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The Good Fortune RPA Can Bring to Banking

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by Steve Holbrook
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Remember the days of going to the bank simply to make a deposit or cash a check? When was the last time you were inside a bank branch? Do you know the names of the bank staff at your local bank? More than 40 percent of Americans no longer visit their local banks – they use online banking or apps to manage their finances. They find it less likely to be subject to human delay or error, more efficient and more convenient. They don’t even have to get out of their pajamas to do their banking anymore!

In the meantime, 47 percent of commercial banks and saving institutions have disappeared as banks look to downsize their footprint. It is anticipated that 50 percent of banks will close by 2020.

So what do banks do now? Banks that embrace new digital technologies are beginning to reshape the banking industry. Regulatory and insurance requirements have forced banks to store a massive volume of data on years of transactions. Instead of simply storing the data for requirements, banks now are using this big data to glean insights about consumer habits.

Those institutions willing to implement new technologies and leverage big data in cloud-based solutions will have opportunities to improve their financial services offerings in the following ways: 

  • Provide customers with better real-time information and products
  • Develop new digital products for customers
  • Use cloud solutions to optimize processes
  • Build agile platforms to better meet regulatory requirements
  • Use internet of things (IoT) capabilities to drive connectivity for mobile, tablet, card readers, ATMs, laptop and swipe cards.
  • Use robotic process automation (RPA) to leverage digital labor to reduce costs and improve accuracy, scalability and auditability in transaction processing.

Though the banking community has many technologies available, RPA is a low-cost entry and a boon to a company’s bottom line. By taking over tedious and repetitive tasks in the back office, RPA allows banks to redeploy staff to more valuable tasks and grow their business lines. Here are several benefits of RPA:

  1. Improve compliance and reduce risk by completing audit trails for each automation process, so banks can ensure they are following industry laws and regulations and prescribed best practices.
  2. Increase productivity by functioning 24/7 with fewer FTEs and reducing process turnaround from days to hours or even minutes, thereby enhancing customer experience.
  3. Improve accuracy by 100 percent by automating manual processes that extract data from legacy systems, manipulate the data in Microsoft Excel and apply business rules prior to making decisions and inputting data into other systems. This enhances data quality and helps resolve ongoing data integrity challenges.
  4. Ease reporting by pulling data from various systems without errors and formatting it into meaningful reports that show only the data needed for each group, allowing for quicker and better business decisions for investing or other banking opportunities.
  5. Increase employee satisfaction and retention by eliminating repetitive tasks and engaging employees in tasks that require human intelligence.
  6. Increase efficiencies and throughput that in turn lower operational costs per touchpoint and free up human resources to more meaningful tasks so banks ultimately can improve their bottom line. 

Are you ready to move your financial services business into the future? Contact us to find out how ISG’s RPA experts can help you.

About the author

Steve Holbrook is an accomplished senior operations executive capitalizing on more than 25 years of experience.  Prior to joining Alsbridge, Steve was the team leader for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at Randstad where he led assessment exercises, process and solution design documentation sessions, automation development, User Acceptance Testing (UAT)and implementation. Steve also assisted the CFO in decision making (including design of formal presentation of process and data analysis) and served as liaison between business unit leaders/production teams and the robotics team.  Prior to his work at Randstad, Steve was Director of Strategy and Administration for RR Donnelley, and Operations Manager at Coca-Cola.  Steve holds certifications in Lean Six Sigma, Project Management and Robotic Process Automation.