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How an SMB can leverage AI

Between fraud prevention, transaction processing, and last-mile delivery optimization, artificial intelligence is proving its worth to smaller organizations.

While many small businesses are familiar with artificial intelligence as a means of improving customer service – chatbots, for example, are widely used for that purpose – AI can also be used to make small businesses more productive by reducing theft, streamlining payments, and enhancing the customer delivery experience. 

Theft Prevention

Every day, small businesses battle against theft, and that struggle is increasingly challenging. A 2020 National Retail Federation survey found that losses from theft, fraud, and other retail "shrink" factors rose nearly 22% from 2018 to 2019—and that half of respondents were ready to invest in technology to prevent those numbers from rising. Technology such as artificial intelligence solutions at the point of sale (POS) can help prevent fraud activities such as scanning errors and UPC barcode switching.

Dell Technologies, in partnership with Malong Technologies and NVIDIA, offers a solution that businesses can use as a tool in the fight against shrinkage. The solution uses artificial intelligence to reduce product loss caused by oversight or criminal behavior. By positioning cameras around self-checkout kiosks and capturing real-time video of product items as they are scanned, suspicious activity is captured for review. Products in the check-out queue are cross-checked with purchases that are recorded by the POS system. This self-learning computer vision solution protects merchandise by detecting missed scans and ticket switching in near real-time, without disrupting the customer experience.

Streamlining Payments

The proliferation of online payments worldwide during the past two years has resulted in an increased probability of security breaches and fraud. According to Deloitte, a combination of financial and health threats (especially in the pandemic era) has made the public more vulnerable, which has created opportunities for fraudsters. AI can help detect anomalies and provide insights needed to fix problems.

AI uses big data to create user profiles for payment settings, analyzing transactional history and past behaviors to determine patterns. When activity differs from what is expected, an AI solution issues an alert, which can prompt actions such as blocking account access or requesting two-factor authentication.

The implementation of AI in payment processing provides a solid security backbone. While payment processors may be trained to identify suspicious and fraudulent transactions and escalate them manually, AI can spot suspicious transaction activity and anomalies in a large set of data quickly and efficiently.

In addition, AI can also improve the efficiency and speed of online payments. AI in payment processing uses computer vision to process, analyze, and interpret visual data in place of traditional currency and credit cards. The goal of computer vision solutions is to enable computing devices to identify an object or person in a digital image and take appropriate action. Account information is stored digitally and customers can use their smartphones to pay for purchases. 

Financial organizations use computer vision, as well, allowing customers to open accounts online, for example, rather than in a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. While many computer vision systems are complex and suited for enterprise business, Dell offers computer vision solutions that leverage internet-connected cameras and cloud processing at an affordable price point.

Enhancing Customer Delivery Service 

During the pandemic, small businesses' delivery expertise was put to the test. Ecommerce surged, and companies found that optimizing logistics was critical to ensure customer satisfaction. One of the biggest expenses and challenges is last-mile delivery. AI solutions can help companies map the most efficient delivery routes by analyzing data and employing algorithms.

For example, an AI solution tracks the time and location where an order is picked up, through the time it is dropped off at the customer doorstep. In between, it plots the shortest course, while alerting the driver where to refuel, eat, or park their vehicles, eliminating wasted time.

Frictionless delivery is key to customer satisfaction – and it is also the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process. AI solutions streamline many elements of last-mile delivery.

Dell has AI solutions that can help put your data to work and solve problems including theft, cumbersome payment processes, and disorganized customer delivery. AI can move your business forward by helping drive decisions that make your customers happier and your bottom line healthier. 

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