Ethical Ai in Fintech

18 January 2021

Alastair Lumley – Account Director, Netpremacy

A new year brings new trends and motives. Be that your own personal ambition to cut down on alcohol for January or not eating meat. Whether it’s to get out and exercise more or whether it’s career progression, we all have aspirations at the start of the year…..and so does the tech industry.

One of the big topics this year I can see having sat on a number of webinars and read numerous blogs is Ai but more importantly the ethical use of Ai.

Ai is becoming such a big part of what we do, whether it’s generating a personal suggestion stream on Netflix….or deciding if your credit rating is good enough to provide a loan. This is why it’s as important as ever to ensure that it’s used in an ethical and correct way. There are boundaries we need to set when using Ai, and these need to be understood correctly and adhered to. So much work has been done globally to improve equality, we need to ensure that everything we do meets this standard.

What is Ai?

Ai can be defined as:

  • A computer or a robot controlled by a computer being able to perform similar tasks as any other highly intelligent living being

  • Simulation of human intelligence processes by computers which includes learning, logical reasoning, or problem-solving

If used correctly it can have a number of benefits:

  • Offering better Customer Service through tailored, personal recommendations

  • Protecting business through analysing historical data & mistakes and using technology to learn from those mistakes

  • Automate the manual process and improve operational efficiency

  • Reducing Human Error improving results & outcomes

  • Holding us all accountable based on the data!

If you would like to learn more on Ai, we’ve created a White Paper that goes into a deep dive on the subject.

Ai in Fintech

If we look at the Financial Industry and how Ai can be applied, it really opens us up to some great products which is why the Fintech industry is thriving and one of the most exciting to be involved in.

Use Cases for Ai in Finance :

  • Fraud Detection: Analyse anomalies against historical data to detect fraudulent activity both for the business and consumer

  • Credit Scoring: More accurately provide a credit rating improving the application process resulting in more reliable & accurate decisions

  • Personalised Products: Can we use Ai to offer personalised financial advice based on our spending patterns, age, salary etc..

  • Focused Saving: Using Ai to generate automatic savings based on our spending patterns.

  • Business Protection: Are we taking on customers who are a risk?

  • Better customer service by analysing support calls & monitoring trending queries getting ahead of the curve

These aren’t necessarily new use cases and by no means an exhaustive list, some are already being executed extremely well by the major players in Fintech but also up and comers as well. However with such a broad range of use cases and its increasing involvement in one of the most integral industries, surely we need to make sure Ai is being used in an ethical way?

So what is Ethical Ai & how do we ensure we are using it correctly?

Ethical Ai is pretty much what it says on the tin, Ai that adheres to certain rules, responsibilities & accountability to ensure the decisions it makes & the suggestions it produces are free from bias and unethical thinking, making sound & accurate decisions that have a benefit.

We have to remember the power technology now has, how much of an influential part of society it has now become, and ultimately how much we need to control it. It’s therefore important to ensure as we develop these Ai algorithms & machine learning models, they are based on sound ethics and principles to ensure they are not biased, prejudiced or operating unfairly.

Fortunately, a lot of research has been done into Ethical Ai & principles to stick to, and as a Google Cloud Premier Partner we learn from the best, from people who are at the forefront of innovation.

Google has a number of pages that go into ethical AI and the principles to adhere to but I wanted to highlight the key ones that they stick to as if it works for Google, it should be somewhat a golden standard for the rest of us.

1. Be socially beneficial.
2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
3. Be built and tested for safety.
4. Be accountable to people.
5. Incorporate privacy design principles.
6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence.
7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.

Why is it so important we adhere to Ethical Ai in Finance?

The Financial industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and one that has to constantly be held to account, surely our use of Ai should follow suit? If we get it wrong it can have catastrophic effects as we’ve all either witnessed, studied at school, or read in the news.

If we generate Ai models that start to become corrupt, use unethical data sources and make decisions that are wrong, we are not learning from our mistakes and merely leaving ourselves open for an even bigger crash in the future.

This is why it’s imperative that the Ai models we create learn from our own mistakes, we don’t use it to justify supplying products to those who aren’t suitable for them. We used it to analyse the vast amount of historical data we have, make unemotional, unbiased decisions that ultimately benefit us all in the long run.

Used correctly Ai is an extremely powerful tool and without a doubt one of the biggest enablers in every industry. This is why it’s so important we stick to the principles above, technology is meant to make a difference, not open us up to a faster way to repeat the past and at a potentially larger scale.

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, this is something Netpremacy can help with. With a team of experienced Data Engineers and Scientists, Netpremacy has helped deploy numerous Ai projects. This has helped develop our understanding of Ai projects, how to correctly develop algorithms to ensure they remain true, the data is clean and the results are fair.


If you’d like to know more about Ai reach out to me on alumley@netpremacy.com to see how Netpremacy can help with your Ai journey.

24 September 2020

Netpremacy – building an environment for innovation

 

Netpremacy is a company that, day in and day out, uses some of the most innovative and forward-thinking tools going. We also use these solutions to help drive our customer base forward, helping them to achieve their strategic goals as a business by using technology as an enabler. 

One thing we are really proud of and are constantly looking to develop and improve is our network focused on innovation. We love being involved in new exciting projects where technology is being used as a driver for something different. Que our relationship with FinTech North. 

Since the start of 2020 Netpremacy and FinTech north have been working together to help bring innovation to the masses, constantly educating each other’s network, connecting people to people, business to business, and technology to solutions. 

