A new generative AI tool has been dramatically enhancing the speed and efficiency of Know Your Customer (KYC) and onboarding processes for fintech Airwallex.
Generative AI has enabled Airwallex to reduce ‘false positives’ by around 50 per cent on average, while also boosting the number of customers that pass through the onboarding process without human intervention by 20 per cent.
Jacob Dai, co-founder and chief technology officer at Airwallex, commented on the success of the new AI tool: “With generative AI, we’re honing our KYC tools to be much more accurate and context-aware.
“We’re making it faster and easier for our customers to get up and running with Airwallex – often within minutes – while enhancing our ability to detect and prevent fraud on our platform. These enhancements translate directly to our customers – they can unlock the value of our platform more readily and accelerate their own global growth.”
Dai also explained that the tool is attuned to nuances and sensitivities of various languages and cultures. He explained: “We work with businesses from incredibly diverse industries and cultural settings. Having an intelligent AI co-pilot, trained on vast amounts of linguistic data, helps us navigate those intricacies more quickly and effectively.
“KYC is that vital first step in our relationship with a customer. We use a combination of intelligent technologies and human expertise to establish that new customers are who they say they are, that they’re being truthful about the nature of their business, and that their products or services are legal and in line with Airwallex’s acceptable use policies.”
Making KYC more context-aware
Historically, Airwallex has used rules-based analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to scan new customers’ websites. Those tools are very effective in identifying high-risk keywords but also tend to generate a significant volume of false-positive alerts – which can slow down the KYC process unnecessarily.
“Generative AI helps Airwallex’s models to be much more sensitive to the context and meaning of keywords,” Dai explained. “When scanning a customer’s website, the model can better distinguish between a retailer selling a ‘military-style’ jacket and a merchant selling prohibited military goods, or a ‘champagne-coloured’ dress and actual champagne, or smartphone accessories versus actual smartphones being sold illegitimately.”
Airwallex is building a series of features that enhance user experience through generative AI and NLP. “We know our customers want tailored services, immediate assistance, and intuitive access to their data,” Dai also explained. “Using generative AI and NLP, we can help our customers get answers quickly and effectively, whether it’s searching for a specific transaction in their history, or creating a detailed payout workflow with an automated chat function.”
Airwallex expects to launch additional AI-powered functionalities in 2024.