Intelligent automation in financial services

A 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.

SilverBridge, DocFusion partnership drives digitalisation in financial services

Microsoft Managed Partners SilverBridge and DocFusion have entered into a strategic alliance that sees the DocFusion document generation solution integrated into the SilverBridge digital insurance suite, enhancing the digital offering for customers in the insurance industry.

SilverBridge’s focus is on modernising core applications and the digitalisation of processes in insurance businesses, while DocFusion is dedicated to realising the vision of a paperless business by replacing paper-based processes and documents at organisations with a digital approach.

“While it delivered the minimum required level of functionality, our in-house developed document generation tool Snapper is no longer best suited for the future needs of the digital business environment. We started investigating the alternatives of our own development roadmap or potential partnership opportunities to enhance the value proposition of our digital insurance suite. The decision we have taken is to partner with a company with the best product for this area of our solution suite. Given the focus of Microsoft on developing a partner network, the organisation is in a prime position to identify companies with potential synergies. Through Microsoft, we know the DocFusion guys well and saw the potential value in the two organisations collaborating,” says Lee Kuyper, Group COO of SilverBridge.

This resulted in the innovative DocFusion document generation solution being integrated into the SilverBridge digital insurance suite. As such, SilverBridge will be phasing out Snapper and replacing it with DocFusion over the next 12 to 18 months and be exclusively using DocFusion for all new client engagements.

“The levels of functionality, flexibility, and usability in DocFusion are a perfect fit for our solutions that we offer to the market,” adds Kuyper. “They have invested into their solution for more than 14 years, so it made sense to partner with them and leverage their investment in the technology.”

For Ernest Kleynhans, CEO of DocFusion, the company saw this collaboration as the ideal way to expand on its value proposition in the financial services market.

“We are focused on the document generation component of the industry and already have a large customer base. But working with SilverBridge enables us to expand our market share with the SilverBridge end-to-end offering,” says Kleynhans.

With a core focus of helping clients within the sector manage risk while growing their business, the solution meets all required regulatory and technology components. What makes this an even more compelling offering is that both companies are proudly South African, taking their solutions global through mutual respect and industry understanding along with the support and assistance of Microsoft.

“One of the key value drivers of the Microsoft Partner Programme is the opportunity for partner to partner collaboration, thereby enhancing the offering of both parties and bringing more value to our customers. We are very excited about this alliance between these two long-standing Microsoft partners, SilverBridge and DocFusion, and the benefits their combined offering will bring to customers in the financial services sector,” says Lionel Moyal, Microsoft South Africa Partner Director

With partners helping them define success for their business, Microsoft provides SilverBridge and DocFusion with access to Build With, Go-to-market and Sell with programmes, tools, and resources. Microsoft is committed to enabling its partners achieve more.

“As such, Microsoft has a strong Partner-to-Partner (P2P) drive as they see the value in niche companies collaborating with one another to deliver end-to-end solutions,” says Kleynhans. “They have an incentivisation programme that encourages partners to work together and our relationship with SilverBridge ticks this box perfectly.”

“In a complex market and global economy, it makes sense to focus on your niche and partner with other organisations for mutual growth. It is all about creating an ecosystem of mutual growth,” adds Kuyper.

“As a long-time Microsoft partner, SilverBridge uses their technology within our product suite to enhance the value proposition we provide to our clients in the insurance industry. Additionally, the Microsoft P2P network delivers value for us as we seek to further enhance our product offering through potential partnerships. This sees Microsoft looking for partners who can deliver deep vertical expertise that enable their business to expand on its platform solutions in those strategic areas,” concludes Kuyper.

About DocFusion

DocFusion® helps customers digitally automate all communication with their stakeholders. It does so using an intelligent platform that merges data from back office systems with easy to build document templates. The DocFusion® platform provides a workflow to facilitate the forms, document handoffs, document management and digital signatures via smart API’s. DocFusion has customer and Solution partners across the world.