We’ve run a number of webinars focusing on how Google is creating a community of Fintech leaders, where their cloud platform is at the heart of this…. Who knew technology could be such an enabler! These webinars have covered topics such as how Google is building specific Finance solutions, all the way to how some of the largest FinTechs, such as Monzo, have revolutionised the support desk systems using big data tools such as BigQuery, and they were a huge success. 

Netpremacy as a Google Cloud Premier Partner is constantly advising its customers on how to leverage the Google ecosystem and use the tools available in the most optimal way. We are keen to constantly evolve our role in the Fintech space and this is something that has only been strengthened by our relationship with FinTech North. This is exactly what helped theme our next webinar in partnership with them. 

On the 29th September Netpremacy & FinTech north are partnering once again to create a network for innovation. We are bringing together start ups, established companies and those with simply an idea together to hear them “pitch” their business to industry experts. This is a great chance for the FinTech community to get together (albeit virtually) hear some new and exciting ideas and see what’s coming next from one of the most forward thinking and disruptive industries. 

We’ll be hearing from the likes of: 

To book your ticket and hear from those at the forefront of innovation click here

16 June 2020

How FinTechs are thriving in the Google Cloud arena 

 

Hear from account director, Alastair Lumley as he explains how Netpremacy work side by side with Google to help FinTechs to thrive in a digital world.

When Google started it was seen as a disrupter, it wasn’t a new idea, it wasn’t a brand new concept, however, they took an existing service and made it infinitely better. To the point where now when we refer to searching for something we openly help advertise Google themselves. 

“Why don’t you Google it?”

Just like how they entered the search engine market and transformed it, Google has done the same and continues to do so in the cloud world, competing with the heavy hitters such as AWS & Azure and year on year, gaining market share and attracting some of the largest logos in the world. 

To achieve this Google were openly disrupters in the market. They do this through challenging the status quo, thriving to better what is already out there, and always looking to push the boundaries and improve. Perhaps this is why they are quickly becoming the go-to cloud partner for some of the world’s most innovative and disruptive companies going.  

FinTechs, those companies that are integrating technology into the financial services to change the way we access, transfer, and manage our finances. Companies that are at the forefront of innovation. 

online payment contactless payment

By nature and design, Fintechs are market disruptors. 

The likes of Revolut, Monzo, Starling Bank, Atom Bank, Curve, etc are taking a century-old profession and service, then radically changing how it operates and how we as a consumer utilise those services. 

So why is Google building a focused unit around FinTechs? 

We recently ran a webinar with the FinTech team at Google to go “under the hood” of Google’s heavy involvement in the FinTech space and what makes it so attractive to them as a cloud provider. To put it simply, FinTechs & Google are extremely similar. They both love to solve a problem using innovative technology, do it better, and change the user’s perception of what good is! This enables a culture that puts the user at the heart of everything they do and builds a community around it. This is something Google has done single-handedly by creating 9 products with over 1 billion users. It’s safe to say, Google are experts in the field.

Community is key to what we are talking about as this has enabled Google to play such a pivotal role in the growth and success of FinTechs. There has been a focus on building out a community focused on FinTechs at Google. This means shaping a team around specific customers and embedding them in the culture of the business. It enables Google to react at speed, with a full understanding and really help drive these businesses forward. They can react quickly to user enhancements, quickly drive product changes, advise on direction and best practice. 

In an industry that prides itself on speed, this resource is vital. With a rapidly declining attention span across society, speed is key. If we can’t implement change quickly, we lose people’s attention. Google’s approach is enabling them to be on the front line and truly understand its customer base and help them to react quickly.

online banking

They are also taking the time to listen to their customers, and develop industry-specific solutions. These solutions are helping Fintechs go to market quicker, understand their customers more, predict revenue models, and analyse consumer behavior. The importance here is Google is shaping itself around industries, really understanding them, and providing focused, tailored solutions. 

It’s a simple strategy and one that is being executed extremely well! You couple this with the fantastic minds behind the software and solutions and you have a winning formula. 

Google however goes one step further. They also have a world-class partner network.

Netpremacy as a Google Cloud Premier partner, underpin this entire community approach. With over a decade of experience working with Google technologies, we have developed deep and trusting relationships throughout the whole Google Ecosystem. Our mission statement is “Using innovative solutions to solve complex business needs” and is part of the reason why we align so well to Google & the Fintech team. 

Our team of experienced engineers plug into those Google teams and become an extension of Google themselves. They help bring a different perspective, another opinion/ layer of experience. The team forms true partnerships with their counterparts, and this is vital when providing guidance and advice. Not only are FinTechs benefiting from Google’s knowledge and skills but they get access to a small but dedicated pool of highly experienced partners that can dedicate time and effort into solving some of the most complex problems and developing some of the most innovative solutions. 

Netpremacy has also partnered with FinTech North who is an organisation based in Leeds – focusing on an open and collaborative platform to promote the sharing ideas, challenges and best practice. They bring together FinTechs across the north to help foster an environment of innovation, create connections, and actively promote collaboration. 

This has enabled us to connect Google to the north and help the innovation thrive even more. Building on that sense of community and partnership and helping to scale Google’s operation at speed, all focusing towards that common aim of solving complex problems with innovative solutions & becoming that “go to” partner for FinTech. 

To find out how Google supports Fintechs watch our first webinar here.

We’re also running part two, focusing on how Google’s ML & Smart analytics tools are helping FinTechs make sense of their data. Book on the session here.