Netanel Kabala

Netanel Kabala

Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Nuvei

Nuvei
Netanel Kabala, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Nuvei, explains how the Canadian payments company is investing in artificial intelligence (AI)

Netanel Kabala is Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Nuvei. During our discussion into the company’s investment in artificial intelligence (AI), he says something that neatly summarises the importance of the payments industry in people’s everyday lives.

“What inspires me the most is the fact that payment companies are not usually very well-known, yet they touch the lives of so many people,” he tells us. “We actually affect their lives more than they could possibly understand.”

Kabala took the lesser-trodden path to senior management, joining Nuvei through acquisition rather than recruitment. A graduate from the MBA programme at Tel Aviv University, Kabala spent almost five years at PayPal before co-founding Simplex, which designed a fiat payments infrastructure for the cryptocurrency industry, in 2014.

Simplex was duly bought out by Nuvei in May 2021, with Kabala becoming Chief Data and Analytics Officer. In his new role, he finds himself at the crossroads of many fascinating technologies which are helping to define not just the payments industry, but Nuvei as a company. Not least among these is artificial intelligence, which is the topic of much of our discussion.

Important to distinguish traditional AI from Gen AI

Within the traditional artificial intelligence space, where AI is learning from previous patterns and acting on them, Kabala sees fraud prevention as the most dominant use-case. In the payment space in particular, fraud prevention represents the “perfect storm” for AI, Kabala explains.

“AI is immediate and it has a lot of variables,” he says. “Some of them are given by the user, some of them are actually behind the scenes and are passively collected. All of this needs to be calculated very quickly with a decision made before money is lost. That's especially true in digital payments and in digital goods. AI is very useful at that, and I think it’s still the dominant way to tackle fraud scenarios right now.”

He believes that compliance could also benefit from AI, but says it lags significantly behind fraud prevention as a use-case in terms of its maturity. Kabala is also excited by the potential for Generative AI to transform the payments landscape, with Gen AI expected to become a US$1.3tn industry by 2032.

“Gen AI is better for anything that involves conversations, large bodies of text, or content creation,” Kabala adds. “Either this content could be marketing materials, sales pitches and emails, even code. That's what we're already trying to do at Nuvei. Everything related to productivity within the company could be greatly enhanced using Generative AI and all these new capabilities. 

“Mundane and often rigorous tasks could be automated using these new tools that didn't exist about a year ago – so things like either customer support, text summarisation, knowledge sharing within the company, writing everything from compliance papers to marketing materials. All of these processes could be greatly enhanced using Gen AI.”

Must consumers understand AI before embracing it?

There is a recurring debate within AI circles about whether or not consumers need to be knowledgeable about the technology before embracing it. Research from Bloomberg Intelligence certainly suggests that they are opening up to AI, with almost two-thirds saying they have a “good understanding”.

But Kabala believes that, even though improving awareness of AI is a good thing, it’s not imperative that consumers have an in-depth understanding of AI before accepting it: “If you're standing in line and the cashier doesn't work because there was an issue with the software, and the merchant couldn't get their payment company on the line, they don't really care whether it happened with or without AI,” he says. “They just want the problem fixed.”


Read the full report HERE.

Nuvei on the future of artificial intelligence in payments
Nuvei on the future of artificial intelligence in payments
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