BPO Bulletin

Robotic Process Automation in the Banking and Financial Services Industry

by Ken Neal
January 24, 2017

My colleague at Canon Business Process Services (Canon), Serdar Ercetin, BPO Advisor, points out that firms in the banking and financial services industry (BFSI) are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs across their organizations. According to Serdar, issues such as the globalization of commercial markets, increasingly strict regulations and new competitive entries have pushed banks and financial services companies to look for new ways to increase revenue, cut costs and accelerate profits.

In this post Serdar shares his thoughts on how robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) in banking offer significant potential for reducing costs, expanding workforce skills and improving the overall customer experience working alongside (or replacing) humans.

Serdar explains that RPA uses software “robots” to automate high volume and repetitive tasks by intelligently capturing data, and securely interacting with other enterprise applications at the user interface level. This means that no back-end integration would be required. RPA is different than traditional process automation as we know it, which requires technical resources to write scripts to automate individual process tasks with varying complexity. By using RPA software to reliably automate a wide number of tasks previously done by individuals, BFS institutions can reduce personnel costs in the near term and possibly deploy resources for more strategic benefits. As RPA enables more efficient data processing and faster interactions among applications, it can help in making business critical decisions faster and smarter.

Based on his own research, work with clients as well as discussions with industry colleagues, Serdar points out that some of the top drivers for automation beyond cost savings include:

  • Reduce error rates
  • Better manage repeatable tasks
  • Improve standardization of process workflow
  • Reduce reliance on multiple systems/screens to complete a process Enhance integration of processes between departments

Serdar has also found that many banks are realizing solid revenue growth from analytics aligned with their front office and customer-facing functions; a trend Serdar believes will continue to increase during the next three to five years. The result is that banking may be more inclined than other industries to automate their processes, based on its need to improve customer service.

Following are what Serdar sees as some high profile applications of RPA and AI in banking and financial services:

  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Trade Settlements
  • Reconciliations
  • Claims processing
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Customer experience management

Automating relatively simple and straightforward business processes have been the preferred implementation method so far. As BFSI firms realize remarkable gains from their RPA implementations and establish an RPA Center of Excellence, more application areas will emerge in the near future.

Next month I will feature another blog post offering Serdar’s insights, including use cases in BFSI and implementation challenges. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Business Process Outsourcing page of our website for additional insights in the form of white papers, research reports, case histories and more.

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