AFTAs 2017: Best AI Technology Initiative—FIS

Control Centre uses a combination of traditional workflow rules and RPA.

2017 AFTAs FIS

Artificial intelligence (AI) is enjoying its place in the sun right now across the capital markets, being one of the few emerging technologies to have found widespread, real-world adoption and application throughout the industry. From machine learning to robotic process automation (RPA), AI has already started to deliver on many of the expectations it has promised—it is a cost-efficient and relatively easy family of technologies to implement, and for this reason the AFTAs already feature a dedicated AI category. 

In this year’s awards, FISAI platform, Control Center, provides an example of how this new technology has found its way into large financial corporations’ technology stacks, and the benefits it can deliver to their day-to-day operations. 

Control Center is a platform that uses a combination of traditional workflow rules and RPA. Essentially, it is a service designed to support fund administrators’ operations in a manner that is purpose-built and contextual to asset servicing. The RPA and machine-learning functionality streamlines the creation and management of operational processes and simplifies user interaction.

Its primary features include electronic checklists and easy-to-read dashboards. Also, the automation of these processes has replaced manual tasks, allowing FIS to offer a service that promotes transparency to management both in real time and historically, given that it eliminates human factors. For example, when interacting with exceptions generated in other systems, it can act on them directly, without human intervention. 

One of the first financial institutions to implement Control Center was Northern Trust, which uses the platform to support its fund accounting, administration and reporting functions. The bank uses Control Center for its entire global fund accounting environment, in order to better manage the diverse regulatory, reporting and tax requirements inherent in cross-border trading activities. By using the online tool, Northern Trust was able to manage its daily net-asset value (NAV) calculations and its client service-level agreements. 

According to FIS, its AI aspirations and strategy will not be limited to Control Centers’ current features. Being an already functional platform, the product will be enhanced with additional robotics tools and intelligent automation, to become an integrated portal with a real-time dashboard for management, interacting directly with an expanding range of systems from its client base. FIS is also looking to expand its use of AI to other areas within its ecosystem, including transfer agency and private equity functions.  

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