The Power of Robotic Process Automation in the Banking Industry

  • Richard Marley
  • January 21, 2020
  • 7 minutes read
  • 879

Entering into the fourth industrial revolution, business processes are shifted to the digital sphere. The concept of “physical presence” to get work done is now blurring. Remote working is trending all across the globe and so is the automation. The work that was once done by humans is now being replaced by machines. In upcoming years we are going to see this notion gaining grounds more than ever.

It is no longer a secret that in this era, banks and other financial institutions are struggling to evolve continuously to enhance their operations and providing their customers with an exceptional experience to strive in a competitive market. The banking industry is facing immense pressure to boost its efficiency and utilize the resources effectively in an optimized way. 

The challenge to optimize cost and enhance efficiency while balancing security and customer experience is driving the adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the banking industry.

The Power of RPA in banking 

RPA in banking is mostly concerned with the use of automated software to build an AI workforce and virtual assistants to maximize efficiency and reducing operational costs. RPA in the banking industry is quickly evolving since it serves as a useful tool to address the increasing business demands and optimize resources with the help of service-through-software models.

In order to successfully embrace this technology, institutions must adopt a strategic and well-researched approach. The potential growth of RPA in banking is expected to be worth $2.9 billion by 2022, as compared to $250 million in 2016. It shows that in upcoming years, machines, systems, and bots will be executing the majority of the tasks, hence, expanding the capacity and providing the workforce an opportunity to focus on higher-value tasks.

Over the past few years, the regulations around financial institutes have become more stringent than ever. Banks and other financial institutes are reported to spend more than $321 billion on their compliance operations and the fines faced due to violations, and nearly $270 billion on just compliance operations; in the last decade.

With time, the operating expenses are rising and the stringent regulations impose hefty regulatory fines. This results in slow processes and brand damage leading to poor customer experience. Hiring more people to find new solutions to manage operations while cutting down operational costs is not a reliable answer. The solution has to have the ability to efficiently balance everything; i.e. Robotic process automation.

Integrating RPA enables banks and financial institutions to lesses manual efforts, mitigate risks, offer more reliable compliance and most importantly enhance the overall customer experience. It assists the banking industry in processing operations that are repetitive in nature. Moreover, it increases productivity by engaging customers in real-time.

Though RPA is a comprehensive process that requires structured inputs, robust training, and governance but once implemented successfully, it can take complete control of the processes.

4 Significant use-cases of RPA in Banking

Robotic process automation is serving financial institutes in multiple ways. Some of the use cases are as following

Customer Onboarding

Customer onboarding is the most critical and time-taking process in financial institutions because multiple documents require manual verification. The identity verification solutions – a domain of RPA – are adopted by multiple institutions to streamline their onboarding processes. These solutions based on AI and machine learning principles make the whole process contactless and friction-free by automating te steps. 

AI-powered document verification services integrate optical character recognition (OCR) technology to automatically extract the data from the documents and populating the form. The captured information is then verified against the user-provided information. If the verification is successful, the data is automatically entered into the customer management portal.

Automating customer onboarding through ID verification not only eliminate manual errors but also saves a lot of time and effort put in by the employees and customers. RPA has made customer onboarding a real-time frictionless process done within seconds.

Know your customer (KYC)

After the incident of 9/11, the regulations around financial institutes are continuously evolving and becoming more stringent. Initially introduced as a part of the US Patriot Act 2001, KYC requirements have become obligatory for every institute dealing with money. Banks being the primary source of funds transfer are continuously under the radar of watchdogs.

Since both KYC and AML are purely data-intensive processes, RPA is most suitable for them. The customer identification program (CIP) is one of the fundamentals of the KYC process. With the help of identity and document verification, the real identity of an individual can be verified and ensured. Moreover, RPA helps organizations in anomaly detection, i.e. suspicious transactions in real-time hence, hindering fraudulent transactions. 

The implementation of RPA is very effective for financial institutes in terms of saving time and cost as compared to traditional KYC processes that take around weeks and immense manual effort.

Automatic Report Generation

Risk and compliance reporting is a key operation of every financial institution. The banks are obliged to generate compliance reports for fraudulent transactions in the form of suspicious activity reports (SARs). Conventionally, the compliance officers and dedicated teams are responsible for the manual generation of reports. And that makes reporting a repetitive task requiring too much time and effort.

RPA applications based on AI principles can read and process the lengthy compliance documents and automatically extract the required information populating the SAR forms with the help of OCR technology. In fact, for more optimized reporting, the system can be trained with multiple inputs to efficiently process the various parts of the report.

This eventually reduces the operational costs, human efforts and saves the time consumed to successfully perform the task.

Account Opening

Just like customer onboarding, RPA has made the account opening process convenient, quick and accurate. It eliminates the transcription errors between the banking system and new account requests, which automatically improves the data quality of the system. Through RPA integration, multiple banks are using robots for their account opening process. What these robots do is fetch information from the forms and automatically fills data into different host applications.

Such automation results in swift, error-free, and quick data entry process. This results in reduced turnaround time and cost while enhancing the customer experience.