Head of Operations & Product Development at FinAdviser Kostyantyn Andrusenko Talks About the Company Services and Financial Literacy in an Exclusive Interview With AI Conference Kyiv 2021
Head of Operations & Product Development at FinAdviser Kostyantyn Andrusenko Talks About the Company Services and Financial Literacy in an Exclusive Interview With AI Conference Kyiv 2021

AI Conference Kyiv 2021, the most important event for modern business of this autumn will take place on September 21. At the event, specialists interested in the successful development of companies will discuss the possibilities of using and implementing artificial intelligence, as well as share their experience in automating business processes.

At the conference, Kostyantyn Andrusenko – Head of Operations & Product Development at FinAdviser will talk about the use of AI technologies in the loan service.

In the meantime, the speaker spoke to AI ​​Conference Kyiv 2021 team on how FinAdviser can be useful for banks and ordinary users. He also voiced what is role of artificial intelligence in the service, listed the areas where AI technologies can help in solving complex problems, and spoke about whether the use of AI will become a ubiquitous phenomenon in Ukrainian business.

The interviewer: AI Conference Kyiv 2021 (AICK)

The respondent: Kostyantyn Andrusenko (K.A.)

AICK: Please tell us how the idea to create FinAdviser came into life. Did you initially want to create a unique fintech project? What idea drove you at the start?

K.A.: An interesting question. In most cases, a good idea is born when you want to create some value for others. It began from our teammates, who can be called the fathers of FinAdviser. We met almost a year and a half ago and agreed on a project.

The idea of ​​the product, as now, was to provide assistance in choosing a financial product for the user. And this concept, despite its simplicity, is truly unique. During the discussion of the project, we realized that we can be that integral link between credit providers and users who, not without reason, do not trust the former. And, I am sure, we have made the right decision with the concept.

AICK: Your product is unique, although, it would seem, the idea was there on the surface. How difficult is it to find ‘the right thing’ now? Are there many opportunities now for teams that want to create something new on the markets? Does it make sense to monitor existing sectors and industries for lost opportunities?

K.A.: You can always create something new. If we are talking about startups, new companies, we need to understand whether the product is in demand. After all, this is the reason why 90% do not succeed.

There is a good exercise for product managers to see and solve problems. Every day, you need to make a list of the problems you face at home, on the street, in transport, in the city, and divide them into categories. For example, problems for which you will pay $5, $100, and $1000. And of course, you need to think about the solutions to these problems. If these are solutions costing $1000, and you understand that people will use them, then you are a future millionaire.

AICK: Tell us more about the algorithm for selecting loan products. How does it work, how big is the role of AI in this process? How many people does it take to provide such a service without the help of AI?

K.A.: In short, without AI it will not work. The fact is that each financial product (in our case, a loan) contains approximately 60 components. These are loan rates, and interest for withdrawing money from ATMs, and penalties for delays, and many other parameters. The user, even if aware of their existence, still focuses on 3-5 things. One of the reasons are banks and their support services unable to explain the whole essence of each product.

What FinAdviser does? It is an automated expert that works with every attribute of a product. Unlike a human, it provides unbiased advice. For each user, we calculate a certain indicator of usefulness and provide three recommendations for specific products. Also, artificial intelligence takes into account how the user will use the product, based on the analysis of the experience and behavior of other customers. In fact, this is a free financial expert that ‘plays’ on the user's side without any interest.

Our AI has been learning for six months already. The recommendations are becoming more and more precise every day. In a year, it will be smarter than us (joke – ed.).

AICK: Is your product useful for banks? How does this method of selecting a loan product affect the quality of leads?

K.A.: Definitely. Banks have a problem: the leads that get to them very often do not meet the requirements/expectations. We are talking about bad credit history, irrelevant information about the need for a loan, users who need a small amount of credit, risk mitigation, and other parameters. Banks tend to work with specific clients.

We analyze the profile of potential borrowers based on their questionnaire answers and offer the product that suits them. And vice versa – we give the bank a client that meets the requirements and request. All parties benefit.

