Sell-Side Technology Awards 2023: Best artificial intelligence (AI) technology—SmartStream Technologies

Product: SmartStream Air


SmartStream Air offers an innovative approach for managing data reconciliations. Hosted as a cloud-native application, it allows business users to reconcile complex datasets in a matter of seconds. Air incorporates the latest developments in machine learning and AI technology, developed by the firm’s team of data scientists at its Innovation Lab in Vienna. The latest version of Air features intelligent exceptions management, enabling the process of identification, prioritization, allocation and audit to be further simplified.

“We are pleased to partner with SmartStream. The SmartStream team was very thorough and listened carefully to our context and future needs. The professionalism and speed of turning the project to a live working tool is impressive. We will benefit from SmartStream Air in many ways; this is a good investment that solves our high-volume processing and performance requirements.”

The solution

SmartStream Air is designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with manual transaction processing. The platform recently won the Red Dot Design Award for finance applications design.

Secret sauce

SmartStream Air leverages AI to analyze any format of data by creating AI “fingerprints” of the data and generating auto-match rules based on how the data is likely to correlate and the structures of the datasets. Users can load multiple files in multiple formats to the platform. The AI takes care of the heavy lifting and will match any data in an instant without the need for specific IT projects. With cloud-based technology accessed via a new user interface, the platform manages large volumes of data, in any format, to achieve exceptional match rates.

Recent enhancements

SmartStream Air V6 features Affinity, an observational learning feature that learns from rule logic, which becomes more intelligent over time.

The solution is designed to be as easy to use as a consumer app, which means there is no need to train users.

A new intuitive user interface was launched.

Air has no constraints in terms of volumes or numbers of files users can load. It is designed to match high volumes of data quickly, which is compelling for IT projects. It is also built to scale in terms of costs and has just one annual fee.

Future objectives

SmartStream reinvests 25% of its revenue each year back into research and development (R&D). It will continue to increase its developer numbers, which in turn will drive up banks’ automation levels.

Affinity will be embedded within the firm’s core solutions and will improve performance by 20% to 25%, enhancing the effectiveness/functionality of existing solutions.

“The Innovation Lab has been working with a number of tier-one banks to identify use-cases for AI technologies to increase straight-through processing and optimize costs. Our latest Affinity solution outperforms matching rates of anything else available on the market today. Clients are estimating at least 20% cost savings for their reconciliation businesses. 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

Why they won

SmartStream continues to push the boundaries of AI and machine learning technology on the reconciliations front, a strategy that has paid dividends in recent years: It won the best buy-side reconciliation platform/service in last year’s BST Awards, a category that it has dominated for some time now. The development of Affinity with its observational learning functionality is a genuine game-changer for reconciliations teams. Not only does it recommend records that it believes should be matched, but it seeks to identify records to match by sifting through vast, complex datasets that humans simply wouldn’t be able to manage. It also produces faster, more accurate results the more “experienced” it becomes.

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