By HUSNIYE GUNGOR
AFTER EXPANDING its own the AI capabilities in 2020, Experian Turkey will introduce a game-changing ‘Machine Learning Automation Platform’ to help organizations transform their financial processes. One area of focus will be the creation of smarter ‘early warning ’ mechanisms and models for financial institutions, according to GM Samile Mumin.
Turkey is accustomed to economic crisis, but the one at the end of 2000 was an unexpected shock for businesses and the financial sector. With the increase in interest rates and following a devaluation of the lira, the debt service burden of companies skyrocketed. Experian, the world’s leading information services company, entered the Turkish market in that caustic environment, when non-performing loans were dramatically increasing. Its goal was to help organizations around the world lend more responsibly, fairly and quickly. Since then, Experian has focused on credit decision making solutions that cover credit and loan approvals, customer management and bad debt collection in Turkey.
It’s not only the borrowing risk associated with Turkey’s cyclical ups and downs that helped Experian take more than 80% market share in the decision making support business. The global market leadership position it has earned in the last 125 years, with a GBP 25bn market cap, is also the backbone of its success. As a result, Experian works with most financial institutions, telecom operators and the Turkish Credit Bureau (KKB) providing analytics and crucial consultancy services.
“Our decisioning tools are designed to increase the precision, speed, and agility of decision-management processes, enabling them to respond rapidly and cost-effectively to market changes,” says Samile Mumin, Experian Turkey General Manager, adding that Experian is also Turkey’s market leader in analytics consultancy thanks to its advanced analytics capabilities and know-how.
The main characteristic of the Turkish market is the dynamic ways in which it can onboard new technologies and adopt new strategies, Mumin says. Turkey is also one of the few pioneering markets in terms of AI implementation in credit management, she adds. “This is mainly due to the existence of big data resources and fierce competition in terms of better and quicker customer service.”
HARNESSING THE POWER OF AI
In 2020, Experian introduced two critical initiatives in Turkey. •ne was expanding their AI capabilities with financial institutions, which has been paying dividends, according to Mumin. “We managed to execute many projects with Turkish financial institutions, especially on income estimations and SME limit assignments.”
The second initiative involved the introduction of new data and insights for the Turkish banking industry. In Q1, 2021, Experian Turkey is planning to launch Web Data scores and the Commercial Indebtedness Index, which they have been working on for quite some time.
EARLY WARNING DECREASES NPL RATES BY 20%
Looking ahead to 2021, the most exciting initiative for Experian Turkey will be introducing a game-changing new “Machine Learning Automation Platform”, to help organizations transform their financial processes, Mumin states. “The main reason we focused on this is that by 2025, 50% of data science activities will be automated and run by Artificial Intelligence.”
Another area the company has been focusing on is the creation of smarter ‘early warning’ mechanisms and models for financial institutions. “When we reviewed the various projects the company delivered over the past two years, the results, I have to say, were more impressive than we had expected,” says Mumin. In terms of international financial reporting standards IFRS9, for instance, the early warning mechanisms resulted in 15%-20% savings on provisions, while decreasing NPL (non-performing loans) rates by more than 20%.
Significant operational efficiency improvements have also been achieved through automation, digitalization and decreased collection activity costs. “I’m very proud to see that our holistic approach to early warnings, collections and provision optimization has also won awards from international organizations in the best digitalization transformation category.”
Fraud management partnership with Tier 1 bank Experian Turkey has also formed a local Data Science Research Unit with new hires which will be tasked with creating disruptive new approaches to challenge business problems. In this regard, they have partnered with a Tier 1 bank to introduce a different way of thinking about fraud management. The plan is to broaden similar collaborative scenarios with clients and partners that own Big Data in the future. “We may even consider announcing collaborations publicly and select the most challenging cases with the highest return for both parties,” Mumin notes.
Turkey is a big, young, and dynamic market, Mumin adds and the company sees a growing appetite for new data types, such as web data, transactional data, and streaming data. “In terms of advanced analytics techniques, Turkish institutions play a similar pioneering role in the region, and even globally,” she says.
AN EXPANSIVE CV
Samile Mumin, who graduated from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Business Administration in 1998, started her career at Demirbank and then moved on to HSBC in its corporate banking department. She was the sales director at Moody’s KMV Turkey representative between 2006 and 2008 and the business development director at Asseco SEE between 20082012. Joining Experian Turkey in 2012, Mumin worked as sales manager until 2019. She then took on the sales director role until she was appointed general manager in November 2020.
ISTANBUL OFFICE COVERS REGION
Experian covers a diverse and growing range of clients and regions including North America, the UK and Ireland, Latin America, and EMEA and the Asia Pacific, and has 17,800 employees, “the custodians of data on over 1.3 billion people globally.” The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, currently in the FTSE top 20. Fifty people based in the Istanbul office are a part of the Southern Cluster in the EMEA region. The Turkish Delivery team covers the Middle East, Balkans, CEE region and France as well. The Analytics team also leads Russia and the Middle East together with the Turkish market.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE COMPANIES TO INVEST IN DATA, ANALYTICS, MACHINE LEARNING AND AI IN THREE YEARS: MUMIN
“Last June, Experian commissioned a study from Forrester Consulting which revealed that decision-makers were pretty fast to adapt and respond to the pandemic by quickly adopting a host of defensive strategies, including improving customer engagement and boosting productivity. But despite challenges posed by uncertain cash flow, risk, and indebtedness, around 60% of firms are also now pursuing aggressive growth initiatives. Unsurprisingly, CEOs admit they’re adopting more defensive strategies across all business lines to help safeguard their position and curb the impact of aftershocks. It’s a sentiment reflected by most firms, with nearly four out of five saying they now expect to make a marked increase in investment in data, analytics, machine learning and AI within the next three years – to help drive a competitive advantage.”