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FinTech to Help Onboarding and the art of Conversation

A Hungarian IT firm says it has next generation banking solutions to reinvent both digital onboarding and customer service for banks and beyond.

Antal Kuthy, CEO of E-Group.

Banks are busy embracing the latest set of e-solutions that help enhance the customer experience and cut operational costs. However, while many clients may prefer to get their bank-related business done on the move or from the comfort of their home, financial institutions have all kinds of bumps to keep an eye out for on the road to online conversion and customer service. Antal Kuthy, CEO of E-Group has set out to address those issues.  

“Registering a new customer is just a start, albeit an important one. If the process is seamless, it already says a lot about you as a service provider,” Kuthy points out. “But you need to go further than that: it is even more crucial how you can sell your products in the most convenient manner possible.”

Remote onboarding is subject to a bunch of strict regulations such as so-called know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering compliance. KYC refers to the process of verifying the identity of your customers, but it also references regulated bank customer identity verification practices to assess and monitor customer risk. Money laundering must also be prevented, clearly. Add the burden of fighting fraud, and it makes a handsome list of requirements banks are faced with.

But precautions are well-founded. According to a report by Javelin Strategy & Research, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2017 just in the United States, and the amount stolen by fraudsters hit USD 16.8 billion.

Being aware of the above, E-Group has developed IOX, which verifies the online identity of customers using eIDAS, a set of standards for electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the EU. As a result, online onboarding could not be easier.

E-Group’s Edge

“We have the edge here since our company implemented the software framework for the official public authentication and identity attributes exchange system in Hungary, which is also applicable in all member states. This is what IOX integrates,” Kuthy notes.

The solution is production-ready in a test phase. All you will need is an eID card or a digital public gateway account (a so-called ügyfélkapu in Hungarian), while proof of presence is verified via a video chat module.

Embedded facial recognition technology is connected with the eID card, with an official EU passport facial image providing support for the remote verification process. The onboarding process ends with a legally binding digital signing e.g. an electronic contract.

The cross-border applicability of the product also gives the company reason to dream big, as does the fact that banking is just one potential target area.

“Right now if a Portuguese resident wants to set up a company in Hungary, a lots of paperwork needs to be provided, mostly via post. The same goes for Hungarians wanting to register with, say, the German tax authority. Thanks to the interconnectivity of national public registers, identification will be possible online and fast,” Kuthy explains.

Players in the shared economy can also benefit tremendously, as does anyone who wants to rent a property, but doesn’t wish to be present at signing a lease contract or can’t get there.

Financial institutions also face the problem of it being harder to have a conversation with their customers.

“Before the digital age, face-to-face meetings with account officers allowed them to gain crucial information about clients. Now apps kill interaction and they restrict customer activity to the minimum, while providers learn nothing about their most valuable assets,” says Kuthy.

AI-assisted

E-Group’s other product, Xanta is meant to compensate for that lack of provider-client interactivity. Its AI-assisted front-end solution replaces either a human operator or menu-driven client interactions with customer service by intelligent natural language conversation.

“It’s a transaction-oriented, dialogue-based scheme, and most importantly, it uses natural language, which makes it very human. So no more need to press buttons,” Kuthy promises.

Xanta guides you through the process and leads you to wherever it is you were meant land. Since it’s a hybrid solution, a human operator can be also engaged, yet only if absolutely necessary. The dialogue-based feature allows you to ask questions and, preferably, complete the desired transaction without the intervention of an operator.

Use cases range from banking to all kinds of services such as medical care or public administration. Xanta can prepare the ground for a medical check-up or an authority matter by doing the preliminary Q&A with the person at the other end of the line. Possessing the background facts, the physician or the civil servant can then keep the actual appointment as brief as possible.

Both Xanta and IOX are products of international cooperation with European funds involved via leading innovation organization EIT Digital.

The tech integration is done by E-Group, while two dedicated startups are responsible for executing the go-to-market strategy. One regional bank has already signed up to integrate the solutions, so, although Kuthy won’t yet say who the client is, it should not be long until you can market test their practicality first-hand.