Planning for risk is a critical aspect of a business that is often overlooked by the media. It isn’t a ‘sexy’ aspect of the business, nor is it something that is very visible. However, without a proper system in place, businesses are always at risk.

To find out about this ‘unsexy’ industry and what it means for businesses, we speak to Bharath Vellore, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Provenir. He shares his thoughts on how businesses use risk decisioning and the impact of using AI for industries such as fintech and much more.

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Provenir’s provides AI-powered risk decisioning software that allows a real-time view of unified decisioning-performance, third-party and historical data, as well as automated analytics. They work with fintechs and financial services providers to help them make smarter decisions faster.

Congrats on the new role. What is it about this role that excited you?

Thank you. I am thrilled to join the Provenir team. I hope to contribute further to Provenir’s impressive track record of empowering businesses with AI-powered solutions that enable forward-looking predictions and, just as crucially, delivering tangible benefits across the credit risk lifecycle of our clients. I have been an advocate for financial inclusion throughout my career, especially as it is a key enabler of Sustainable Development Goals. Ensuring access to financing is crucial to the economy, but at the same time, a cohesive risk ecosystem is imperative and is increasingly vital to ensuring poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity. In this role, I hope to empower Asia Pacific’s businesses with the confidence to tackle fraud, expand financial access and facilitate their efforts to achieve their long-term goals. 

That said, there are challenges to meeting these objectives. While Asia Pacific has made great strides to drive financial inclusion, truly levelling up decisioning calls for the region’s businesses requires more data, more automation and more sophisticated processes.

Could you share how Provenir helps businesses in Southeast Asia?

Businesses in the region are at a crossroads in terms of friction around risk decisioning. While consumers have moved beyond friction in many parts of their daily lives, the persisting complexity of financial interactions is a major cause of frustration. The conundrum for businesses is how to quickly and effectively implement regulations, procedures and policies, while ensuring smooth workflows. To overcome this and gain a truly holistic financial view of customers requires more than the basics of rules-based decisioning, instead, businesses need solutions that identify and integrate new data sources so that they can thrive.

Leveraging Provenir’s no-code AI Risk Decisioning Platform enables businesses across the region to confidently say yes to customers they would not have been able to approve before, driving business growth without sacrificing performance. This is because our AI engine flips traditional risk analytics on its head, so that businesses can transcend the limitations of traditional decisioning methods. Instead, AI models do not need rules and will identify patterns within data and then empower decisions using those patterns. Essentially, this enables businesses to take control of the narrative through a platform that identifies what the key insights are from data.

What are some companies missing out by not using AI risk decisioning?

Without agility and confidence in credit risk modelling, companies will not be prepared to react to changes moving forward. Moreover, critical industry imperatives such as fraud prevention and inclusive finance will also be out of reach without the requisite alternative data. There is also the risk of relying on historical data that is virtually obsolete. Legacy methods are ill-equipped to address these issues. 

According to a Provenir-sponsored global survey of 400 decision-makers at fintech and financial services organisations, only 18 percent of participants believe their credit risk models are accurate at least 75 percent of the time. This lays bare the extent to which organisations are struggling to harness the full power of data and act in real-time, exposing the great uncertainty from legacy approaches to credit risk modelling. On the other hand, the sophistication of AI, machine learning and alternative data bring greater speed-to-decisioning.

With millions across Asia Pacific underbanked or unbanked, gradually eradicating these disparities is critical in promoting the region’s sustainable development and economic growth. This is a massive opportunity for organisations in financial services across the region to seize the day and drive business growth.

Which industries are most likely to benefit from the utilisation of AI risk decisioning and why?

While fintech companies, banks and creditors are all primed to benefit from AI-powered risk decisioning, enabling all organisations to react faster to changes in the business environment will boost the robustness of the region’s economy. AI risk decisioning is especially beneficial to SMEs who can access funding they may not have qualified for previously. Furthermore, enabling businesses to tap into new data sources and open up new segments improves inclusivity in the financial system and will accelerate growth. 

The great disruptions credit markets have undergone over the last two years has highlighted the importance of expanding the wealth of usable data at the disposal of businesses. The region is now at a tipping point in terms of harnessing solutions that combine data and AI that are tailored and trained for risk decisioning across the customer lifecycle. The time is now for organisations in the region to implement unified solutions that can integrate any data source and enable rapid creation of sophisticated decisioning workflows.