Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming an integral part of client experience across a range of industries – some experts estimate that AI will have surpassed human intelligence by 2019! In our day-to-day lives we no longer think twice about trusting a bot to help us through a software installation and it has become second nature now to use voice commands for searches, ask about the weather, set calendar appointments and even buy pizzas. But what about the financial industry – and especially the post-trade industry? Are we ready for this change? Here’s what SIX Securities Services is doing in response to this prediction.
In spring 2017, a variety of elevator pitches took place in F10 as part of the start-up program. Nino Ciganovic, Head Client Support and member of the SIX Securities Services Management Committee, took part in some of these to get an understanding of the trends. He took a particular interest in one presentation on how Artificial Intelligence-based systems could take on the responsibility for repetitive processes in the Middle Office.
Self-service for standard client queries
Two of the units responsible for supporting our clients in processing their daily business are Account Management (Middle Office) and our Service Desk. Our multi-lingual colleagues are available to answer the wide variety of client queries we receive. As you can imagine at times they risk being overwhelmed by the number of incoming phone calls and e-mails. And our requirements in this area are high: Each query has to be processed and closed within 24 hours. As a consequence, it makes sense to consider a chatbot (a smart program which can communicate with our clients in an automated way) for these areas. This would allow our clients, for example, to reset their SECOM password, request MarketGuides and carry out status queries for their orders on a self-service basis – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Processes are also on our radar
In addition to simple client queries, Nino Ciganovic and Tino Hellmund, Head Client Administration, are looking at which standardized, recurring processes (e.g. opening custody accounts) can be carried out in the Middle Office by a machine. This would mean they could be processed more efficiently and cost-effectively. Here they are considering the use of an Artificial Intelligence based-system which recognizes patterns and rules (machine learning) and then applies them to new, unknown data.
This cannot be achieved, however, without our experts comprehensively reviewing and approving it so that the required level of quality is 100% assured.
Time for complex queries
Nino Ciganovic is convinced that by using the chatbot and the machine, our colleagues from the Middle Office will benefit from no longer having to carry out many time-consuming and repetitive tasks. “This means they can free up valuable time to deal with complicated client queries. Answering these queries adds real value for our clients – thus resulting in greater client satisfaction.”
For our clients to benefit from an even more targeted service, over the next few months SIX Securities Services will be working with a pilot client to test the various use cases and make them market-ready by mid-2018. This innovation is yet further confirmation of our promise to our clients: