Bob Stark (Kyriba) : ChatGPT for treasury: Ally or Foe ?
ChatGPT, the experimental chatbot dominating the headlines, has some interesting — and, in some cases, dangerous — implications for treasury management. This article discusses the good, the bad and the scary about ChatGPT for treasury.
Payments Fraud Prevention
It’s been well documented that AI is being used regularly for both payments fraud and payments fraud prevention. Generative AI has now become the latest tools in fraudsters’ arsenals.
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace shared with Fortune’s Eye on AI that cybercriminals are using natural language AI algorithms to help increase the linguistic complexity of phishing emails. Interestingly, Darktrace reports that while the overall volume of phishing schemes it has observed has decreased by 50%, more complex schemes have increased by close to 20%. Unfortunately, this makes sense.
Check Point, another cybersecurity firm, noted that using ChatGPT helped it to create an end-to-end social engineering campaign from phishing emails all the way to embedded malware within an email attachment. The result was disturbingly convincing and is assured to break down traditional barriers of defense that treasury and finance leaders have erected to detect fraud.
In response, cybersecurity experts all say the same thing: use automated systems to detect and prevent cyberattacks at machine speed. For treasury terms, this means using AI within our payment processes to ensure payments are compliant with all payment policies and employing AI-driven adversarial networks to detect suspicious payments.
The good news is that these tools exist today and can be embedded within your payment software, as well as treasury and ERP-to-bank connectivity.
"Use AI to detect and prevent cyberattacks at machine speed within your payment processes."
Treasury Management Systems (TMS)
ChatGPT can also be used within a Treasury Management System (TMS) where the user gives instructions to the system using keywords or questions. With a user experience (UX) that has been optimized for natural language processing, the TMS can respond to basic queries such as “Show me global bank balances converted to USD,” or “What is my exposure to the Yen?” to more complex requests, including “What caused the variance in my forecast last week?” or “How many days of liquidity do we have left?”.
One example Kyriba is testing is for bank reconciliation, where ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools would identify forecast to actual variances and automatically reconcile those transactions that would typically have been manually processed in the cash management module of any TMS.
For the daily user, ChatGPT or similar technology could replace mouse-clicking to reach a menu item or open a screen, as well as offer a next level of treasury automation such as robotic process automation (RPA) offers some treasury teams today.
For the executive user, the benefits could be even more interesting, as many CFOs and treasurers do not login to TMS or ERP platforms. Yet, they would be more than willing to ask questions of their treasury software.
When it comes to ‘workflow’ systems like TMS, ERP and other multi-screen applications that treasury relies on, ChatGPT offers the next level of extreme automation.
ChatGPT for Treasury Management: Today and Tomorrow
While AI is not new technology for treasury, many treasury teams are still exploring how much they need AI to assist with core functions. However, apps like ChatGPT provide a convenient—and currently, free—solution for assisting with important tasks like documentation that typically require hours of manual work. At the same time, they also add another threat element that treasury professionals need to be aware of.
Technologies like ChatGPT are still new and should be handled with care, but they cannot be ignored. While AI is not a replacement for actual employees, treasury teams should take the time to learn about AI and determine how it might be applicable to their organizations.