Home|Nintex Blog|Disruption in bank operations: bitcoin and blockchain technology

Disruption in bank operations: bitcoin and blockchain technology

We’ve talked about disruptions in this space before — credit or debit card breaches that can affect millions of customers and natural disasters that can cost businesses millions of dollars. However, there are also innovations, such as the digital currency Bitcoin and its blockchain technology, that disrupt an existing market or industry. This can make the “we’ve always done it this way” approach to business even more of a liability and turn leading companies into lagging ones.

In today’s technological world, businesses rise and fall faster than ever before, asserted U.S. News & World Report. The magazine named tech or tech-related firms that lost their edge and thus their position as industry leaders, including Blockbuster, Motorola and Yahoo. Vijay Govindarajan, a business professor at Dartmouth University, maintains that three kinds of “traps” can victimize companies struggling to adapt:

  • Physical: when big investments in old systems or equipment prevent the pursuit of fresher, more relevant investments
  • Psychological: in which company leaders fixate on what made them successful and fail to notice when something new is displacing it
  • Strategic: when a company focuses purely on the marketplace of today and fails to anticipate the future

With the increased speed, savings and all-important agility that it offers, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software can face head on any operational challenge that may arise or new innovation change that can disrupt the industry.

New kid on the block

Banks were projected to spend more than $1 billion on blockchain projects in 2016, according to Greenwich Associates. The foundation of “cryptocurrencies” such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology is a way to structure data that offers transparency and incorruptibility.

Forty of the world’s leading financial firms are experimenting with the technology, which allows different entities to share a digital ledger across a network of computers without need for a central authority, Fortune magazine reported. Bitcoin and blockchain technology could ultimately disrupt the way banks operate and dramatically change their business by bringing new competitors into the market.

In business in general and banking especially, connections to cash are most critical. More and more banks and tech companies are focusing on the large and complex cross-border payments made between businesses. Visa, which boasts a network capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages per second and $6 trillion processed in 175 currencies, is using blockchain for a new B2B payment platform.

The question then becomes: how will the payers and payees, i.e., financial institutions, acclimate to and integrate with such an advanced platform?

It’s very difficult to adapt the massive, entrenched system that is a bank’s operations, including its data management. A financial institution will need to post transactions from a Bitcoin/blockchain application to their core system of record and update balances from the core system to the blockchain app. A bank’s extensive core system of record will not be able to react quickly enough to implement the processes and interfaces required to meet new market demands and opportunities, but Robotic Process Automation software can traverse the data gap while eliminating the manual and mundane operational tasks.

Banking pros familiar with RPA software know that it serves as a critical connector between new and old technologies or systems. It works in the presentation layer of a financial institution’s existing applications to integrate various disparate data systems, such as a new blockchain app, and build the necessary bridge from one’s operational turf to new innovative horizons.



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