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THE YEAR OF THE COBOT? ROBOTS WOULD BE MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN SOME WORKERS – V1 POLL REVEALS

Combination of people and technology key to reversing productivity decline

 

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of workers think a robot would be more productive than some of their colleagues, according to an online poll from finance automation company V1. The results echo recent concerns that the UK is facing a productivity crisis with the Office for National Statistics finding that UK productivity is suffering its worst drop in five years.

 

Brexit has been largely to blame as businesses scramble to keep up with developments and maintain business as usual, leaving workers time-short and stressed. V1’s Director Dean McGlone is calling for leaders to prioritise addressing this crisis – and embrace the ‘cobot’ era – as a matter of urgency.

 

“Businesses need to get better at supporting their staff in winning back valuable time to spend on higher value activities. This means simplifying key business processes as well as eliminating mundane administrative tasks which can only be achieved with the support of technology. The good news is that robotic technology is increasingly recognised as a force for good in business. If all businesses can wake up to the benefits of automation, we will be able to reverse the productivity decline.”

 

The V1 poll, which attracted over 1,300 responses on Twitter, suggests there is an appetite for cobots in the workplace. As much as 40% of respondents would be happy for any parts of their job to be automated. Meanwhile, a separate report from large software company Advanced reveals 77% would be happy to work alongside robotic technology if it meant fewer manual processes.

 

These findings perhaps come as no surprise as many consumers already use robotic technologies at home – with virtual assistants like Alexa commonplace. Interestingly, according to V1’s poll, 28% of respondents say they are most likely to use domestic robots at home which are able to take care of household chores ranging from vacuuming and mowing the grass to pet care.

 

Adopting a collaborative robot in a work environment is the natural next step, adds Dean. “We will see a dramatic change in the workforce as we know it, moving into an era of the cobot where the most powerful combination for increasing productivity is people and technology.

 

“We are already seeing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software used to streamline basic processes and take care of low-value and tedious tasks. RPA has been a buzzword for some time, but now it’s clearly taking shape. It can handle certain tasks more quickly and accurately than humans can. And it’s this technology that will become a commodity – just as cloud technology is today.”

 

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BATTLEFACE RECEIVES INVESTMENT FROM FINTECH VENTURES FUND

battleface Inc., a rapidly growing tech-enabled insurance startup focused on providing travel insurance products for unconventional travellers worldwide, announced today that it successfully closed its seed financing round with backing from leading strategic and venture capital investors.

 

Atlanta, Georgia-based Fintech Ventures Fund has invested in the company, joining existing investors Greenlight Re and Tangiers Group. This investment will be used to expand software development, hire sales and business development personnel, and further the company’s global reach.

 

Sasha Gainullin

battleface is led by a team of travel insurance experts. CEO Sasha Gainullin previously developed global operations for AIG Travel Guard and has worked with battleface since its inception. Managing Director Paul Simmonds brings experience as a Lloyd’s of London underwriter with previous leadership roles at Berkley Syndicate, CNA Hardy, Brit, and Goshawk.

 

“We got our start because many travellers couldn’t find the right insurance products with coverage for their unique travel destinations and real needs,” said Gainullin. “With the latest investment from Fintech Ventures Fund, we’ll continue to expand our B2B partnerships custom-building travel insurance solutions for groups, including business and NGO travellers, associations and membership-based organisations.”

 

battleface combines innovative technology and underwriting to create, distribute and service specialty travel insurance products for people in both retail and wholesale. Products are supported by a network of 24/7 assistance coordinators, medical providers and on-the-ground field agents who provide emergency claims, medical and travel assistance services on a global basis.

 

Fintech Ventures Partner Lucas Timberlake said: “A core area of our fund’s investment thesis is that technology can be leveraged to more efficiently provide insurance products to markets that have been underserved by current offerings. We believe that battleface’s seasoned management team will create an industry leader in the travel insurance space. It is for these reasons that we are excited support the company’s future growth.”

 

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VANQUIS BANK PARTNERS WITH HOOYUTO DIGITALISE KYC PROCESSES

HooYu KYC digital journey deployed during the customer lifecycle on a risk-based approach

 

Leading customer onboarding and KYC technology firm, HooYu, has announced a partnership to digitalise Vanquis Bank’s KYC processes.  The HooYu KYC journey has been selected to provide additional identity proofing during the customer lifecycle when customers perform a potentially high-risk action on their accounts.

 

Vanquis Bank is part of the Provident Financial Group, a UK and Ireland business with over 140 years’ experience in lending to consumers who are not well served by mainstream lenders. With millions of customers, Vanquis needed to find a way to help balance fraud prevention and KYC with a great customer experience.

 

Existing customers calling in to the change the details on their account were in some cases having to wait weeks before the change could be approved.   The team at Vanquis Bank is continually looking to improve how their products work for their customers and that they are easy to apply for and manage.  Vanquis Bank decided to implement an ID document validation solution that would speed up customer lifecycle management and improve the customer experience.

 

Sue Singleton, Process Change Assurance Manager at Vanquis Bank said, “By adding HooYu to our KYC tools, we can improve some of our higher risk customer processes and can now facilitate customer requests without asking the customer to post in copies of documentation. Our agents deal with thousands of customers a day and now what could have been a delay of weeks for our customers, can be achieved in a matter of minutes with HooYu”.

 

David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu said, “It’s been great to see the results of Vanquis implementing the HooYu digital journey and how the HooYu UI and UX tools are helping their customers though the KYC process.”  

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