Experian’s research shows increase in organisations adapting artificial intelligence and machine learning to deal with economic uncertainties
SINGAPORE, 16 September 2020: The pandemic has accelerated a digital transformation for many companies, but just over a third (35 per cent) of APAC organisations have made operational adjustments to meet new consumer demands for digital engagement. With more than half of 1,200 consumers surveyed in APAC expecting to increase online spending both in the short-term and within the next 12 months, 43 per cent of consumers have higher expectations of their online experience, according to Experian’s Global Insights Report, one of the first large-scale surveys assessing the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and consumers.
Experian – a leading global information services company – surveyed 3,000 consumers and 900 executives working in retail banks, e-commerce, consumer technology and telecommunications. Respondents spanned Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey was conducted in June and July and covered consumer and business economic outlooks, financial well-being, online behaviour and more.
The survey found that since the start of the pandemic, top priorities for businesses include the health and safety of their employees and customers, as well as adjusting their operations to ensure business continuity. The pandemic could potentially add US$440 billion to credit costs in Asia Pacific and organisations are utilising digital solutions to manage customer credit risk, with 22 per cent planning to use on-demand cloud-based decisioning applications.
Globally, twice as many consumers are having problems paying their bills since COVID-19. This is a trend prevalent across all regions, with more than a fifth (21 per cent) of the 1,200 consumers surveyed online in Australia, India, Japan and Singapore finding it challenging to pay their credit card and utility bills since the start of COVID-19. The report highlighted a three per cent increase among consumers who are increasing their use of credit, and a two per cent increase in consumers applying for personal or short-term loans.
Ben Elliott, CEO Asia Pacific, at Experian, says: “The pandemic has exacerbated broader global economic uncertainties, and consumers are feeling the impact of the coronavirus. This is a defining period for how banks and financial institutions treat their customers, as how they treat their customers during these challenging times will impact customer loyalty in the long run. Our data shows that 41 per cent of customers in Singapore, India and Australia would give an organisation more business if they felt they were treated fairly – courteously, honestly and without bias – during the pandemic, higher than the global figure of 38 per cent.”
72 per cent of APAC organisations are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to cope with uncertainties in today’s marketplace; higher than the global figure of 69 per cent. Decision management (13 per cent), artificial intelligence, credit reports and scores, and decision optimisation (each at 12 per cent) have been some of the top solutions most commonly used by organisations in the region to assess and manage customer credit risk.
Mr Elliott adds: “The acceleration of digitisation of the economy means that banks are under increasing pressure to move to digital channels to acquire and serve customers, given current social distancing mandates. We’re supporting our clients – such as banks and financial services providers, telcos and technology companies – by providing the flexibility of on-premise and cloud-based solutions. Experian’s latest cloud based PowerCurve suite of decision management solutions enable companies to automate decisions across an increasingly complex customer journey. We provide the option of pre-configured solutions for organisations that prefer standard, ‘out of the box’ applications, as well as solutions that can be tailored to their infrastructure and requirements for rapid deployment, so clients are up and running in days.”
An example of a bank successfully digitising their processes on the cloud is AU Small Finance Bank, a retail bank in India. AU Small Finance Bank digitised its previously manual lending process with Experian’s PowerCurve Customer Acquisition. The end-to-end solution involved digitising and automating the application and approval process for a new credit card offering, enabling automated decisioning, and provided the ability to host and configure scorecards.
“Being able to tap into Experian’s data, decisioning software and analytics has helped us accelerate our own transformation while we continue to redefine the banking experience for consumers in the markets we serve,” says Mayank Markanday, President and Chief Risk Officer at AU Bank. “Out-of-the-box decision management technology saves us time and resources, so we can focus on delivering innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs, always guided by the principles of simplicity, inclusion and progress for all.”
Read more about findings from the Global Insights Report here.