With rapid changes in the mobile communications industry and easy access to the internet over the last decade, the financial sector has become an in-house utility for consumers across the globe. Customers can connect with their financial institutions at any time to perform a financial transaction and the expectation is to be able to complete the transaction quickly.
In financial markets, the input time of entering a deal, executing a transaction and its confirmation are critical factors since price fluctuations within a fraction of a second can impact the overall profit and loss. Most of the market participants (brokers) now use web or mobile apps to connect to their trading systems to place orders online. However, navigating and completing the online form to enter a deal is still a time-consuming and cumbersome task for the end users (traders).
Through interactive media, such as voice response applications, traders can reach the trade booking form via a telephone call quickly and use speech to input the mandatory trade values as soon as they have enough critical information to book a trade. This would take significantly less time than manually filling the multiple fields of the online form. We therefore believe that integrating VoiceXML with trade booking systems will help traders cut processing times and costs, simplify access to bookings and overcome interface limitations.
Let us examine a typical trade booking example. To book a deal takes on average around five minutes, from navigating and filling the mandatory trade input fields through to the form submission by the trader. The overall trade booking time also indirectly includes the user log-in time and the system (laptop or desktop) start-up time (although mobile device access is faster).
In traditional interactive voice response (IVR) applications, the user is only allowed to interact with the application using DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency). This means that the user must wait until the playback of IVR options is complete, and so the overall time needed to perform a transaction is high. In the trade booking example, by the time the available options have been presented to the end user, the market rates could change.
Voice input to the application could be the optimal solution in the above example, requiring only the mandatory values to submit an order. Traders can call the application hotline which connects automatically like a traditional IVR system, but allows the user to input values by speaking. The available speech to text tools will then transform the traders’ voice messages to an XML.
For example, the user – a trader – will say, “Buy ABC Inc company shares of quantity 10000 at the price of 2 USD per script.” From this, the application will clearly understand what equity the trader wants to buy, the quantity of the order and the price - the minimal mandatory values. The remaining fields, such as portfolio, date, the trader’s name, etc, can be filled out automatically as part of the processing configuration, saving the overall processing time.
IMPLEMENTING A VOICEXML SOLUTION
The implementation of VoiceXML includes these two steps:
- Infrastructure upgrade: Additional infrastructure is integrated between the end-user telephone connectivity and the trade booking system.
- Template design: Predefined templates are designed for specific needs, based on product types being traded and other parameters. These templates will have pre-filled data for most of the fields, so that the trader only needs to speak out values for the mandatory fields.
The solution then processes data as follows:
- Voice conversion: Traders’ speech input is converted into text format using any available speech-to-text (STT) tools.
- Text mapping: The text input will then be mapped against the set of predefined templates, grammar rules, transformation rules to generate an XML trade file. Once the XML file is generated, it is submitted to trade booking systems for processing.
The integration of VoiceXML into an existing trade booking application will allow end users to connect with the application through a phone call - from anywhere, at any time. This overcomes the long waiting times of listening to the pre-recorded options (used in traditional IVR systems) and saves time by allowing to input only the mandatory data, helping traders to book trades at live market rates.
A VoiceXML interface is not a replacement of traditional access to trade booking applications from a desktop or laptop computer, but rather an additional interface for when away from the desk (or without internet access). The trade booking application re-design needs to be specifically aligned with the product type (options, swap, etc) and based on regulatory requirements of the specific region.
Contact us to learn more about our VoiceXML solution and how it can save your trading processes time and money.
Andreas Pfeil, Partner
M +49 172 165 3932