Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), through its Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Center of Excellence (AI & Innovation CoE), has strengthened its position as a trailblazer in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) as it reports promising results in developing game-changing client solutions. Consistent with its ‘Tech Up Pilipinas’ advocacy, UnionBank’s AI experimental explorations utilize advanced technologies like speech recognition to better interact with the country’s increasingly digital-savvy users and provide them with a better customer experience anchored on financial inclusion.
Speech recognition technology employs various voice interaction capabilities such as recognizing the intent of what has been spoken and verifying a speaker’s identity. These capabilities have been harnessed to give customers a more natural experience of seamless interactions with the Bank’s services while still providing the needed security level. While most AI modules have English as the base of comprehension, UnionBank’s AI experiments are leading them to incorporate other spoken native languages including Tagalog and Bisaya.
This new technology is set to make interactions between customers and the Bank’s touch points frictionless and even more efficient. It could significantly reduce the number of inputs needed for a smoother and less time-consuming experience, and lower the entry barrier for non-tech savvy and underprivileged groups such as persons with poor eyesight.
In early trials for this new technology, UnionBank initially identified that the required features can be integrated with current banking transactions such as paying bills, sending money, checking promos, topping up, updating phone numbers, and even urgently blocking cards when security concerns are raised. The high-tech speaker verification voice biometrics secures the system while allowing users to seamlessly authenticate within seconds.
“With this, the user will have a more convenient journey by using voice as naturally and as efficient as possible and will surely be confident about being secured,” said Bryan Bramaskara, a Data Scientist from UnionBank’s AI CoE.
“Imagine a future when there will be no need to remember a password, because intrinsic characteristics such as voice or behavior will become the password,” said Dr. Adrienne Heinrich, UnionBank’s AI & Innovation CoE Head.
Through this new technology, UnionBank can lower the threshold for technology and digital capability while expanding its reach.
UnionBank’s Chief Data and AI Officer Dr. David R. Hardoon said, “Highlighting the power of voice technology and how it can further be utilized in different use cases such as customer service and fraud prevention, UnionBank cultivates more natural interactions for clients in general, and financial inclusion for the non-tech savvy and underprivileged groups in particular.”