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​Intelligence to Transform How Financial Services Organisations Engage with Customers

​Advancements in authentication and AI-powered chatbot technology to enable improved customer service and security amid industry transformation

SYDNEY, 30 January, 2018 – The emergence of Fintech startups and voice-powered artificial intelligence (AI) have altered people's expectations for banking. As a result, financial services organisations will leverage advancements in security and predictive technology to improve their efficiency, agility and ultimately deliver a better customer experience, particularly beneficial for smaller and mid-size banks looking to transform how they go to market, according to a new set of predictions from experts at Unisys Corporation (NYSE:UIS). 

"We see the customer experience as the key differentiation point for banks' digital banking strategy," said Eric Crabtree, global head of Unisys Financial Services. "Today's customer relies on his or her mobile device to bank as they go, while major hacks are keeping security concerns top-of-mind. We see a shift in the year ahead where banks move towards a more integrated, omnichannel business model that allows customers to pay bills, apply for mortgages, or purchase goods and services on the go – while using new methods of authentication to ensure people's data is protected."  

Consequently, Crabtree predicts a continued rise in the acceptance and sophistication of biometric authentication and chatbot technology, built on the latest artificial intelligence, to deliver a faster, more secure customer experience. 

Prediction: Biometric Authentication Goes Mainstream.  

Security remains one of the top concerns facing the financial services industry; the recent Unisys Security Index™ found that more consumers across Asia Pacific are seriously concerned about identity theft and bankcard fraud than they are about their own personal safety. In this capacity, new biometric technology offers immense potential to ensure that even if your card or credentials are stolen, authentication technology can detect fraudulent activity in real time.   

Unisys predicts that in the coming year, biometric authentication will go mainstream and reach a new level of sophistication in authenticating bank customers, moving beyond the 'traditional' fingerprint, iris and facial scan technology that has already become familiar to consumers via their smartphones and social media.  

Richard Parker, vice president, Financial Services, Unisys Asia Pacific explains: "We expect to see wider adoption of behavioral biometrics where banks analyse smartphone or tablet usage to form uniquely identifiable behavioural profiles across several areas, including how much force users use on the screen, the angles they swipe and even their typing speed. When combined with other authentication methods, like fingerprint or iris scan, this type of behavioural biometric profiles can help ensure that the person doing the transaction is the actual person authorised to do so. Similarly, biometric sensors on wearable devices could also be used to detect unusually high pulse or body temperature, indicating if someone is under unusual or suspicious stress when conducting a transaction. 

"Those banks that take additional steps to protect their customers' data, like tapping into behavioral biometrics for their customers, while also embracing new tools like identity-based microsegmentation to encrypt and protect their networks on the back-end, will be well-positioned for success in the year ahead," Mr Parker says. 

Prediction: Artificial Intelligence Will Have Chatbots Delivering Quality, Real-Time Assistance.  

It is no secret that in today's digital economy, customer data is generated at a pace not seen before. According to a recent report, it is estimated that 90 percent of the world's data was created in just the past two years. Advanced analytics, using machine learning algorithms, are the foundation behind AI, making it possible to understand the nuances of customer behavior by making that transactional data visible and most importantly, actionable. 

While AI tools such as predictive banking and chatbots are already being used by some banks to provide basic information or handle smaller tasks like account balances, Unisys predicts that the maturation of AI technology – powered by machine learning and advanced analytics, will allow chatbots to deliver a more comprehensive and personalised banking experience. The more often a customer interacts with a bank's chatbot, the richer the data gathered, and the better it will understand and predict the customer's needs. This enables a deeper level of service, eliminating the need to wait on hold or in a queue to speak with a customer service representative, delivering results in real-time.  

"In the longer term we will also see chatbots that are integrated across a bank's organisation, rather than multiple ones each with limited functionality, fitting with the growing focus on offering customers an omnichannel relationship with their bank. This will also increasingly help prevent financial crime as many banks' systems are currently siloed and don't take advantage of all the data they have on their customers and don't act in real time. Additionally, given the way voice-powered AI has changed the way consumers interact, we expect further integration of voice AI with digital assistants to facilitate banking requests," Mr Parker says.

Prediction: Accessibility of New Technology Enables Small and Mid-Sized Banks to Reinvent and Reimagine How They Go to Market.  

Historically, big banks have had an edge in what they've been able to offer in terms of digital enhancements – largely because they've had a bigger budget and resources to develop many of these tools in-house. More recently, the traditional banking market has been disrupted as newer Fintechs have benefited from having the agility and flexibility to create and develop digital customer-centric solutions to accommodate customers frustrated with existing banking services. 

"In Singapore and Australia in particular, a key driver will be the advent of Open Banking Standards that define how banks can share data securely through APIs – plug and play software – with trusted third parties, if the customer gives permission, so as to provide additional services such as to easily transfer funds. However, this will require a significant mindset shift for banks – as they shift from being one-stop-shops for financial services, to being open platforms where consumers can take a more modular approach to banking and mix and match different services to meet their needs and stage of life," Mr Parker says. 

Unisys predicts that the advancements in biometric and predictive technology, coupled with the increasing accessibility and improved value proposition offered by partnering with tech companies will enable small and mid-sized banks to transform their offerings and customer service capabilities – helping to bring solutions to market at a quicker pace than a traditional bank can do by itself – allowing small and mid-sized banks to keep pace with bigger banks and Fintechs. Ultimately, technology will fuel the innovation that small and mid-sized banks will use to thrive in the digital age, delivering a seamless banking experience that drives customer loyalty and as a result, creates new revenue opportunities. 

Financial institutions worldwide rely on Unisys solutions. Recently, Unisys launched Elevate™, an end-to-end, digital banking software platform and suite of applications designed to help financial institutions deliver an instantly secure, omnichannel banking experience to their customers.

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specialises in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit

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Claire Hosegood, Unisys, +61 411 253 663  

Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.