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MAG Mid-Year Tech Forum: The Rise of Robots

Forter recently attended the Merchant Advisory Group’s (MAG) Tech Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. Leading technology providers gathered to discuss innovative uses of new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, authentication, biometrics, blockchain, and how to create a more frictionless customer experience.

Forter CEO and Co-Founder Michael Reitblat presented alongside Sr. Manager, Payments & Financial Services Frank Lam, from The Home Depot, to discuss how robotic process automation fits into merchants’ payment technologies. 

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? 

RPA can be applied for the automation of transactional, rules-based tasks where structured data and clear, predefined rules and parameters are used. The solutions are typically easily applied, tested, and implemented. 

Michael noted that there is some confusion in the market regarding what is meant by automation, and how it can and should be applied. Simple automation is applied for otherwise time-consuming, repeating tasks in order to lower costs and improve overall business efficiency. AI is used to enhance the capabilities of machines to think intelligently, emphasizing the ability for machines to work and react like humans. Perhaps most exciting is the concept of intelligence augmentation. This is the combination of human expertise leveraged in conjunction with intelligent machines. 

The goal of RPA in relation to fraud prevention is to augment efficiency while diminishing operational costs. Process automation, Michael noted, is an amazing technology when applied correctly. Most companies approach their operations by leveraging a technology stack, disparate tools that run independently of one another. As such, businesses that wish to automate their processes, must take a nuanced approach. Simply plugging in a machine will not lead to accurate or effective results – a total system change is required. 

How do businesses like The Home Depot approach automation?

Growing customer demands drive the need for automation for businesses like The Home Depot. Heightened expectations, including same or next day delivery, require a shortened route to fulfillment than manual processes can accommodate. In order to execute on a grandiose scale same or next-day delivery, enterprises need to think about the entire supply chain with automation. Faster delivery requirements impact fraud decisioning and logistics, shipping, and fulfillment, and each step is vital within this process. Automation within the fraud process can shorten the feedback loop. Through AI and machine learning technologies the learnings that are made on each interaction or transaction can be amplified throughout the business. The concept of knowledge sharing and ongoing feedback drives the machine to consistently improve its results over time.

The automation process improves the overall agility of an organization. From being better equipped to deal with holiday sales or peak periods, to saving teams time from once-time-consuming and repetitive tasks, automation can serve to augment internal capabilities while also delivering an improved experience to end users. 

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