Summit brings applications of AI to financial services to the forefront

Updated 2018-02-01 15:13:01

Zhao Yang, senior vice-president of Kuai Niu Group.

Kuai Niu Group, one of the leading providers of financial technology solutions, is ramping up efforts to speed up the integration between artificial intelligence and traditional financial services, in an effort to bring about innovative and disruptive change in the sector.

Senior Vice-President Zhao Yang said the Shanghai-based fintech startup leverages AI technology to develop its own risk control system, called Yuanfang, which boasts strong capabilities of anti-fraud identification and massive user data processing.

"That system is our 'weapon'. We can apply it to whichever sector, either a business to business or business to consumer market, that make profit or win customers," Zhao said in a recent panel discussion. "We have reached deep cooperation with Chinese tech giants, including Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings Ltd, and JD.com."

He made the remarks at the 2018 SAIF MF International Youth Leadership Finance Summit in Shanghai. The four-day event, starting on Saturday, gathered a host of scholars, experts and business leaders who have domain expertise in the financial sector.

Distinguished keynote speakers included Chang Chun, executive dean and professor of finance at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance; Che Pinjue, expert partner of Sequoia Capital China and Mu Haijie, senior vice president and president of Remittance Data, Remittance World.

This year's summit put the spotlight on fintech, with topics ranging from robo-advisors to data mining.

Four topics that have drawn wide attention and thorough discussions were Rotation Strategy within the Banking Sector, Design of Blockchain Application, Quantitative Asset Allocation Using Black-Litterman Model and Credit Risk Model for Individual Loan.

In the past, financial managers got to know their customers mostly based on the one-page form they peruse, and thus make suitable product recommendations or decide on a proper loan limit.That one-page form, according to Zhao, was far from enough to adequately allocate financial resources. In a roundtable, he outlined his vision for a change that fintech helps improve the marketing strategy of financial products.

Competition in the fintech sector become increasingly intense, as more and more established firms and fledgling private companies jump on the bandwagon.

They are attracted by the disruptive nature of fintech, look for partnerships to boost their operational efficiency, and meet customer demands for innovative services.

Last year four Chinese tech tycoons, BATJ for short, announced, respectively, to engage in considerable collaboration with one of four State-owned banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China.

According to PwC's DeNovo, recent achievements in AI have enabled the technology to top the list for financial services.

Startups that integrate AI with financial services have been funded more extensively, with an average funding of billion over the last two years, the report said. Also, 30 percent of large financial institutions are investing in AI.

Eight-two percent of incumbents are expected to increase fintech partnerships in the next three to five years, it said. Annual return on investment on fintech related projects is estimated to be 20 percent.

Facing fierce competition, the crucial method for startups to maintain healthy and sustainable development is how to position them in a unique manner, business insiders said.

"Kuai Niu position itself as an AI-enabled group that delivers technology solutions for upgrading financial sector. Our goal is to outpace financial services companies (rather than BATJ). All we need to do is to provide technologies and services better than other financial services firms," Zhao said. Founded in 2014, the company has received B round financing.

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