Visa application and issuance has always been an issue, in order to get a visa issued one needs to repeatedly visit the concerned places through which they get it issued. The question is how can this process be simplified? Despite so much of technological advancements, why are we lagging behind in the system of issuing visa for global exposure? It is well-understood fact that every nation has its own terms of allowing an international citizen into their country but this can be made easier with technology and biometrics. In a talk with Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director at BLS International, the Financial Express Online discussed how the Artificial Intelligence and other latest technologies can make things easier for all and the possibility of such advancements in the visa application and issuance. Excerpts:
Emergence of Artificial Intelligence and how applying latest technology is creating new opportunity and stringent administration?
There’s no denying that forward-thinking technologies like Artificial Intelligence have seen tremendous acceptance and implementation in various sectors. Organizations across industries are harnessing the potential AI holds to revolutionize the way we work today. And visa and consular services industry is not an exception. Most of the companies today are adopting AI mechanism in their business. Application of AI in processing visa is making the process easier and effective.
The visa process outsourcing industry is using AI in various formats like online appointment booking, mobile biometric services, e-Visa, and allied contact center. AI has not only to empower the organization in terms of efficiency, but it has also helped people learn new skills and
It is expected that by 2025, 50% of companies would have adopted AI mechanism and Visa processing is not an exception to this. Many software professionals and experts believe that implementing AI across several industries will give AI software potential revenues and a phenomenal ascent up to $90 billion by 2025. Implementing Artificial Intelligence in visa processing industry has not only made the process easy but also has streamlined it.
Implementing agile IT landscape and stringent data security standards in E-Governance sector
We are seeing an era of increased digitization, transparency and efficiency, and therefore we have created a proprietary technology platform especially for robustness and scalability while maintaining the utmost security of client data. The strength of this technology deployment has significantly enhanced our ability to manage complex workflows for huge volumes of data and applications supported by state-of-the-art security measures.
For a global visa, outsourced player like us, abiding by the directives of data security and embassy protocol becomes integral. Thus, implementing an agile IT structure not only supports our processes with effectiveness but also forms the very fabric of doing business in an ethical and responsible way.
Importance of data security in visa industry
The significance of privacy and data security has expanded tremendously with the emerging trends in technology. Considering, the inevitable cyber concerns, it has become crucial for Visa providers to increase their security audits, encryption of data and introduce watertight password control systems. We take the protection of customer and employee data as the top priority and strive to innovate the processes while quickly adapting to the changing trends.
How visa service providing companies can maintain the standards for global visa application data?
I can talk about BLS where we have a steadfast commitment to integrity is hardwired into our business practices under the overarching umbrella of corporate governance. We believe that corporate governance creates an environment of trust, transparency, and accountability vital to financial stability and sustainable growth of our business. As a strategic partner to sensitive clients, BLS deploys technology to provide solutions to governments across the globe so that they can transform the way they deliver services to citizens. Our goal is to leverage innovations in technology to help our clients augment service improvements and responsiveness to their citizens; maximize productivity and efficiency of their service processes, and use the power of the digital revolution to empower their citizens.
Emergence of E-visa: Trends and opportunities?
E-Visas is a service given by the government to automate the process of visa processing. Introduction of e-visa in Visa Industry has given convenience to national and international travelers. E-visa indeed has bypassed the need for physical movement and made the processing and accessibility of visa services to travelers faster.
This could further be improved with Chip technology in the face-to-face environment and 3-Domain Secure (3-DS) tools, which help enable consumers to authenticate their identity in real-time, offering a balance of greater data exchange between merchants and financial institutions, especially at the time of shopping, which can be a game-changer in the visa industry. Security must be given the topmost priority and it should match the speed of innovative possesses in the visa industry.
We must understand that it’s not only “innovation” but “responsible innovation”, which needs to be made more secure through the adoption of newer technology, especially when it comes to driving security across the payments ecosystem.
Further, with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and robot processing automation and analytics in the visa industry, the process can be improved manifold backed with higher data security.
How outsourcing of visa issuance and administrative task has expedited and smoothen the visa processing for governments and applicants?
Outsourcing of visa application process has immensely reduced the administrative burden on the Embassies and Consulates. It has helped provide tailored support for Governments and end consumer whilst reducing the turnaround time. There are no long queues outside embassies and it has allowed the consulate staff to focus on the important security and decision making aspects of visa processing.
We have been leveraging technology to innovate and continuously improve and provide differentiated service experiences and set benchmarks. At the same time, we are also partnering with Governments to provide better and more sustainable business propositions and creating practical solutions to industry needs that have the potential to bridge the roadblocks.
Future of visa outsourcing industry
Visa outsourcing industry will witness extensive growth, in the coming years, and will focus more on creating personalized value-added services for travellers across the world.
The world truly has opened to travel and trade, but the ease of travel is challenged by sheer volumes of people applying, security concerns, immigration restrictions, etc. However, with the growing inbound and outbound traveling across the world, Governments have started identifying trusted partners to outsource the administrative jobs. Currently, 70% of the market globally is still not outsourced and this itself will create a lot of opportunities in the visa outsourcing industry. The key driving forces behind growth and expansion in this industry will also be Innovation, new technologies, implementation of AI and Big data in the industry.