>Business >Emergent tech that are poised to drive the financial and banking domain in the very near future Part 4

Emergent tech that are poised to drive the financial and banking domain in the very near future Part 4

There are various categories of ML algorithms. These categorizations vary based on the level of human intervention needed in labelling of the data:

  • In ‘supervised learning’ the algorithm is inputted into a grouping of ‘training’ data that consists of labels on some percentage of the observations. For example, a data grouping of transactions might consist of labels on some data points that identified those that are malicious and those that are not fraudulent. The algorithm will ‘learn’ a general rule of classification that it will leverage to forecast the labels for the pending observations within the data set.
  • ‘Unsupervised learning’ is a reference to scenarios where the data furnished to the algorithm does not consist of labels. The algorithm is queried to identify patterns in the data through identification of clusters of observations that are reliant on similar fundamental traits. For instance, an unsupervised ML algorithm could be set up to search for securities that contain traits for the illiquid security, pricing of other securities within the cluster can be leveraged to assist in pricing the illiquid security.
  • ‘Reinforcement learning’ is categorized in between unsupervised and supervised learning. In this scenario, the algorithm is inputted an unlabelled grouping of data, selects an action for every data point, and obtains feedback (probably from a human) that assists the algorithm in learning. For example, reinforcement learning can be leveraged with game theory, robotics, and autonomous cars.
  • ‘Deep learning’ is a variant of ML that leverages algorithms that operate in ‘layers’ inspired by the structure and functioning of the brain. Deep learning algorithms, whose structures are referred to as artificial neural networks (ANNs) can be leveraged in unsupervised, supervised, or reinforcement learning.

Lately, deep learning has behind to noteworthy results in diverse domains, like image recognition and natural language processing (NLP). Deep learning algorithms have the potential to discover generalisable ideas, like encoding the concept of a ‘car’ from a grouping of images. An investor could potentially deploy algorithms that identifies vehicles, counting their numbers in a retail parking lot utilizing a satellite image; this is to infer probable store sales numbers for a specific time period.

NLP facilitates computer systems to ‘read’ and generate written text, when brought together with voice recognition, to interpret and generate spoken language. This facilitates enterprises in automation of financial service functions which prior, needed manual intervention.

ML can have application to varying types of issues, like classification or regression analysis. Classification algorithms which are a lot more consistently deployed in practice, group observations into a limited number of classifications. Classification algorithms are on the basis of probability, implying that the result is the categorization for which it finds the highest probability that it comes from.

An instance might be to automatically read a sell-side report and categorize it as ‘bearish’ or ‘bullish’ with some odds, or predict an unrated enterprise’s initial credit rating. Regression algorithms, by comparison, predict the outcome of issues that have a limited number of solutions (ongoing grouping of potential outcomes). This result can be accompanied with a confidence interval. Regression algorithms can be leveraged for the pricing of options. Regression algorithms can additionally be leveraged as one intermediate step of classification algorithm.

It is critical to observe what ML is incapable of, like determination of causality. Typically speaking, ML algorithms are leveraged to detect patterns that are connected with other patterns or events. The patterns that ML detects are merely correlations, a few of which are unidentifiable to the human eye. But, ML and AI applications are being harnessed more and more by economists and others to assist in understanding intricate relationships, combined with other tools and domain expertise.

Several ML strategies are barely new. Indeed, neural networks, the fundamental concept for deep learning, were first produced in the 1960s. But, following an initial burst of excitement, AI and ML have not lived up to their potential and funding dissipated for approximately ten years, partially owing to the lack of adequate computational power and data. There was a renewal in funding and attention in applications during the 80s, during the course of which, several of the research concepts were produced for subsequent breakthroughs.


A plethora of factors that have been contributors to the appreciating use of FinTech generally had additionally adoption of ML and AI in financial services. On the supply aspect of things, financial market participants have benefitted from the availability of ML and AI tools made for applications in other domains. These consist of availability of computational power due to quicker processing speeds, reduced hardware expenditure, and improved access to computational power through cloud services.

Similarly, there is storage that is inexpensive, parsing, and analysis of data via the utilization of targeted databases, algorithms/software. There has also been a quick appreciation in databases regarding prediction and learning owing to increased digitisation and the adoption of web-based services.

The same utilities behind progression in ML in search engines and autonomous vehicles, can be adopted within the financial domain. For instance, entity recognition tools that facilitate search engines to comprehend when a user is referencing to the Ford Motor Company, instead of fording a river, are now leveraged to swiftly detect news or social media chatter relevant to publicly traded domains.

As an increasing number of enterprises adopt these utilities, the financial incentives to access fresh or additional data and to produce quicker and more precise ML and AI tools might appreciate. In turn, adoption like this, and development of tools might impact incentives for yet more firms.

An array of tech advancements in the financial space have made contributions to the development of infrastructure and data sets. The proliferation of electronic trading platforms has come together with an appreciation in the availability of high-quality market data within structured formats. In some nations, like the USA, market regulators facilitate traded enterprises to leverage social media for public announcements. On top of making digested financial data available for ML, the computerization of markets has direct Artificial Intelligence interaction with markets a reality.

Operations-concentrated use cases – we will be looking at ML in action within the modern financial enterprise

Issues of financial stability and credit worthiness can have crucially contingent on the leveraging of AI/ML. To evaluate such implications, issues to be evaluated would consist of those which AI/ML tools are being harnessed to make those types of decisions, on which time scales, to tackle which financial functions, and where at to what extent human involvement features integration.

