The rise of Robotic Process Automation in financial services

Jun 4, 2019 10:02:38 AM

The challenges companies face in the financial sector are ever-evolving. They need to satisfy the changing demands of their customers alongside meeting the requirements of increasingly watchful regulators. That’s why a whole host of leading organisations are looking towards automation as a way of tackling these new challenges.

To be successful in a highly competitive marketplace, organisations need to offer an innovative, enhanced and streamlined customer experience whilst increasing transparency, reducing costs and fuelling efficiency. This is the main objective of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

So, what is RPA?

Robotising an activity involves automating a highly labour intensive, time consuming process by introducing proven techniques to ensure consistent, repeatable actions happen on time without fail. Simply put, it means that highly complex procedures can be carried out quickly, accurately and with zero margin for error.

However this doesn’t mean there are mechanical fingers at the keyboard, it’s not quite the time to worry about the machines rising up to overthrow society. RPA techniques utilise user-friendly computer software that do not touch any underlying programmes, allowing for seamless integration.

But what does this mean for financial services?

In order to remain competitive in a market that grows more saturated by the day, financial services have had to constantly revitalise the ways they deliver value to their customers and clients. The challenge internally is to maximise efficiency and keep costs low, whilst also maintaining maximum security levels. RPA has now become a staple of the banking sector, allowing many institutions to reduce costs and make the journey from services-through-labour to services-through-software.

Ever since RPA was introduced to the financial world, this virtual workforce has helped investment companies minimise human intervention in the completion of tasks. Operational efficiency, in some cases, has risen by a staggering 70%! By shifting the most tedious, manual tasks from human to machine banks have been able to limit the need for human involvement. This reduction has had a direct impact on everything from efficiency and performance to staff retention and expenses.

Though this is not a benefit entirely limited to banking and investment institutions, all manner of financial institutions have been able to take advantage of the rise of RPA. The list of key processes that RPA can manage ranges from billing and collections all the way up to account closure and service desk solutions. RPA has also made ground in automating even the more challenging process associated with more esoteric investments, as automation is able to handle increasingly complex processes. All of which drives value for stakeholders.

Other than being able to work 24x7 for you, robots are highly scalable nonentities, meaning that you can dedicate more processing power during peak business hours. They generate full audit trails for each process to help you reflect on what succeeds and what fails. Gone are the days of phone calls and emails trying to get to the bottom of a particular issue, as when a process fails to produce the desired result, all of the information is there for you to see.

With the seemingly unstoppable advance of technology comes the evolution of the way financial services run. Scalable operational capability is becoming increasingly 'plug and play’, where APIs are allowing firms to access RPA without needing to build their own in-house capability. An approach that enables firms to focus on their core value drivers.
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