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BANKIA TRANSFORMS THE CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE WITH BIANKA BY IPSOFT

Developed with cognitive artificial intelligence, IPsoft’s conversational agent can carry out transactional tasks, perform different roles in customer service and assist branch employees

 

IPsoft, one of the largest independent leaders in enterprise artificial intelligence (AI), today announced that Bankia has launched its industry-leading conversational agent, Amelia® (known as Bianka), to serve customers in call centers and in the Bankia mobile app. Bianka will also help employees resolve their customers’ day-to-day requests.

Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, continues to make progress in its digital transformation process using the most advanced technology in the market. Recognizing the potential of artificial intelligence and cognitive agents to improve customer relationships – both digitally and at bank branches – Bankia has chosen Amelia by IPsoft as the backbone of Bianka. Amelia is the most advanced technology in the market. She is the result of more than 20 years of research and development and has been repeatedly chosen as the industry leader by independent analyst firms, including Everest GroupForrester and Ovum.

Her cutting-edge artificial intelligence and natural language understanding are capable of recognizing customers’ contextual changes, intention and emotional state. This enables Bianka to hold human-like conversations and execute tasks independently.

Additionally, its advanced Machine Learning capabilities also mean that she constantly evolves over time to accumulate knowledge and improve the user experience.

 

Bankia customers will be served by Bianka in three areas:

  • Bankia Mobile Application – Once customers are logged into the mobile app, they can have a conversation with Bianka via chat or voice to request account information and complete transactions such as money transfers through Bizum.
  • Customer Service Center – Bianka will serve clients through the customer service center, where they can now ask open-ended questions when she asks, “How can I help you?” When interacting with Bianka, customers will always arrive at a resolution: from user identification to the execution of tasks, such as blocking a lost credit card and requesting a new one. Bianka will be able to resolve many customer requests quickly because she has access to the bank backend systems, allowing her to solve queries immediately. When the requests are more complex or require human intervention, Bianka will transfer the call directly to a human employee. As a result, human employees can focus on resolving more complex tasks that bring greater value to the client.
  • Support for branch employees – Bianka also provides guidance to branch employees on more complex inquiries, such as requests about insurances. Employees are no longer required to speak with another customer service agent when they run into a problem. They can instead interact with Bianka by chat, who offers timely and detailed information about the process while the human agent is serving a customer. This not only provides more help for employees when they need it, but also allows them to improve the customer experience with more immediate responses.

These services have been implemented for Bankia’s 12,000 branch employees since December 2019 with a resoundingly positive response.

 

Elena Sanz, Director of Bankia Channel Architecture; Gema González, Director of Conversational Agents; and Eva Valle, Director of Control of Operations, said:  “We are very satisfied with IPsoft’s support in Bianka’s launch, which is the bank’s response to the needs of our digital customers. At Bankia, we have been integrating artificial intelligence into many of our processes for several years with the goal of improving our clients’ experience and making their lives easier. Technology offers us the opportunity to create great products and services and additionally allows our human employees to get personalized advice for their clients in our branches or through remote channels. All of this makes our banking proposal unbeatable.”

 

Chetan Dube, IPsoft CEO, said: “Bankia has shown that it is truly at the forefront of the banking digital revolution and that it is committed to improving the experience of both customers and employees by using cutting-edge technology. Until now, as users, we have been continuously disappointed in the so-called digital service improvements that rely on frustrating and highly limited chats. However, by integrating true cognitive intelligence with the bank’s back-end services, Bankia has been able to offer a service that infinitely improves the experience of its customers and employees.”

 

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GALA TECHNOLOGY SELECTS NUAPAY TO ENABLE OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS

Nuapay, powered by Sentenial, today announces it has been chosen by Gala Technology, a payment security solution specialist, to provide Open Banking payments to its partner network and direct merchants across multiple sectors including retail, hospitality, and financial services.

Gala Technology’s multi-award winning SOTpay ‘Pay-by-link’ solution simplifies PCI DSS requirements and protects merchants against the ever-growing risk of fraud by ensuring that the transactions are authenticated, shifting liability and often lowering acquiring processing costs. SOTpay’s integration with Nuapay’s Open Banking platform now enables them to process non-card payments.

Nuapay’s FCA-licenced Open Banking payments service enables Gala Technology’s partners and merchants to accept payments via any sales channel of choice, including telephone, web chat, SMS and social media. It can do this without requesting sensitive card data, which ensures SCA compliance and eliminates fraudulent chargebacks.

“The capabilities of Open Banking have become more apparent in 2020 as merchants have been forced to explore alternative contactless, mobile and ecom-friendly payment methods that can be accessed quickly and are lower in processing costs, due to a need to respond to change brought by Covid-19.” shares Nick Raper, Head of UK at Nuapay. “We’re thrilled to be working with Gala Technology, as we  have a shared drive to eradicate payment fraud. This partnership will help to increase widespread adoption of live bank transfer payments as SOTPay gives us an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate Open Banking payments’ usability and benefits to new audiences.”

