Intelligent automation: Helping fintechs redefine themselves

Fintechs can scour data sources across disparate systems to provide better offers or discounts to their customers

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Today, you see fintech companies cultivating a culture of incremental automation at a fast pace. This is not only about having a ‘productivity program’, but also about integrating automation into day-to-day business operations. The aim is to encourage associates to focus on targeted and specific automation processes that can bring numerous benefits, such as improved efficiency, better security, and increased client satisfaction. It has become imperative to co-create with clients by re-imagining and re-orchestrating business processes to be frictionless, straight-through, intelligent, and consistent across channels and devices.


For example, rule-based automation, such as 'procure to pay' and cognitive automation utilizing AI, can help gain efficiency. Similarly, auto-code correction tools can remediate software vulnerabilities to enhance security. Furthermore, continuous monitoring and auditing of software licenses and infrastructure inventories can help establish effective controls. Lastly, providing user interaction via conversational chatbots or digital gifting of non-fungible tokens and multi-factor biometric authentication can help increase client satisfaction. 

Developing via Low Code/No Code Platforms

The science of measuring development productivity has evolved over decades from lines of code to function points, to use case points, to ‘epics’ and ‘features’ measured in story points. It is no longer about sheer throughput or how many ‘widgets’ a developer produces in a day. With the adoption of low code/no code platforms, developers know that the best line of code is the line of code that they don’t write! This is especially important while bootstrapping to create new ‘minimum marketable products’ that fintechs can launch to gain a first-mover competitive advantage.


Investing in Environments for Experimentation

It is not enough to assemble full-stack developers in scrum teams. Instead, successful fintechs build robust digital ecosystems around them. This includes creating highly integrated sandbox environments ideal for rapid experimentation, central repositories of knowledge enabled by AI and ML for frequently solved past defects or client service inquiries and highly automated pattern-based development environments that developers can spin up on the cloud at will. Above all you need a leadership that is invested and committed to this approach. 

Designing excellent workspaces is also important as this fosters transparency and ingenuity through curated spaces such as 'design studios' and 'garages.' These physical or virtual zones unite diverse, cross-functional, and multi-skilled teams to collaborate for crowd-sourced hackathons and encourage innovation.


Designing User Experiences to Drive Customer Loyalty

Designing user experiences that drive customer loyalty involves various strategies. Fintechs can re-skin, re-factor, or re-imagine their products to improve customer experience. They can modernize by de-coupling monolithic architectures into responsive frontends and microservices architecture. Rapid prototyping can be used to create stencils for quicker development, building reusable libraries of patterns and components to reduce cost and deliver superior user experiences for native mobile-first development. Additionally, investing in usability labs for formative and summative usability testing can help achieve high usability scores.

Another way to drive customer loyalty is by extracting insights from unrelated data. Fintechs can scour data sources across disparate systems to provide better offers or discounts to their customers. For example, they can develop products that tell customers which credit card would give them the maximum loyalty points and help them understand and control their spending patterns. 


Building Talent Communities  

Sustaining a culture of intelligent automation requires a focus on building vibrant talent communities. This involves developing role-based communities such as communities of architects, agile practitioners, and full stack developers, as well as communities based on other affinities such as women in tech, the LGBTQ community, young professionals, and differently-abled associates. Likewise, fintechs must invest in knowledge management and interaction platforms to build communication and knowledge-sharing community channels. Organizing events such as hackathons, ideathons, bootcamps, and carnivals can channel creativity from ideation to execution. By fostering vibrant talent communities, fintechs can continue to innovate and evolve in the ever-changing landscape of technology and finance.

As we gaze into the future, we see Intelligent Automation as an integral part of the fintech landscape - whether it's through AI, machine learning, or robotics, this trend is already reshaping the industry in profound ways, and the pace of change is only accelerating. The possibilities are truly limitless, and the fintech landscape of tomorrow promises to be an exciting and dynamic place driven by innovation and fuelled by technology.

The article has been written by Sachin Kulkarni, SVP – Delivery, Global Services, Fiserv