Webinar Explores Impact of Technology for FinTech - Watch Now

04 October 2021

The fourth webinar in the Creating Tomorrow’s World series focused on FinTech and provided viewers with inside perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for technology adoption in the financial services industry.  

Dr Nicola Stokes, IDA’s Technologist for International Financial Services, kicked off the event.  In her presentation Nicola gave an overview of the financial services industry in Ireland and highlighted how the deep technology talent pool that exists in Ireland is a major factor in attracting financial services industries to Ireland.  Speaking at the event she said: “Ireland has attracted all the big internet and social media companies who have joined us in the last 10 to 15 years but even before that we have had long established tech companies, like Apple, Microsoft and IBM.  Now financial services companies are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this deep technology talent pool and this is at the forefront of their minds when they look to accelerate digital transformation within their organisations.  We are seeing a cross pollination between the two sectors and this is putting Ireland at the centre of the financial services technology revolution.”

Ray Richardson, Global Head of Advanced Analytics at Deutsche Bank (DB), was the second speaker at the event.  Ray’s work involves leading AI and ML initiatives to harness advanced data analytics and data science and is a leader in implementing innovation within the enterprise.  He gave an insight into the work that his group is doing in Deutsche Bank and the challenges that they are encountering.  

In DB, Ray’s team operates a funnel for ideas where they determine what could work for the organisation.  All ideas are tested to see if they are feasible and have support.  Once they have something that looks like it could positively impact the business they move to developing it and prove the case before it is professionalised and embedded within the organisation.  

Giving examples of some innovation projects Ray Richardson said: “Liquidity optimisation, next best action for relationship managers, and a really interesting project focusing on portfolio managers are some of the areas we have worked on recently.  For the latter we looked at their investment decisions over a period of time and tried to classify them to see if they were people who held onto stock for too long, do they sell too quickly and we found that there are a number of classic personas in terms of investment bankers.  If you can make people aware of their unconscious bias in terms of their investment decisions it really does drive performance.”

Ray spoke about how the organisation is moving to the Cloud and the benefits DB has seen as a result of that decision. He explained how data discovery in most large organisations is a major challenge.  He went on to discuss how the data landscape is extraordinarily fractured and the metadata landscape is extremely poor so it takes a long time to discover the data they want to work with.  Data access was highlighted as the biggest pain point and said there is a real need within the bank to access data but it can take months to get access approval.  One area that could help circumvent this challenge is the area of synthetic data. Usually the problem with synthetic data is that it loses a lot of its analytic utility.  The most recent startups in this space manage to generate synthetic data that actually maintain the data distributions, the analytic utility of the data allowing innovation teams within the bank to build the ML models where they can prove or disprove without having to go through the data access area.  Ray also spoke about advanced data profiling tools, trustworthy AI, and automated models.  

The final speaker was Dr Robert Ross, Senior Lecturer at Technological University Dublin and Principle Investigator at the ADAPT Centre.  He outlined the growth drivers for fintech and highlighted that a lot more attention is being paid to the use of technology in the financial services sector than ever before.  He gave an overview about how ADAPT Centre research is driving innovation through a number of use cases.

“We want to be able to help the financial services sector by building on our own core competencies in data analytics, machine learning and state of the art financial technology.  To date our focus has been on regulation tech, insurance tech and payments tech but we see other growth areas such as wealth tech and lending tech.  ADAPT’s expertise underpins a lot of the work that needs to be done in the financial technology sector.  Machine learning, natural language processing and data analytics are just some of the core competencies that exist for partners looking to innovate.”

Dr Ross also spoke about conversational agents and processing modelling methods that aim to query how business processes are optimised for financial services companies.  Personalisation was also referred to where new applications can be tailored to new customers and will become increasingly important to the fintech sector.  

Our next webinar will be focused on Human Computer Interaction and will take place in early November.  It will be advertised on this website and in our monthly newsletter.  If you would like to sign up you for our monthly newsletter you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/dvMVLf