Stefan Baciu, SAS: “We can have exponential growth in digitalization, with benefits for both customers and organizations”
“There are a series of approaches related to the ability to understand very quickly and very simply the desires of the customers. And this ability to understand trends, to understand customer needs is given by the possibility to analyse a lot of data related to customer interaction with various banking products or various vendors, to understand their behaviour, to understand proactively and to anticipate the needs of these customers. The more banks that have enormous volumes of data can extract this data, the more the ability to attract and retain customers grows.
It’s clearly a massive opportunity in this segment, but to be harnessed is, of course, the need for certain investments, in education, in creating certain products that fit the needs of this segment, plus the need to get out of a certain paradigm because, I’ll give you an example, a certain area is susceptible to a higher risk of lending. Automatically the loan office in that area will decrease. And automatically that’s going to lead to the development of a trend in this area, not necessarily of under-development, but not of growth, so it’s a spiral that feeds itself. From this perspective, new elements should be found to bring in these models, which can remove certain areas or certain segments from this continuum,” Stefan Baciu, Country Manager SAS Romania & Rep. Moldova said during Financial Forum 2022 organized by The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“The area of anti-fraud and anti-money laundry are very well regulated and can represent a kind of bottlenecks in the context of accelerated digitalization and the need to interact as quickly as possible with banking products. But it can also be an opportunity to have a safe environment, to have customers who are of a certain quality and to eliminate these bottlenecks by using technologies that can make this process very easy. And I have even noticed lately an increase in the interest of companies in this industry in this area of anti-money laundry and anti-fraud because with the digitalization and intensification of transactions on multiple channels you need to be able to monitor these channels and take actions proactively, not to support the consequences.
Working in the hybrid system and all this period of covid and remote work has accelerated digitalization. Digitalization can mean many things, from optimizing internal processes to easy interaction with customers. The fact is that many bottlenecks have to be solved. Some of them are more difficult to implement, such as facial recognition, others can be addressed through technologies that exist and that we make available, technologies related to customer creditworthiness analysis, risk analysis, anti-fraud analysis, the use of machine learning technologies and artificial intelligence that detect anomalies in very large volumes of data, which a human operator would not detect.
There is, of course, the problem of human resources and here we help and come up with master’s degree programs to train specialists in the data science area. We are trying to bring, beyond these technologies that are increasingly in demand and are more and more accepted on the local market, the necessary resources to understand them and to develop them continuously. And very importantly, we come with a very vast experience from all over the world and we are talking about real projects and use-cases that really give results. Banks are increasingly going to convenience, to speed, they want to be able to have an absolutely coherent message on all channels of engagement with customers, they want to be protected against fraud, to be compliant with anti-money laundry rules and all this to happen very easily and quickly in interacting with customers. The good news is that these things are possible, there are concrete examples in this direction, but there is a need for a greater focus on these directions in order to be able to reach that potential of the market, with which we all agree that it exists in our market.
The earlier we start and lay the foundation for know-how in this digital area, the better and more than that we also open the appetite for more advanced things. At the moment we are focusing on this area of universities and the post-graduate environment because we noticed that the appetite is very high and the demand in the market is very high, there is a deficit in this area of data science, of specialists in advanced data analysis and the data shows us that the world is going in this direction. It’s clear that the volume of data is growing exponentially and to what extent you manage to understand and put that data to work, to get the information actionable and intelligent, the more so the level of profitability increases. We partner with Babes-Bolyai University and we are working on initiatives with other universities to increase the number of data scientists.
It’s a good moment that we must continue, a good moment brought by a crisis, but let’s look at the positive side. We are famous anyway for burning the stages as people and I think that if we have the curiosity to understand, to adopt certain practices, certain use-cases from other areas of the world, in conjunction with this capacity to burn the stages, we can have some exponential growth in this area of digitalization, with benefits for both customers and organizations.”
Full recording of the conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mKuoh09GM4