A sign of Google is seen at Google's stand during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum ... [ ] (WEF) in Davos, on January 21, 2020. In an article titled Amazon's Impending Invasion Of Banking, I wrote: "Amazon has no incentive to cut banks out of the lending or deposit business. Amazon can make more money by providing technology services to help financial institutions underwrite, process, and service loans. Banks will gladly pay for this, because Amazon will do it for a lower cost that what banks incur to do it today." My argument then, as it is now, is that Amazon is poised to be a vendor--not a competitor--to financial institutions.
Google has announced the launch of Lending DocAI, a dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) service for the mortgage industry. On Monday, Google Product Manager Sudheera Vanguri said the new solution, now in preview, has been designed to transform unstructured datasets into accurate models able to speed up loan applications by accurately assessing a borrower's income and assets. To streamline the loan application process, dubbed "notoriously slow and complex" by Vanguri, Lending DocAI has been built with AI models that specialize in document types related to loans and is able to automate "routine" document reviews so mortgage providers don't have to. The executive says that in turn, this will speed up the mortgage and loan application workflows, including the processing of loan sources and mortgage services. Lending DocAI can be applied to a range of documents including tax, income, and asset statements, capturing valuable data and potentially reducing the complexity of applying for a mortgage -- both for providers and hopeful borrowers.
As regards financial services, notwithstanding the strange new normal, banks across the world are learning as they go and applying what they learn, to sustain the trust that customers have placed in them. On the upside, with consumers' increasing comfort levels with technology, Covid-19 has been accelerating the pace of change, with indications that banks will be making a decades' progress in half the time. Here's a quick look at 19 things that have been changing during the COVID-19 crisis. Banks are responding to epoch-making social changes, including how consumers select channel preferences, products for their financial needs. Behavioral changes are hastening the shift from the transactional to more complex, high-value operations.
The head of what is arguably private equity's most successful technology investment firm -- Vista Equity Partners -- made a rare appearance on Meet The Press to discuss the steps that the country needs to take to help minority-owned businesses recover from the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Robert F. Smith is one of the worlds wealthiest private equity investors, a noted philanthropist, and the richest African American in the U.S. Days after announcing a $1.5 billion investment into the Indian telecommunications technology developer Jio Platforms, Smith turned his attention to the U.S. and the growing economic crisis that's devastating minority businesses and financial institutions even as the COVID-19 epidemic ravages the health of minority communities. Calling the COVID-19 "a pandemic on top of a series of epidemics", Smith said that the next round of stimulus needs to support the small businesses that still remain underserved by traditional financial institutions -- and that new financial technology software and services can help. "We need to continue to rally as Americans to come with real, lasting, scalable solutions to enable the communities that are getting hit first, hardest, and probably will take the longest to recover with solutions that will help these communities thrive again," Smith told NBC's Chuck Todd. Smith called for an infusion of cash into community development financial institutions and for a new wave of technology tools to support transparency and facilitate operations among these urban rural communities that aren't served by large banking institutions.