How intelligent document processing streamlines the financial underwriting review process

Nov 09, 2022 by Craig Woolard

Two employees analyzing information on a computer screen.

What is Automation Hero?

Automation Hero is a next-gen automation platform with powerful built-in intelligence that helps organizations navigate the growth of unstructured data, and journey into their digital transformations. 

Designed by data enterprise experts who understand the fast-paced growth of data and the challenges businesses face to keep up with it, Automation Hero provides a low-code environment and a human-in-the-loop experience that unites AI with the human workforce. 

The Hero Platform_ offers a robust integration framework that will support almost any pre-existing, legacy system — which makes it a highly-flexible automation powerhouse for processing any document task with above-human accuracy. 

With Automation Hero’s end-to-end intelligent document processing platform, there’s no limit to what you can automate.

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What is intelligent document processing?

At the center of The Hero Platform_ is Automation Hero’s best-in-class Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) technology. 

“IDP” refers to document AI algorithms that augment processing workflows related to documents. However, document AI technologies — such as IDP — automate a much deeper “stack” of document-related tasks than was previously possible. 

Unlike traditional robotic process automation (RPA) — which only automates simple, repetitive screen tasks — one step at a time — IDP automates the whole workflow using a full stack of AI models to intelligently classify, extract and process large volumes of data from any digitally stored written communication — regardless of source, file-type, or language.

In essence, IDP offers next-gen AI technology for next-level automation.

Instead of a series of simple point-and-click screen automations that imitate repetitive human-performed tasks, IDP combines state-of-the-art AI algorithms — such as computer vision, handwriting recognition, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL) to provide a powerful suite of document understanding capabilities.

Why Automation Hero is better than other IDP vendors

Unlike other IDP solutions, Automation Hero has native intelligence built from the ground up as a core feature of the platform’s design. Rather than tacked on as an afterthought from third-party AI vendors — as you will find in traditional automation platforms — we set out to build a world-class IDP platform for end-to-end document understanding from the very beginning.

Automation Hero’s AI/cognitive capabilities are built in-house at the core of The Hero Platform_ by enterprise data experts who understand the fast-paced growth of unstructured data. 

Plus, Automation Hero offers a human-in-the-loop environment with a no/low-code interface. This feature allows users to correct errors before they occur and fine-tunes the training of AI algorithms used in capture, extraction, and document classification — it also closes the gap between people and your automation. 

Our no/low code skill builder dynamically manages all aspects of the automation — allowing users to implement dedicated approval or audit interfaces in-between tasks based on business rules set by the customer.

Our IDP technology leads the market to deliver the best business processes at the enterprise level.

Understanding the global challenges of unstructured data

The IDC Global DataSphere analyzes global data trends and reports on the quantity of data created worldwide. It also looks at how much of that data is stored across various storage media. In 2020, IDC researchers determined that the world created more than 64 zettabytes of data.

Since that time, this global uptick in data growth has skyrocketed so quickly, the amount of data we produce over the next five years is already projected to outpace our global capacity to store it​​ — meaning we are saving less of the data we create each year.

Global data forecast until 2025
Global data forecast until 2025

By 2025, data-sphere experts have forecasted worldwide data will exceed 175 zettabytes — and this trend is growing so fast — our global storage capacity, physically, cannot keep up with the payload. In this current reality, it raises an important question: how much of this information should we store and save as “data”? 

Since the cloud increasingly determines the way we store, consume, and engage with data, the rate enterprises are producing data is double that of consumers. While not all data created is mission critical, nor need to be saved, how do enterprises determine what data has value?

Moreover, as financial institutions establish their digital resiliency, how do they know what data is business critical?

The truth is — in five years — most data will be lost.

The evolution of Document Processing and its Value
The evolution of Document Processing and its Value

Why? Because the bulk of data belonging to organizations is “unstructured.”

Research by Big Data experts estimates unstructured data accounts for a whopping 90% of all new enterprise data. This trend is quickly growing between 55-65% every year — a rate three times faster than the growth of structured documents — and yet only 18% of organizations are taking advantage of it.

The other 82% are not even utilizing their most valuable resource. 

With the bulk of new unstructured customer information coming from emails, text messages, social media posts, PDFs, and even handwritten scanned documents — not having a method to mine valuable data will limit the organization’s ability to adapt rapidly to changed conditions. 

And in highly regulated organizations where latent, unmined value remains untapped inside older, heritage document processes — such as banking institutions — it poses a real barrier to digital transformation.

So what can we do about it?

Use case: how IDP fits in with an underwriting review process

Whenever information is missing or unrecognizable in a borrower’s income, employment, or tax documentation, the “friction” in the loan application process causes delays. Too many delays in the underwriting process undermine underwriters’ abilities to mitigate the risks and to react quickly. Underwriters must adapt to uncertainties, but they need a complete picture of all associated risks.

This is where Automation Hero can help.

Financial institutions can immediately start using Automation Hero’s built-in intelligent document processing to build an automated underwriting infrastructure that speeds up tasks at every step in the process. For example, our IDP technology can make historical data readily available for underwriting review and accessible to all third-party digital workflow services and even end users in different departments. 

For processes still stuck under a mountain of unstructured documents — such as the underwriting review process — our API can serve as an IDP “fabric” connecting all of your open-banking workflow services together with your business process automation systems and internal data systems. And once you have created your automation, it can be offered via an application programming interface (API) as a service that other departments or even other banks can use. 

With Automation Hero as the IDP fabric integrating multiple APIs into a unique business process — you will have an infrastructure that open-banking APIs, FinTechs, and other third parties can use. Rather than competing with FinTechs, this has the potential to add revenue streams and expand customer reach. 

It also allows banks to intelligently automate the underwriting process while commercializing their infrastructures into the Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) space where banks provide the core services to FinTechs and open-finance third parties.

How open APIs work
How open APIs work

An underwriting case study with RCBC

When underwriters receive loan applications from individuals and businesses, Automation Hero’s built-in intelligence applies custom OCR and IDP technologies that instantly analyze, classify, extract, and sort documents into the appropriate categories. The data extracted from these documents are entered automatically into the fields for the appropriate financial software — speeding up KYC and other tedious, manual data processes.

At RCBC — one of the most trusted commercial banks in the Philippines delays in the underwriting process severely impacted the client experience. Since data was entered manually across departments, duplicate entries were a regular part of the ongoing re-work. 

With Automation Hero, RCBC optimized its data migration capabilities and increased its underwriting production by 3x. Automation Hero’s big data background enables it to power this data movement use case while also providing the foundation for our cutting-edge AI capabilities that can expand this digital workflow transformation to incorporate previously unreachable unstructured data.

How to get started with intelligent document processing

When introducing any new technology into a highly regulated organization with heritage processes such as financial service institutions, it makes sense to introduce IDP technology on a limited basis so you can test how it works, first. 

We offer a few suggestions to get started:

In the meantime, start planning how you might use Automation Hero’s built-in intelligence to address multiple use cases across your entire company. Our Human-in-the-loop attended automation provides security for employees to approve any automation that also trains your AI model.

Just imagine training your AI model with the wisdom of your company’s top experts!