PEOPLE | Oct 15, 2019

Data at the heart of Fintech: interview with Pasquale Orlando

How can Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence support the provision of financial and banking services?

“See the future first”, or being innovators in the financial field for anticipating trends and gaining in competitiveness. This is the motto adopted by Deus Technology and recounted by its Strategic Marketing Manager Pasquale Orlando.

“Banks,” says Orlando, “must introduce technologies necessary to automate as much as possible a series of processes that are still extremely manual and must combine Data Analytics and  Artificial Intelligence in order to support financial advisors and thus extend the services offered.  Through a data-driven model based on Data Analytics, our platform – RoboAdvisory – allows you to generate specific proposals for each type of customer”.

Why is the datum so important in the provision of financial services?

“We cannot, as done so far, use services based only on mathematical functions that consider mandatory information and legislation for giving advice on complex choices such as those related to investments. We must respond to a very structured reality, where choices are influenced by multiple factors and cannot be separated from a deep knowledge of the customer that can be had thanks to Data Analytics“.

Which data are used to guide people’s choices in investments?

“There are so many data to analyze: they range from the customer’s mandate to the strategy that the bank intends to adopt, the limits imposed by legislation, the personal data of the person in front of you and which, for example, can represent their family situation and therefore their propensity or not to risk. Then there are the historical data held by the banks which, when cross-referenced with those of the market, reveal much about a person. If, for example, at a particular moment of market difficulty you see that a customer is selling, from there you can understand that you are dealing with an emotional person. To these data can be added those of investments with other banks, in addition to those related to the direct knowledge that the financial consultant has of their client. All this helps to build an investment proposal tailored to the person. This model, which is currently used for investments, could be applied to many other needs and services, such as mortgages or personal,  car or life insurance policies”.

In addition to investment advice, do IT platforms help monitor customers?

“There are occasions when, once the investment is made, the person is left alone and one does not realize immediately that some parameters are ‘out of control’. Platforms can also help in this respect, that is by giving alerts when certain parameters are no longer under control, such as when there is an excess of liquidity on the account, or an investment strategy is moving away from the expectations of the investor, or a percentage of risk is rising unexpectedly”.

What is the current situation of banks?

“Banks certainly lack the data culture in addition to in-house expertise on Data Science Banking databases are often divided, difficult to group, very far from the vision of the data lake that they should instead have. For this reason, I believe that most of the data available are not used to the fullest. We are at year zero and this means that there are great growth opportunities for banks. Today more than ever, we need IT platforms that provide financial and banking services”.

Which overseas experiences should be looked at most closely?

“One experience that I find very interesting is that of Number 26, a new generation bank based in Germany, which offers financial services to Eurozone customers and makes massive use of Data Analytics. It provides services to 4 million customers, serves 29 countries and has around 1,000 employees. If we want to make a comparison with a medium-sized Italian bank, we can say that working with just one country and having an average of 2 million customers, a local bank has almost 7,000 employees. Another experience to look at is that of BBVA, a Spanish bank that has invested heavily in data culture”.

What is the role of chatbot and AI in Fintech?

“Since technology evolved into the conversational part, most financial services could be delivered through chatbot. Today people are increasingly pushed to go it alone, but with financial services it is really difficult. This is why Artificial Intelligence also represents an excellent opportunity for people in this sector”.

Sonia Montegiove