How electronic trading is evolving thanks to ‘conversational banking'

How electronic trading is evolving thanks to ‘conversational banking'

This autumn, IBS Intelligence hosted an interesting podcast episode called How electronic trading is evolving thanks to ‘conversational banking’. The Glue42 COO James Wooster as a special guest of Robin Amlot, Managing Director at IBS Intelligence. We’re happy to share part of the interview in which they discuss how ‘conversational banking’ and ‘composable enterprise’ come together to shape the future of a more efficient financial desktop.


James Wooster:

Conversational banking normally has connotations of verbal interactions, a conversation in the traditional human sense. In recent years, the idea of augmenting the human experience with a sort of semi-intelligent agent was added to the kinds of business conversation that you can engage in. We are now deliberately stretching and potentially misusing that word (conversation) to talk about new artificially intelligent kinds of applications. These look at the behavior of traders or portfolio managers, indeed, users of any kind, and look at what they are doing with other applications, in order to be able to infer some kind of context or intent that they have in mind. This way that the application can start to surface information that’s relevant just ahead of when the end user actually needs it. So, it’s a combination of artificially intelligent chat bots and data bots if you like, to make the end users almost superhuman in their ability.


Robin Amlot:

You’re going to deliver me something I didn’t know I needed just before I need it.


James Wooster:

Potentially. In the scenarios that we’ve implemented with some of our partners, we can quite easily predict what data might be required. But what we’re doing is also providing some adjacent data to round out the view and enable the human worker to make the most accurate, the most insightful decision. So, yes, it’s a combination of simple prediction and then some very smart prediction going on at the same time.


Robin Amlot:

It’s not the case that you’re actually replacing a human in the actionable process but you’re offering that person more data, more information, to inform them to make a better decision.


James Wooster:

Spot on. We focus on processes that we describe as being exploratory. In a sense if you can automate the end user and it’s safe to do so from an IT perspective but also reasonable to do so from an interaction perspective, then the technology has been there for a number of years and you can go ahead and do that. But in many scenarios, either you need to keep that human touch because that what’s your clients will expect or the transaction is so critical that you need to explore the data in order for you to be comfortable that it is safe to make the transaction. Thus, at Glue42, we tend to focus on these exploratory processes. So, it’s never our intention to remove the human being because it simply would not make sense in the context of that user process.


Robin Amlot:

Let’s move from the concept of “conversational banking” to “composable enterprise”, so what do we mean by “composable enterprise”?


James Wooster:

А “composable enterprise” is a phrase that I believe was invented by Gartner, the global analyst firm, probably about a year ago. “Composable enterprise” is not a technology, it’s not a vendor-specific thing, it’s a concept and it’s an approach of how enterprises can become a great deal more flexible that they’ve been historically. And one of the interesting things, is that the arrival of the pandemic has forced organizations to accelerate their thinking around composable enterprises. So, in short, a composable enterprise is an organization that can build and support new business processes and user journeys, very simply, very quickly from the assets they already have or that they acquire. So, for example, if a large enterprise has one monolithic application, changing it to behave and do things differently is a major IT program on itself. Now, consider the other side of the spectrum, where every discrete task within one of those monolithic applications is like an application in its own right, but it’s an application that understands how to communicate with other applications. So therefore, you can start to roll your own user processes by having these smaller components at hand that you can compose and then re-compose at will.


Robin Amlot:

Can we stitch these two ideas together? The conversational banking and the composable enterprise to come up with a synthesis of what an institution would look like and how it would behave, particularly, and you mentioned it, in of the new circumstances we find ourselves in now with the Covid19?


James Wooster:

Yes, they go hand in hand really. So, the interesting thing about what we’re doing with conversational banking it that the vendor products that we’re bringing into the desktop are most easily assimilated when those vendor products are delivered in these smaller components. Let’s take an example of where an application vendor is of the opinion that their application is so important that all anyone does every day is use their application and no other. The consequence of that design assumption would be that it sits on your desktop and occupies the entire screen real estate. That may have been okay for decades gone by, but we’re in a very different marketplace even in the last couple of years. And so, the kinds of things that we’ve been asked to do is to assimilate individual tasks and not huge applications. What we’re doing with this conversational banking is to integrate these advanced bots such that they can sit alongside other applications. This is not because the bot by itself is not any good – it’s just that you need transactional systems wrapped around it. So, we’ve got to the point now where application vendors are realizing that they don’t own the entire desktop.


>>>Read the full version of the conversation on the Glue42 Blog or listen to the podcast episode here