It’s no secret that digital technology keeps evolving at lightning speed! With every article or post we read, there seems to be talk of new innovations. But there’s one development in particular that’s been turning heads and sparking conversations in recent years – AI!

At Opia, we’re passionate about pushing the boundaries to find new and better ways to deliver our services. And AI is one tool that is helping to drive this progress and take our processes to the next level. The result? An improved customer experience that’s more efficient, higher in quality, and delivers even greater value.

That’s why we’re excited to share our ‘Opia and AI’ 3-part mini-series, where we’ll be delving into key areas of our business that have been transformed by AI-driven solutions. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of AI and explore behind the scenes of how these impactful AI developments have become an invaluable asset for us at Opia.

Part 1: AI & Claim Handling

In part 1, we’re taking a look at claim handling, one of the key services we provide that ensures our client’s end customers enjoy a seamless experience of our promotions. But first, let’s take a more general look at the transformational influence of AI.

What is AI, and how is it revolutionising the way we do business?

AI, or artificial intelligence, is pretty incredible! It involves developing computer systems that can do things we typically associate with human intelligence, like learning, problem-solving, and even communicating. The goal is to mimic or enhance human capabilities.

In recent years, AI has become a game-changer for businesses in various industries. Its ability to process massive amounts of data and make intelligent decisions has transformed the way organisations operate. It’s all about boosting efficiency, improving the quality of products or services, and cutting operational costs. From streamlining complex workflows to optimising resource allocation, AI has opened up new doors for growth and innovation like never before.

AI finds its value in many different settings, but right now, it shines brightest when handling large amounts of data or taking care of repetitive tasks. By doing so, it frees up personnel to focus on more strategic or creative tasks. AI’s knack for providing valuable insights from data and predicting outcomes also means it can enhance quality control and identify anomalies, which is a major advantage for countless organisations.

It’s this ability to process large volumes of data that has had a huge impact on the efficiency of our claim handling.

Discover OCR: Our AI tool for efficient and accurate claim handling at scale.

At Opia, we work closely with leading global brands to create and manage a wide range of sales promotions. These promotions often require customers to submit evidence to validate their claims, such as receipts or product information. In the past, our dedicated team manually processed thousands of these claims each month, which consumed a significant amount of time and  effort.

The technology to convert handwritten or printed text into a machine-readable format has been around since the 1980s and 1990s. While it was hoped that this traditional OCR (optional character recognition) technology could save time and effort, back then, it still needed manual input to create templates and rules and review outputs.

But things have changed. We’ve embraced the power of AI, which now works in conjunction with OCR to create an automated system that delivers accurate results. Today’s AI-powered OCR has revolutionised our claim validation process. This amazing technology is able to analyse patterns of light and dark in scanned or photographed text to detect numbers and letters and create a machine-readable format. By leveraging machine-learning capabilities, AI-powered OCR can then analyse the information to make data-driven decisions and determine the validity of a claim.

We aim to use OCR validation on as many campaigns as possible. However, before each campaign gets started, we do a risk assessment to check its suitability in regards to fraud or complexity. For more complex campaigns, we sometimes opt to use human handling to ensure all intricacies are appropriately evaluated. Currently, a very large number of claims received by Opia are validated using AI, using one or more various solutions and 3rd party-platforms we have in place, and it has delivered several key benefits:

A better end-customer experience

By using AI-driven OCR, we can process customer claims much faster, often in a matter of a few minutes. This significantly improves the experience of customers who know almost immediately that they will get their reward. Furthermore, our clients benefit from improved levels of customer satisfaction, which typically results in greater customer loyalty.

Improved time and cost efficiency

OCR has drastically reduced the time and effort we need to spend on claim validation. Instead of manually reviewing and transcribing information, OCR automates the extraction of relevant data from claim documents, whether that’s receipts, product QR codes or packaging, allowing for faster processing, reduced labour costs and data capture to help with campaign insights. With better efficiency in our operations, we can pass more money back to our clients, enabling them to spend on bigger and better rewards for their customers: a win-win situation!

Enhanced accuracy

OCR also brings enhanced accuracy to the table. By automating the data extraction process, we minimise the risk of human errors that can occur during manual entry.
While concerns exist around the accuracy of AI, our data shows the opposite to be true. Quality assurance is a crucial part of our promotions, and we are continually assessing the accuracy of our claim validation processes to ensure we deliver the best results for our clients. These quality control checks consistently show that AI outperforms humans when it comes to accuracy! It is only with this proof that AI-driven OCR is the best option that we continue to use it for our clients’ promotions.

Increased productivity and strategic growth

The introduction of OCR has had a remarkable impact on our productivity and strategic growth. By automating the extraction and verification of claim data, OCR frees up valuable human resources to focus on more strategic tasks, increasing productivity and operational efficiency. No longer processing simple claims, our team can focus on more complex campaigns where the evidence provided is too complex even for AI, and further optimising our services.

Compliance assurance

Compliance is of utmost importance to us. We configure our OCR technology to adhere to industry-specific standards and regulatory requirements, ensuring that all claim data is processed correctly and in line with guidelines, especially in regards to data protection. We handle large volumes of sensitive customer data for our clients, so providing this assurance is hugely critical.

AI, specifically AI-backed OCR technology, has been a game-changer for us when supporting our clients’ promotional claim validations. It has enabled us to offer a high-quality, efficient service at scale so that more of our clients’ customers can enjoy a fantastic promotional experience.

In our next instalment of our Opia and AI mini-series, we’ll be talking about fraud prevention, another key area in our sales promotion delivery. While it is a service that is carried out behind the scenes, it is much more critical than many people realise.

Delve into part two of our mini-series to learn how all claims must go through robust fraud screening systems before any claim validation is carried out. Also, discover how AI tools, such as behavioural biometrics and fingerprint recognition, uncover suspicious online behaviour and how millions of data points are stored and analysed each time a claim is submitted to confirm its activity is not fraudulent.