Yes. I think with artificial intelligence, they actually dedicated a whole track to that on the first day at Money 20/20. I think the way to describe artificial intelligence at this point is, definitely, if you look at the proverbial Gartner Hype Cycle, it’s at the top of the hype cycle. I think a lot of firms see the promise for it in the future, just from the sheer fact of the adoption of digital channels and really reshaping businesses toward the customer experience. One thing that stood out is when I was actually out in Asia Pac earlier this year at a conference, the Global Payment Summit, was just the sheer number of transactions and the adoption of mobile out in Singapore, and some of the volumes that they’re dealing with, companies like Tenpay and Alipay.
They’re working on volumes in hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. When you have transaction volume that large, there’s just a lot of activity that needs to happen operationally at the bank. Also, from a regulatory and transaction monitoring perspective, from regtech, you’re starting to see new technologies that are starting to merge as well in parallel with artificial intelligence. You’ve got organizations moving to these more modern architectures that are API-centric and data-first.
They’re starting to tap into new ecosystems of information and data. Whether they’re fintechs or innovative third parties, or even as we start to get into this world of IoT, you’re going to start to have new data sources that are out there. As you start to create better channel experiences for the customers, we’re seeing a lot more uptake and a lot more focus on other channels such as Alexa and some of the work around voice recognition. You got some of the facial-recognition things that they have with the new iPhone X, and natural language processing.
All these different factors are starting to come in and converge. That’s all getting translated into data. You have this big-data aspect to it, where it’s no longer going to be sufficient to have semimanual and manual types of processes to address it. It’s getting to the scale now where you’re going to need more automation around that. That’s where AI starts to come in and starts to drive a lot of that processing, starts doing a lot of that analytics and machine learning around customer behaviors and things that you can’t do when it’s not automated with AI. That’s what a lot of the focus was on around artificial intelligence — where it’s headed, and how it can start to support different companies’ business models.
That’s very true, and I think that’s where a lot of firms are starting to look at it. How do you start to advance customer experience — customer experience 2.0? One of the main topics that were discussed in the conference was this whole concept around multimodality, where they are even starting to look at interpreting emotions, either through facial recognition or, if you’re doing things like chatbots and you’re using natural language processing, looking at emojis, and how you can start to factor that in and use AI to start to interpret that, to be able to provide better responses and better experiences to your customers.
While technology is driving a lot of the change now with new technologies in the space in how you deliver products and services, I think once you get a lot more organizations on these modern platforms, it’s going to start to move and shift all the way back toward the customer experience and customers’ interest in making sure that you’re operating where the customers are at and making sure that that experience is superior to any competitor’s.
Yes. I think, with regulation, there’s two ways to think of it. First of all, I think more at the regulatory-body level, how do you start to look at emerging technologies, and how do you have regulations start to get ahead of that and start to shape innovation toward the future? I know that if you look at different jurisdictions, there are different ways that they’re handling that. I know, in Singapore, with the AMS, they've got functions there where banks can tap into API's, where they’re able to do a common way to do anti-money laundering and know your customer, and not pushing that back onto the banks to do that, but do that in a way that’s more consistent, more cost-effective and transparent to the banks.
You’re going to start to see concepts like that emerge and start to permeate to other jurisdictions. We’ve heard recently in the UK, with their stance on GDPR and some of the regulations that they have around their own Revised Payment Service Directive. Those are ways to think forward on open banking and open financial services where we’re going to start to see a lot more of that adoption here in the U.S. I think at the regulatory level, you’re going to start to see that shape new future innovation. I think that’s the way regtech is going to help as that starts to shape regulation and policy for the different banks, just through the sheer number of transactions that had been mentioned before in addition to all this new data is are coming in, whether structured or unstructured.
We start to see new information coming in from IoT where you’ve got beacons and sensors. Different organizations are using data in different ways to be able to parse through all this information, to be able to report out to the regulators, whether it’s through regular regulatory reporting or whether it’s through suspicious activity on various transactions. Just to deal with that sheer volume, you’re going to have to leverage functions like regtech to help simplify that, to make it consistent and provide the operational efficiency that you’re going to need going forward.