AI/ML are being deployed for an array of purposes across the financial framework. Instances consist of:

  • Sentiment indicators: Social media data analytics businesses harness ML strategies to furnish ‘sentiment indicators’ to an array of financial services players. Investor sentiment indicators are presently being researched, and oriented to banking firms, hedge funding, high-frequency trading traders, and social trading, and investment platforms.
  • Trading signals: ML can assist firms to improve productivity and minimize expenditure by swiftly scanning and making decisions on the basis of additional sources of data than a human agent is capable of. Herein there is a restriction of ML tech: through identification and reliance on patterns that were predictive of outcomes, historically, these utilities are vulnerable to false data. For instance, there were market moves cross bonds, equities, foreign exchange, and commodities in April 2013 upon the trade of algorithms in reaction to a fraud news Tweet making announcements with regards to dual explosions at the White House. These kinds of issues might be worsened as machine learning penetrates deeper.
  • AML/CFT and fraud detection: Looking to improve productivity and at the same time minimize expenses and risks, while maintaining compliance with regulations, a few enterprises leverage AI for AML/CFT and fraud detection at financial enterprises. Enterprises can also leverage ML in the pursuit of credit monitoring and risk mitigation.


Customer-oriented deployments

AI/ML are currently witnessing application in the front offices of financial enterprises

Credit-scoring applications

  • Credit scoring utilities that harness AI/ML are developed to hasten decision making with regards to lending,
  • …while possibly restricting incremental risk.
  • Lenders have for long been reliant on credit scoring to undertake lending decisions for enterprises/retail customers.
  • Data with regards to transactions and payment histories from financial enterprises in the past functioned as decision trees, regression, and statistical analysis
  • This is used to produce a credit score leveraging restricted amounts of structured data.

However, banks and other lenders are on an increasing basis resorting to additional, semi-structured, and unstructured data sources, which includes social media activity, smartphone use, and messaging app activity, to obtain a more layered perspective of creditworthiness, and enhance the rating precision of loans. Application of AI strategies, ML algorithms to this array of newly born data has facilitated evaluation of qualitative factors like consumption behaviour, and willingness to open their pockets.

The capacity to harness extra data on these measures facilitate for greater, quicker, and less expensive segmentation of borrower quality and eventually leads to a faster credit-related decision. Although, the leveraging of personal data raises other policy problems, which includes the ones that are connected to data privacy and data protections.

On top of enabling a possibly more accurate, segmented evaluation of creditworthiness the leveraging of ML algorithms within credit scoring might assist in facilitating improved access to credit. In conventional credit scoring models leveraged in select markets, a prospective borrower must have an adequate amount of historical credit data to be listed as ‘scorable’.

Without this data, a credit score cannot be produced, and a prospective creditworthy borrower is usually not able to get credit and build up a solid credit history. With the leveraging of alternate data sources and the application of ML algorithms to assist in developing an evaluation of capacity and willingness to pay back, lenders might be able to come to credit decisions that prior would’ve not been a reality. This trend does confer some benefits to economies of nation states with deeper credit markets. Usually, it is yet to be proved that ML-driven credit scoring models outpace conventional instances for evaluation of creditworthiness.

Over the course of the previous few years, an array of FinTech start-up businesses that target clients not conventionally serviced by banks have propped up. On top of more typically known online lenders that lend within the U.S.A., one business is leveraging an algorithmic strategy to data analysis and has broadened to international markets, specifically China, where the dominant portion of borrowers don’t possess credit scores. Another enterprise, out of London, is operating to furnish credit scores for persons with ‘thin’ credit files, leveraging its algorithms and alternative data sources to review loan applications that have undergone rejection by lenders for prospective flaws.

Also, some firms drawing on massive troves of data housed at conventional banking firms in order to go about integrating mobile banking apps with bank data and AI to help with financial administration and make financial projections, with might be the preliminary steps to possessing a credit history.

There are an array of benefits and drawbacks to harnessing AI within credit scoring models. AI facilitates humongous amounts of data to be analysed very swiftly, very efficiently. As an outcome, it could potentially yield credit scoring policies that can manage a wider range of credit inputs, reducing the expense of evaluation of credit risks form specific individuals, and improving the number of persons whom enterprises can quantify credit risk.

An instance of the deployment of big data to credit scoring could consist of the evaluation of non-credit bill payments, like the punctual payment of mobile phone and other utility bills, in conjunction with other data. Also, persons with no credit history or credit score might be capable to obtain a loan or a credit card owing to AI, were the absence of credit history has conventionally been a restricting factor as alternative indicators of the probability of repayment has been absent in traditional credit scoring models.

But, the leveraging of advanced algorithms could have the outcome of lacking transparency to clients. This ‘black box’ facet of ML algorithms may consequentially create concerns. When leveraging ML to allocate credit scores make effective credit decisions, it is usually more tough to furnish customers, auditors, and supervisors with an explanation of a credit score and having the outcome of credit decision if it faces challenge.

Also, some make the argument that the leveraging of alternative data sources, like online behaviour, or non-conventional financial data, could put forth bias into the credit decision. Particularly consumer advocacy groups indicate that ML utilities can yield combos of borrower traits that merely forecast race or genders, factors that fair lending legislation prohibit considering in several jurisdictions. These algorithms might score a lender from an minority ethnic group at increased risk of defaulting as similar lenders have conventionally been furnished with loan stipulations that are much less favorable.


That brings us to the conclusion of the fourth part of this blog series. The next part will focus on further use cases and RPA implementation within the financial services industry.

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