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Speech Analytics within Financial Services / 1

Speech Analytics within Financial Services / 1

Original article taken from FStech magazine March 2016

What is the current state of play with Speech Analytics in the financial services sector, and how is this type of technology currently being utilised?

In an effort to comply with the ever tightening national and international regulations like Dodd Frank, MIFID II, MAD II and others, the Financial Markets have re-focused their efforts and budgets on not only expanding their Compliance teams, but also investigating already established technologies. One such established technology is Speech Analytics, which is present in the Financial Markets. 

However, laws differ widely from country to country. In the UK, there is a relatively high level of freedom to investigate suspicious activity and interactions, whereas in Germany for example, although Speech Analytics is available and there is an installed base, the limitations due to local laws mean that the value of this technology is not fully realised.

With the Dodd Frank Act for example, one challenge is to reconstruct a trade ready for submission to a governing body within 72 hours. In reality, this means that the separate components of the trade, including voice calls, emails, SMS and all trade information need to be collated and put into a useable format within 24 hours, in preparation for Legal and Compliance to review and present to the authorities. 

Although Financial Institutions are ramping up their resources within Compliance, this is still a major undertaking and is only one challenge that has to be addressed. By utilising a more proactive approach and finding the areas of interest or concern before a request is made, Analytics can significantly prevent issues escalating and also change behaviour within an organisation, therefore reducing the need to react in the future.

This is where Speech Analytics is beneficial. It provides a reliable framework to investigate areas of interest in a timely and accurate manner. The technology is able to search and retrieve interactions by focusing on relevant content of the conversation and key terms and phrases that are used. This enables a Compliance Officer to search for such content and context with positive results, even when the user, time, date and location are not known. 

Business Systems has experienced a growing interest in these solutions in the Financial Marketplace, but every implementation can have a long sales cycle whilst the Compliance teams gain understanding of what they need to achieve and the challenges ahead. However, once installed and the ongoing training has brought the users up to speed, every single implementation has received glowing feedback, with a view for adding skills and more complex analytical scenarios.

Based on customer feedback, the two main obstacles that delay deployment of Speech Analytics are:

  • Concerns for the ability of a solution to accurately capture a high enough percentage of the relevant interactions
  • Inability to integrate the chosen Speech Analytics solution with their existing voice recorders, which often vary in age, manufacturer and location. 

What are the benefits to having a robust Speech Analytics platform in place? What type of customer insights can it deliver for organisations?

Speech Analytics technology has progressed over the past few years and the ability to analyse all calls with a realistic accuracy has improved sufficiently to make Analytics a real benefit to Compliance departments. The key is for the financial institution to take the time and think, not only about the exact words or phrases they want to capture but also the context. In all our implementations we have worked closely with our customers to ensure the outcomes are relevant, accurate and are in context.

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