How Computer Vision Can Transform Financial Services

Computer (or machine) vision in finance proves to be beneficial to both companies and customers alike. While it may have seemed a bit far-fetched only a few years ago, advanced technologies including the use of machine vision in finance is slowly becoming more and more commonplace. Innovations made in fintech have made it possible for the finance sector to significantly boost customer experience and lighten employee’s workloads. It is forecast that by 2025, the global computer vision market will grow to $18.24 billion USD with a CAGR around 7.7 per-cent.

Transformative inroads

We know that machine learning is making great strides in all major finance institutions increasing employee and customer ease-of-use processes. This will inevitably pave the way for more automated processes to replace manual and repetitive routines and procedures.

Tasks that can take hours currently, can be reduced to minutes by using computer vision. For example, one banking institution addresses their Know Your Customer (KYC) process of opening bank accounts by verifying the identification of applicants by video call or selfie. This eliminates the need for manual verification. It proves itself to be a win-win situation for banks to attract more clients and refocus human resources devoted to the manual process onto more important tasks.

Cardless Payments – Supported by Computer vision and AI

The elimination of our dependency on physical currency is one of the most important aspects with the use of computer vision in the finance sector. This would involve replacing debit, credit cards as well as traditional physical currency with digital codes (one or multiple times) on smartphones or other device of some kind. By not carrying any physical currency, cards or otherwise, safety of the customer is improved, and fraud is significantly reduced.

Forms of this advanced technology exists today with Apple and Samsung being at the forefront. Both companies introduced mobile payment systems to eliminate the physical card carriage. Users’ card information is stored digitally and is authenticated at any point-of-sale (POS) terminal simply by using biometrics. For now, this process does not altogether eliminate the dependence on cards, but it is a first step on the path towards computer vision helping realize a truly digital transactional society.

Computer vision – Key benefits in finance

There is a major reduction in time, paperwork, money, and resources with computer vision introduced to the financial industry; effectively by replacing traditional methods with digital process services. By using these digital methods, new account verifications are completed more efficiently with little to no manual processes required in backend operations.

A truly paperless and cashless future is possible by using computer vision where transactions are completed digitally on smartphones or smartwatches where authentication is by biometrics. Iris scans are extremely difficult to replicate and will enhance reliability while respecting privacy concerns. Additionally, fraudulent activity is greatly reduced, giving the customer peace of mind when making financial transactions. In effect, company trust and satisfaction will also increase by customers using their products and services. In the long run, this is attractive to new customers.

Challenges along the way

Computer vision is not without its own set of challenges today, regardless of the benefits, it brings to the finance sector. A majority of this is in customer’s willingness or acceptance of technologies involved as there is still a propensity to steer closer to more traditional methods of services and processes.

Education is an important component of digital progress. Customers will need to understand that using the technology will not compromise their privacy or their data. Each advance made in digital services will need to come with orientation of some sort.

There remains an undercurrent of fear regarding phishing information where customers inadvertently gave away private information that compromised their digital security. Instances like these made public instill a sense of worry from customers who would sooner avoid technological advancements of any kind.

Ultimately there is also the cost of research and development that involves great amounts of time and resources as well. While over time operational costs will go down, it is the initial startup costs that keep some institutions from forging ahead.

Final Thoughts

While there is always a cost to making progress in any sector, many financial companies who have chosen not to invest internally, have instead chosen to purchase or exclusively fund fintech startups to bring technology into their organization. This will not only gain an advantage of time to completion but also eliminates the tedious task of building a new technology from scratch as the core business is finance, not technology.

Disclaimer:  The author of this text, Robin Trehan, has an undergraduate degree in Economics, Masters in international business and finance, and MBA in electronic business. Trehan is Senior VP at Deltec International The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the author, and not necessarily reflecting the views of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries, and/or employees.