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In recent years, challenges for the financial services industry have been mounting, causing many financial institutions to search for new ways to serve their customers. While some banks, payments tech providers, and fintech companies choose to address challenges incrementally, others view challenges within a strategic context and conclude that the greatest solution to address challenges is digital transformation.

As banks set out on their respective digital transformation journeys, an increasing number are reaching out to partner with Microsoft. At Sibos 2018, Microsoft’s value as a thought leader and partner was on display as companies packed our booth for insight on using AI, data, and cloud services to transform their operations and infrastructure.

Driving intelligent banking through real-time payments, risk management, and increased security

With an ever-increasing number of business transactions beginning with the click of a button, customers need to get and send money instantaneously. This means that banks are under ever-increasing pressure to bring the processing of payments into real time. Initiatives such as the Microsoft partnership with SWIFT, announced at Sibos 2018 last week, are using cloud infrastructure to process payments from end to end, speeding and enhancing customer experience. As Craig Ramsey, Vice President of Real Time Payments for ACI said, “Real-time payments is the new phenomenon in payments. It’s the biggest thing in 30 years.”

In addition to striving for instant payment transactions, banks are also driving intelligent banking by addressing key challenges in risk management such as data overload, developing a consolidated enterprise approach across businesses, and managing regulations. Companies are relying on cloud services to reduce the burden on infrastructure, accelerate calculations, and reduce risk management costs. In one instance, Worldwide Financial Services and UBS worked together to better manage their risk-modeling algorithm and were able to reduce their total cost of ownership by 40 percent. AI, machine learning, and cognitive capabilities present increasing opportunities for banks to not only to analyze what’s happened across the business historically but also to present future-looking perspectives that provide increased analytics for their clients.

Banks are also finding that security threats and financial crime operations such as money laundering are always advancing, so new strategies and technologies must be optimized to the fullest. According to André Burrell, Strategy Leader of Banking and Capital Markets at Microsoft, “Cloud and AI technology effectively process large amounts of data, create the necessary machine learning models that help drive down the false positive rates from 95% to what we’re seeing in some cases – as low as 50% or lower.” Today, cloud-based security speeds up responses to threats, while AI takes intelligence and data that is gathered by securities solutions and transforms it into something actionable. In their fight against financial wrongdoing, banks can use cloud infrastructure to be more successful than ever.

Showcasing innovation with customers and partners

During Sibos 2018, Microsoft had key opportunities to share its thought leadership on intelligent banking transformation with conference attendees. Norm Judah, Microsoft Digital CTO, spoke on how innovations in AI technology are becoming ubiquitous but require a critical eye to ensure the tech works to everyone’s benefit. Microsoft CVP of Treasury George Zinn engaged the crowd as he described how this transformation is changing bank business models, creating a rich ecosystem of third-party solution providers that will help treasurers address their key industry challenges in ways that have so far been unimaginable.

Sibos 2018 proved an excellent opportunity for Microsoft to showcase developments from key partnerships, including work with National Australia Bank (NAB)on a proof-of-concept ATM design using cloud and AI technology. In addition, Microsoft chose Sibos to announce several forward-looking partnerships such as a collaboration with SWIFT to develop secure financial messaging to provide a cloud-based solution for payment transfers. Microsoft is also partnering with Interswitch, a West African startup, to bridge a gap in supply chain financing. Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum; Microsoft is proud to collaborate with these industry leaders to bring innovative products and services to market.

If your organization wants to learn how cloud and AI technology can enable your own intelligent banking transformation, read the Banking on AI e-book, available on Microsoft’s Sibos 2018 event page.