Moreover, this is a very correct algorithm from the point of view of the long-term perspective of cooperation between the client and the bank. In most cases, the true reason for the client's dissatisfaction about the cooperation with the bank lies in the initially wrong choice of a product for their needs. There are many banks, they usually have several credit cards, the terms of service for each differ and are economically justified. If a client uses an unsuitable product for a long time, experiences inconvenience, overpays, the likelihood of continuing cooperation is automatically reduced. If they initially receive the best product for them, the experience of working with the bank will be as positive as possible.

AICK: In your opinion, where else can AI be used today? Where can it bring the greatest benefit to the business and in what way?

K.A.: In the same place where it is used all over the world: in logistics, smart homes, city traffic, analytics, information reading, healthcare, text and speech analysis. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is useful where it is impossible or very difficult to achieve a result without AI. Let's look into the very popular medical field currently. No, we will not talk about COVID-19. There are many smart people who understand this. Let's talk, for example, about predicting the occurrence of cancer for a patient. In order for a person to be able to make an appropriate prognosis, the patient must be under regular supervision by a doctor, if not under constant check. In this case, the doctor can make a diagnosis based on his experience, knowledge and the number of symptoms that are there. AI can make a prediction much earlier, clearer and help the patient in the earliest stages. And we perfectly understand that the sooner we learn about the disease, the easier it is to cure it.

AICK: How do you see the future of AI in Ukraine? Will its application in various algorithms and processes become a mass phenomenon in business?

K.A.: Certainly. This is already happening. The fact is that I do not think that everything is bad in our country. On the contrary, in the fintech sphere, where FinAdviser operates, Ukraine is one of the global leaders in product development.

Also, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved an action plan for the implementation of the Concept for the Development of Artificial Intelligence in Ukraine for 2021-2024. The corresponding decision was made at a government meeting on May 12.

AICK: We still would like to return to the discussion of selecting loans with your service from the point of view of the consumer. If for example, a person does not understand all the intricacies of lending or even applies for a loan for the first time, can they succeed in choosing the best products without studying all these issues?

K.A.: I'll tell you even more. We take responsibility for the choices we make for you and the user. Why are we doing this – the answer is very simple. I made some references to medicine. Here we are not doctors, and it would be wrong for us to make a diagnosis instead of a doctor. Why? Because we do not understand this area and do not have sufficient knowledge.

Likewise, people who need a financial product. They may not understand, not because this is bad, but because this is not their field of activity. Therefore, I believe that FinAdviser is primarily for the people.

AICK: What is the main problem that your product solves for the people? Loan selection is a great opportunity. But what global problems does FinAdviser solve?

K.A.: Historically, for some reason, many people in our country consider simple decisions unacceptable for themselves. Need a loan? It is necessary to become a specialist in the field of lending as soon as possible. But it doesn't have to be that way. Credit is primarily a financial instrument. It is designed not to complicate people's lives, but on the contrary, to simplify, to make it better, to help achieve those goals, to realize those desires and needs that a person cannot financially cope with themselves.

On the other hand, we see a huge offer from banks. If the user does not have the appropriate knowledge, then it is really difficult to choose the right products on your own. FinAdviser makes it easy, simple and fast to choose financial instruments, as it should be. This is what banks and customers strive for in their cooperation – simplicity, ease and accessibility. Nowadays, choosing and using financial instruments should be as simple as a mobile recharge or ordering coffee. And FinAdviser solves this problem.

Choosing a loan should not be a significant event in a person's life. They shouldn't pay a maximum of free time to this issue. Unless it's a mortgage (laughs – ed.).

AICK: Do you think your service contributes to raising the level of financial literacy of the population? Or, on the contrary, ‘relaxes’ the consumer?

K.A.: We thought about it. And we came to the conclusion that regardless of whether the final choice of the service will spur the user's curiosity or not, in the end they will either check the choice of the service and make sure that it is reasonable, or simply trust it. In the end, both will win.

Therefore, yes, we are absolutely sure that our product contributes to an increase in the level of financial literacy of the population. At the same time, it does not matter whether the potential borrower will study the issue in more detail or simply use the selection service. Positive experience of cooperation will prove the point that the use of ready-made solutions for their problems instead of actually choosing blindly is better and more profitable. From any point of view, FinAdviser only benefits everyone who uses it.

You can talk to FinAdviser representatives and learn more about the use of AI when choosing a loan on September 21 at AI Conference Kyiv 2021.

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