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AI and RPA: A new era sets in

Rhonita Patnaik
Filed on August 31, 2020
Small institutions are increasingly adopting Fintech solutions in order to function as a full-service corporate bank.

AI market is set to grow by a stunning 83 per cent, from $290 million in 2019, to $530 million in 2022.

While most organisations are looking to adapt their businesses in the light of the 'digital' tsunami, the technologies that have seen the highest levels of adoption and interest are undoubtedly Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Even though there are others in the realm of emerging technologies, AI and RPA seem to grab most of the headlines largely due to nature of impact they tend to have on organisational efficiencies and customer experience.

While Robotic Process automation focuses on imitating human interaction by automating repetitive and non-value adding tasks, AI looks to mimic human intelligence through unsupervised learning and cognitive capabilities. We experience these technologies every day - whether it is the 'captcha' (to prevent bots from executing transactions) or Siri or Uber estimating your fare as you confirm your booking or social media recommendations for a probable 'friend' or what should you 'binge watch' next based on your past online activities.

The banking sector in the UAE has recently become very competitive due to active development of new technologies. For instance, Emirates NBD's Pepper, the AI powered humanoid robot, has learnt to speak Arabic as it seeks to help more of the bank's customers.

The Middle East's financial hub aims to assist local banks in becoming more agile, competitive, while adhering to the relevant regulatory requirements. The nation's government has been helping local Fintech providers with meeting the changing requirements of local consumers.

There are 23 local and 26 multinational banking institutions in the UAE. The nation's five largest financial institutions account for around 60 per cent of the industry's total assets. Small institutions like the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) are increasingly adopting Fintech solutions in order to function as a full-service corporate bank.

Also, one of the oldest banks in the UAE, Mashreq Bank actively uses software robots to optimize the company's processes in such departments as banking operations, compliance, customer support, etc. As part of its digital transformation journey, Mashreq Bank is continuously evolving its strategies to innovate and transform its banking operations. This helps address changing consumer needs by developing new products and services and providing seamless, convenient, and secure banking services to its customers.

Mashreq is the first private bank in the UAE to implement an automation platform that integrates emerging technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cognitive capabilities to deliver seamless digital customer experiences and improve operational efficiency for the bank's staff so they can better service customers.

After the introduction of the first software robots, they were able to achieve the following results:
.    The robot makes more than 150,000 secure and error-free transactions per day
.    Reduced the number of customer complaints by 90 per cent
.    Productivity of individual branches increased by 60 per cent

NBF also uses RPA and AI to successfully compete with local giants. Two years ago, they began testing RPA solutions and actively discussing the introduction of digital technology with all stakeholders. Now the company has automated over 50 processes, which has significantly improved the processing time of applications.

The introduction of advanced technologies allows you to stay on the market, as well as to gain a competitive advantage.


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