AiThority interviewed Charles Zhang, General Manager at ADVANCE.AI
27 September 2019

AiThority: Please briefly describe your role at ADVANCE.AI and what you are primarily responsible for.

Charles Zhang: I am the Asia-Pacific General Manager for business products at ADVANCE.AI and will also be responsible for the company’s business development in the Indian market. As my position shows, I am responsible for the development of the company’s e-KYC, credit scoring and anti-fraud technology products.

AiThority: How has AI evolved in Internet businesses over the past 12-18 months?

Charles Zhang: Our technical solutions have been used in a number of areas such as banking, e-commerce, telecom, etc. for some time now, and we have indeed seen real improvements in certain areas as a result of the development of AI. For example, fraud risk is still a major issue for emerging markets in Asia, but AI can drive business growth and restore confidence by reducing fraud risk. We have also seen that AI has discovered new service groups for our customers and opened up new market segments, these customers can make up for market vacancies and serve user groups that their needs cannot be met and cannot be served by banks, and ultimately provide them with better financial services. AI automates many of the back-end processes in financial services from monitoring to fraud control, making it possible to serve non-bank users at low cost. Over the past 18 months, this can only be achieved through advanced AI technology to help automate the workforce.

AiThority: Could you give us a brief introduction of ADVANCE.AI and what key technologies you can offer to your customers?

Charles Zhang: ADVANCE.AI’s vision is “better AI, better life, and better human”. It is committed to using AI technology to help businesses reduce fraud, improve operational efficiency, and achieve efficient growth while providing financial institutions with a new generation of credit scoring services to assist vulnerable groups in emerging markets underserved by traditional banks. ADVANCE Guardian is our flagship product that uses AI technology to provide e-KYC, anti-fraud and credit scoring services to banks and other enterprises.

AiThority: In which countries and regions are products of ADVANCE.AI currently being sold?

Charles Zhang: Currently, ADVANCE.AI operates in five markets in Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and India, with over 300 corporate clients in banking, fintech, telecom and retail.

AiThority: What did you get from the World AI Show? How did you present your ideas at this event?

Charles Zhang: The biggest takeaway from my participation in the World AI Show in Mumbai earlier this month was discovering the hunger for innovation and new technologies. In the forum panel I spoke on, we discussed in detail a number of issues, including how non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) can apply AI to their current digital infrastructure; how to provide risk management solutions while reducing decision time; how NBFCs can overcome the digital challenges of implementing AI; and how AI can play a key role in anti-fraud and credit loans. These are the main topics I discussed during the workshop from the perspective of ADVANCE.AI’s AI products and service capabilities.

AiThority: What is the relationship between the innovation and development of big data science and the AI/ML platform?

Charles Zhang: The ability to combine AI and data analytics well is the main reason why AI and big data are inseparable. The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could bring new rules to business analytics. However, problems arise when the quality of the data used is low. In our work with clients in financial services and other industries, it’s very clear to us that in order to get the best out of AI, companies must use the highest quality data. If you use poor quality data, then you will get poorer results. Our solution is to ensure that enterprise users have access to the highest quality data possible.

AiThority: What skills and qualities are you looking to recruit when assembling your AI and Big Data team?

Charles Zhang: We have been looking for ambitious data scientists locally in India and Southeast Asia who are always excited and passionate about the field of big data and AI, eager to constantly upgrade their skills and have a long-term career plan in this field.

AiThority: What do you think the application of AI and big data has for banks and financial service institutions (BFSIs), and what does the future hold for them?

Charles Zhang: We believe that AI as technology will benefit the society by enabling better, faster and more personalized access to products, services and information. In the past, Southeast Asia has invested little effort and resources in the development of AI technologies such as computer vision and natural language processing. Over the past three years, we have been following the development of AI technology in Southeast Asia and bringing together the best talent in various fields to address this need, especially as we have seen a strong need for AI technology applications in BFSIs. Today, our AI-based computer vision, fraud detection, and credit scoring technologies deliver the best results against global industry benchmarks, and what sets us apart from others is our stronger ability to operate locally. In the next few years, we will continue to increase investment in research and development and innovation to better meet the needs of our customers and grow together with them.

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