Etihad Airways has successfully deployed Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify erroneous payments to suppliers. In turn, this has saved the finance team precious time by reducing false positives, while correctly identifying payment anomalies that could have been missed manually. Bhavesh Shivshanker, Head of Financial Operations, Etihad Aviation Group, gives TMI the inside story.
Having set up an internal Innovation Committee, the Finance function at UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways was keen to explore how technology could be applied to improve the way it operated. The aim of this exploration was to drive new and perhaps unexpected efficiencies, ranging from relieving heavy workloads through automation to improving decision making using advanced analytics. One of the pain points identified was around transaction anomaly detection, as Shivshanker explains.
“Most organisations will have questioned what more could be done to strengthen controls across their payments processes. Given our transactional volume and spend, we saw this as an area where automation and AI could really add value.”
Getting visibility on the problem
The first step in tacking this issue was to build a data profile of any overpayments from the past that had been identified. To accomplish this, the Etihad team created a central database that detailed these payments, what had been collected back and what was still out there.