The finance industry is facing a series of unprecedented challenges. From the rise of neobanks to ever-stricter regulation, firms are having to constantly adapt, streamline and cut costs.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is being touted as one potential tool that can help banks adapt to the fast-changing finance landscape. So, what is RPA and how could your organization benefit from it?
What is Robotic Process Automation—RPA?
RPA is a kind of automation software that uses software “robots” to mimic human actions on computer systems. RPA “bots” can be trained to execute long sequences of tasks and calculations that involve interacting with various applications and entering or extracting information.
A basic example of a banking RPA process might look something like this:
- A new business banking customer requests a small loan on your website by filling in a form, providing data about their company and needs.
- The RPA bot would “scrape” the important information from this form and paste it into another system that could then automatically calculate whether the customer has enough collateral, based on information they’ve provided.
- The bot would then cross-check the customer’s business name against government records, tax databases and a credit-check system
- If the loan is approved, the bot could email the customer to let them know.
In the past, a highly trained employee would have to complete all these manual tasks – taking up a significant amount of their day. This is a waste of resources, using people to do little more than copy and paste data. By contrast, an RPA bot could process and complete the task in minutes. This frees up the employee’s valuable time to spend on high-value work that requires judgment and creativity.
Why do banks need RPA?
A growing number of banks are turning to RPA as an automation solution and are reporting significant successes. Why should your bank consider deploying this technology?
- Adapts to your legacy tech
Financial institutions are often at the cutting edge of digital innovation. However, since most banks are also established businesses with a long heritage, staff continue to use many mission-critical, back-office IT systems to complete everyday work. Although digitization is certainly the ultimate goal, RPA allows banks to significantly accelerate key processes without having to completely rebuild their IT infrastructure.
- Improves operational efficiency
Perhaps the biggest selling point of RPA is that it can help banks drastically improve operational efficiency—by up to as much as 70%, according to some reports. A wide range of repetitive and manual tasks, such as transcription, data reconciliation, bad-debt write-offs or report generation can all be completed by RPA bots much faster than humans. What’s more, bots do not get bored and make mistakes (assuming they have been programmed correctly) and can work 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Saves money
RPA can cut admin costs by as much as 80%—saving banks tens of millions of dollars per year, and helping them avoid costs of outsourcing or investing in temp staff for data entry.
- Improves how people work
Although RPA bots will replace some jobs, they can actually improve others. Ask a smart, well-trained bank employee if they want to use their skills copying and pasting data all day, and they’ll all give you the same answer. RPA can free up time to focus on customer service and other high-value work.
- No/low code
Most RPA bots need little programming to get them up and running. Staff do not need to be software engineers to train them. This means bots can be trained quickly and flexibly to carry out a wide range of tasks.
How to introduce RPA at a financial institution
If RPA sounds like it could help your organization, where should you start? Here are some tips on deploying an RPA at your financial institution:
- Assess your processes
Choose a department that currently runs many processes and analyze which processes require little, if any, human judgment. Create a shortlist of processes to trial with RPA.
- Build a business case
Figure out how much impact RPA could have in terms of cost savings. If the business case stands, move on to Step 3.
- Choose an RPA software partner
Your RPA software partner will help you map processes and build solutions that are right for your organization.
Is your organization RPA-ready?
RPA presents a compelling opportunity for banks, credit houses, pension providers and other financial institutions to bring their digitization plans into fruition. As banks face competition from new startups, as well as increasing regulation, RPA offers a smart solution to rapidly create savings and boost efficiency.
RPA only works when your processes are well defined and executed. By using Nintex Foxtrot RPA, you get powerful RPA technology, backed by the leader in process management and automation. Learn more about Nintex Foxtrot RPA here.