In the past years, Natural Language Processing, or NLP, has evolved the most compared to other Artificial Intelligence (AI) subsets. As the perfect combination of AI and machine learning, NLP applications have greatly transformed how businesses perform fundamental tasks. Particularly, the financial sector is witnessing permanent changes thanks to NLP.

3 Unsolved Challenges For Financial Service Providers 

Along with the development of technology, financial organizations have found more methods to increase productivity and create more satisfying customer experiences. More than that, they are getting closer to the end-users: 96% of consumers know at least one fintech service or company worldwide.

The growing market opens more possibilities for businesses, yet it also leads to 3 major problems:

  • How to quickly and accurately process a huge database?
  • How to ensure data security?
  • How to decrease the amount of routine manual work and accelerate the trades at the same time?

Let’s analyze each issue.

64% of consumers worldwide have used one or more financial technology platforms, which means there are more than 4 billion active fintech accounts at the moment. This number is impossible to take care of manually, and financial firms must find alternative solutions to process unstructured data and further assist their performance.  

Furthermore, as the nature of fintech, the service providers are holding a huge volume of confidential data from their users, such as the IDs and credit card CVV numbers (Card Verification Value). It’s vital to organize the information and eliminate fraud elements. Each employee needs to have different access permission for better control when unexpected scenarios happen. 

Last but not least, another challenge for financial service providers is optimizing their resources for the best efficiency. When the staff is stuck at the desk doing repetitive tasks, it causes a huge loss in revenue, time, and effort since companies cannot maximize the full potentials of their human power.

This is when applying NLP in fintech stands out as the key factor that changes the game entirely. 

How Is NLP Used In Finance? 

Understanding NLP

Most of the data can be described in the form of text. In the context of finance and banking, users fill in forms to open new bank accounts, and financial experts analyze reports to point out abnormal changes and predict incoming trends, etc. 

NLP tools support companies in reading and processing data quicker and smarter. Utilizing the power of machine learning, NLP transforms raw resources into useful insight so companies can save time in processing and analyzing thousands of data gigabytes without breaking a sweat.

Therefore, NLP quickly becomes an indispensable ally in the financial sector: From traders, analysts, Fintech CEOs to banks and other organizations are starting to integrate NLP into their system. 

Key benefits of NLP as a tool for financial analysis

Efficiency

No one can deny the enormous changes in productivity thanks to optimizing NLP in fintech. With such a small change as integrating a chatbot, you’ve saved hours of work for your support team, which they can focus on more important and complex tasks. “You can apply machine learning pretty much anywhere, whether it’s in low-level data collection or high-level client-facing products,” said Georg Kucsko, an MIT Sloan lecturer in finance.

Speed 

NLP is designed as a real-time solution that can provide decisions with supporting data. Rather than taking weeks, now it is only less than a day to finalize a report for a whole region. Moreover, companies can set up the applications to receive results periodically. 

Security

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As the most important factor to separate outstanding financial providers from other competitors, security is what NLP offers to those who use it. As a spam and fraud detection tool, NLP eliminates the risk that hackers can withdraw information or money from customers’ accounts. It can also encrypt confidential information to ensure that nothing will be leaked to outsiders.

Accuracy and Consistency

It’s merely unreal to avoid human errors when analyzing massive databases manually. A slight miscalculation can cause a huge disaster in the stock market. With NLP, financial firms don’t have to worry about these careless mistakes since it has been programmed to perform the exact formulas every time. More than that, NLP can track a company’s changes over time to predict future scenarios. Therefore, companies can prepare suitable tactics and catch up with the trends.

3 Rising NLP Applications In Financial Sector  

NLP applications vary when it comes to customization to fit the needs of each business. Below are the three most prominent use cases of NLP in terms of financial analysis. 

Risk Assessments

In finance, businesses are always between the line of chances and risks. For each transaction or loan, firms need to perform in-depth evaluations to decide whether to accept the offer or not. This is when utilizing NLP in fintech proves its power. To support risk management, NLP is applied to sentiment analysis, document classification, and text summarization. NLP can measure customers’ attitudes and highlight key factors that can affect the final decision, such as revenue, credit risks, or past loan performance.

Let’s look at how the Ernst & Young team supports its bank client in increasing the sales closing rate. Using semantic pattern matching and sentiment analysis, EY can analyze customer signals and identify cases with a high risk of losing. Thanks to this, the bank has achieved a more than 30% decrease in false-positive cases.

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NLP helps financial firms in identifying and analyzing risks

Fraud Detection

In 2020, there’s a threefold increase in identity fraud attempts in the overall rates year over year in the fintech sector. Businesses are finding more effective ways to tighten their security policies and prevent frauds, violations, and money laundering. NLP can be a big help to make this vision come true. 

Based on customers behaviors’ within the fintech platform, developers can label valid actions that identify a legit account. As a filter, NLP can mark out words or phrases that seem unoriginal and fake when one account behaves strangely and alert the business whether this is a fraud or not. These patterns may include an address adjustment, duplicate card requests, password resets, time and place of the payment, and more. 

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Image Source: SDK.Finance

Accounting and Auditing

Rather than spending lots of effort to handle endless daily transaction data, financial service providers are turning to NLP to simplify the process. 

As we stated before, most financial data now comes in text, from documents, surveys, reports, feedback forms, or websites. At first, developers program and tag important phrases and sentences so that the machine can evaluate the priority and importance of each element. When scanning the text, NLP can extract valued information and, at the same time, ignore meaningless or unnecessary words. The applications help its users focus on the visualized patterns and changes in data to build accounting reports accordingly. Thanks to the ability to summarize core ideas from thousands of pages in such a short time, NLP makes it quicker for firms to decide what’s the next steps.

Pointing out irregularities also plays a major role in providing thorough audits and long-term strategies. Big names in finance such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PwC have already utilized this method. For instance, PwC combines NLP and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to analyze revenue and purchase transactions as well as indicate potential risks and exceptions. 

Future Outlook Of NLP In The Financial Sector

Many firms have successfully led the revolution for NLP in the financial sector. And this trend shows no sign of stopping in the near future. The technology is now getting closer to more organizations, unlike in the past when it was considered too expensive to implement. “It’s actually pretty feasible now to do cutting-edge, state-of-the-art NLP in finance, or any domain, without a Ph.D.in machine learning,” said Michael Shulman, a finance lecturer at MIT Sloan. There are two most common ways for organizations to start using NLP: First, integrating the technology directly into its system with an in-house team, or Second, hiring professional experts to run the whole process.

Wrapping up, 

The finance industry is full of numbers and data; those who understand these goldmines are the ones holding the key to success. That’s why more and more firms are utilizing NLP in fintech to maximize their data processing performance and reduce fraudulent risks. The world is witnessing how AI and machine learning helps us stabilize financial status and predict upcoming trends; thereby, we can prepare and adapt to new economic changes better.


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