Nuapay is one of the only PISPs which offers a fully inclusive open banking payment initiation, webhook notification and payment account solution; which quickens checkouts, speed-up access to cash flow, reduces processing costs, and enables full reconciliation and batch settlements of transactions. Gala Technology’s customers now have access to new payment innovation and will be able to perform refunds or make instant payouts.

 

Steven Jones, Commercial Director at Gala Technology, said: “We chose to work with Nuapay as their complete Account-2-Account payments capabilities and high customer service levels are unparalleled. Looking forward, Nuapay’s presence within the UK and Europe will greatly help us reach new clients and will extend our service offerings to existing clients too. Nuapay’s Open Banking payments solutions help us to provide a better service; in turn, the time, money and resources our customers save will enable them to focus on growing their businesses in a more profitable way.”

Nuapay’s PISP processor has a single connection to all major banks in the UK and a growing number of connections across Europe, ensuring that Gala Technology’s clients’ payments will be supported, no matter where their customers bank.

 

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THE EMBEDDED BENEFITS IN ESEF DIGITAL FINANCIAL REPORTING

The inclusion of a simple link delivers serious gains in transparency, trust and real time verifiability for the whole financial ecosystem. It’s another digital feather in the LEI’s hat, explains Stephan Wolf, CEO, Global LEI Foundation.

 

In a battle for significance, no other public facing business document can match the annual financial report. It is the document that a public corporation must, by law, publish to describe its operations and financial condition, and to chronicle its activities over the past twelve months. Shareholders, investors and the wider financial ecosystem make innumerable strategic and operational decisions based on its contents.

In today’s digital age, then, it is little surprise that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has mandated that annual financial reports published from the start of 2020 follow a consistent digital configuration, known as the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) and, in them, embed their Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).

Stephan Wolf

On first glance, the ESEF format appears to be designed to drive financial report production into a convenient paperless form factor. While this is both true and highly commendable, an ocean of additional potential is revealed by ESMA’s insistence that corporations embed their LEI. This mandate will heighten transparency, enhance trust, and provide instant and non-repudiable verification that the organisation filing the report is, indeed, who they claim to be. These far-reaching benefits are all enabled by the report linking to the filing entity’s verified LEI reference data held within the Global LEI Index.

The simple process of embedding an organization’s LEI  – or, indeed, that of its affiliates, subsidiaries and parent companies – within an ESEF financial report means that regulators, investors, traders and other financial stakeholders, can consolidate and verify information on the filing entity faster and more conveniently than ever before.

LEI reference data includes business card information on an entity, including name and registered address, together with relationship data which confirms if the entity owns, or is owned by, other entities. This increased transparency relative to an entity’s ownership structure means that relationship networks between LEIs can be quickly and automatically established, since the LEIs of the filing entity, its affiliates, subsidiaries and parent companies are all provided in the new machine-readable ESEF format. Usefully, because the reference data is reverified annually by GLEIF accredited LEI issuers, it is always accurate and up-to-date. The net result is a substantially more useful document for end users, which is also verifiably trustworthy, authentic and integral.

ESMA has published the Global LEI Foundation’s 2019 annual report on its website to provide a best practice example of a report published in the ESEF format, which other preparers can reference. The report is published in human and machine-readable Inline XBRL and HTML formats, with LEIs embedded within both the annual report and the digital certificates of the report’s signing executive officers. The combination of these two features provides something completely unprecedented: instantly available, digitally verifiable credentials that confirm both the authenticity of document and the key individuals responsible for its content.1

Beyond the single report, the LEI embedding process creates broader opportunities for the financial ecosystem. Aggregating information on companies from multiple sources is dramatically simplified, making the job of comparing standardized financial information both faster and easier. This can be accomplished either manually, by ‘clicking through’ to view the LEI reference data, or via an automated process, saving yet more time and eliminating the risk of human error. In time, this level of facility will lead to the automated creation of online databases that use the linked LEIs to collate key data assets, to the benefit of, frankly, any person or organization that has interest, globally.

The mandatory embedding of LEIs in financial reports is just one demonstration of this technology’s transformative potential. In broader terms, not only is the LEI shoring up the digital financial ecosystem, it is helping to stabilize the evolution of the world’s digital economy. It is no exaggeration to say that the LEI, together with the Global LEI System, solves the problem of trust for legal entities worldwide. It is the only open, commercially neutral, standardized and regulatory endorsed system capable of establishing digitized trust between all legal entitles, everywhere. It was conceived and designed as a public good, and can be deployed without charge in a wide – and growing – variety of digital use-cases. Put simply, the more it is utilized, the more good it will do.

 

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