize the tools they work with to meet their exact needs through simple point-and-click, drag-and-drop, building-block-like configuration.

Low-code software can be fully customized with minimal programming, typically within an application programming interface (API) and predefined framework, saving your organization time and money on development while freeing up your coding talent to focus on larger, more impactful projects for your business.

Manny Narciso, Executive Vice President and Group Head of Global Transaction Banking, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Philippines, believes that low-code and no-code solutions can help bridge the gap between the business and IT teams. Implementing no code on the business side and low code on the IT side can assist financial institutions in aligning their business and IT teams and allowing everyone to speak the same language.

Mr. Tien agreed, and shared that TPBank has a team working on low-code and no-code applications.

Customers at the Core

The customer experience in the financial ecosphere has massive untapped growth potential, with our panelists today sharing their views and perspectives from various banking units ranging from Global Transaction Banking and RPA teams.

K.Nop shared that their underlying motivation for driving smart automation in their insurance value chain is the impact of poor performance as a result of manual processes, which has negatively impacted their customer experience and satisfaction. As a result, his team investigated the various possibilities and avenues where RPA and lean six sigma can be used to streamline various processes.

Coming from a Global Transaction Banking perspective, Manny shared that as long as your solutions solve problems, they don’t have to be fancy or use cutting-edge technology. Manny’s team has been inspired to come up with creative ways to maximise the use of existing technologies as consumers, including corporate consumers, are increasingly using mobile devices. “Repurpose the wheel,” he says.

The Future of Banking and Insurance & Upcoming Priorities

Mr. Tien noted that TPBank was the first bank in Vietnam to deploy the Video Teller Machine network, TPBank LiveBank 24/7, which allows them to perform 90% of traditional counter transaction functions. Because of biometric identification technology (which includes facial recognition and fingerprint authentication), customers can simply walk in to carry out their banking transactions without needing a card or token.

This has largely been a success, with TPBank able to reduce costs, improve customer experience, and detect potential fraud through an early warning mechanism. With the ongoing pandemic, Mr. Tien added that this Video Teller Machine network is poised to expand its footprints and become a part of Vietnam’s banking future.

RPA and machine learning algorithms necessitate distinct skill sets, and this will be a top priority for K.Nop in the near future. This is consistent with their employee upskilling program, which includes RPA learning paths, and their belief that a “Citizen Developer” mindset is the best way to continue reaping the benefits of RPA.

Concluding the session, Manny shared his thoughts on RCBC’s slogan “partners through generations,” saying that this generation is very different from the one before it. Financial institutions must change in order to be a good partner to future generations, and he added that striving to be the leading digital bank in the Philippines will play a key role in driving their transformation.

With that, we look forward to continuing our discussion on Building the Digital Core for Customer Engagement on 14th October (Thursday), and Business and Data Resilience on 2nd November (Tuesday). 

Stay tuned for our ongoing AIBP Insights discussions which will be held in the next few weeks. Do reach out if you’d like to view the playback of the discussion today, or if you wish to find out more about our upcoming sessions!


13 October 2021