IMD & IRD Awards 2022: Best AI/machine learning data initiative—SmartStream


In partnership with tier-one banks, SmartStream’s Innovation Lab has created an integrated AI solution that can result in cost savings of up to $2 million per annum—bringing reconciliations into a new era by increasing match rates and helping business users to cope with vast volumes of data.

“We are pleased to partner with SmartStream—it is in our interest to keep up with the latest technologies and always improve our internal processes and productivity. We needed to move away from the manual operations to an automated data reconciliation model, which eliminates operational risk, while being able to scale volumes more cost-effectively. We felt SmartStream Air was the right choice to help us achieve this objective.” 
Nicole Adamson, senior corporate controller, Fisher & Paykel


SmartStream’s Affinity, part of SmartStream Air, is an AI observational learning solution that automatically learns how records correlate to one another, significantly reducing the time it takes to match complex datasets. It can learn from manual actions taken by users, adapting to their unique processes. Affinity delivers data quality, verification processes and ultra-fast results in an elastic cloud-based deployment model, using the latest technologies and digital-friendly services. It requires no training or configuration. Loading information is straightforward—files can be dropped into the platform manually or via an API for automated submission. Whatever the format or quality of the data, the AI will read, analyze, learn, and identify what needs to be compared and present a list of unmatched records or disputes for investigation. 


SmartStream reinvested 25% of its revenue last year back into R&D. It will continue to increase the number of developers for its solutions, driving up automation levels. Affinity will be embedded within the firm’s core solutions. SmartStream claims this will improve performance by 20% to 25% or more, enhancing the capabilities of its existing solutions, and delivering services that are more flexible and cost-efficient for its clients.


SmartStream continues to be the benchmark against which all other AI-based technologies are measured, especially when it comes to the perennially complex and laborious process of data reconciliation. SmartStream’s AI initiative revolves around its Air offering and the AI-driven observational learning functionality embedded within it, designed to observe how humans go about matching data records, which it then mimics, streamlines and improves on in terms of accuracy and speed, allowing firms to free up staff members to focus on higher-value tasks.      

“The Innovation Lab has been working with a number of tier-one banks to identify use-cases for AI technologies to increase STP and optimize costs. Our latest Affinity solution outperforms matching rates compared with anything else available on the market today. Client projects have been very successful: They are estimating at least 20% cost savings for their reconciliation business. It is gratifying that after 12 months of working with clients on our AI solutions, the technology has matured, and we are now at a stage to deliver real value, helping banks become more efficient by streamlining processes and making greater use of their operations.”  
Andreas Burner, chief innovation officer, SmartStream


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