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19 May 2019

Smarter Automation for Financial Services

The financial services industry has been using automation technologies for some time now, to remain efficient, profitable and relevant in a fast-evolving industry. Recently, however, there’s been a shift in focus from automating manual workloads to making entire processes smarter.

This approach is called intelligent automation – and it relies on a range of different technologies and business optimisation approaches to transform the way that financial services processes are run.

In this article, we take a closer look at the various tools and resources involved in the intelligent automation ecosystem – all of which are readily accessible today.

Delegate repetitive tasks to bots

Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software robots – or simply, “bots” – to execute routine, rule-based and easily repeatable tasks. RPA configurations interact with applications and systems at the presentation layer (the human user interface). This means that bots can automate the same tasks that people have been carrying out, with minimal disruption to existing systems.

There are many use cases for RPA in the financial services sector. Bots could, for example, be configured to assist with credit assessments by collecting information on credit applicants from various databases and collating this into a report which is then routed to a human credit analyst.

Alternatively, bots could save substantial time and effort by gathering information required for fraud detection from multiple sources and compiling up-to-date reports. RPA solutions work fast enough to keep tabs on bank card and credit card activity in real time, which means they can instantly escalate any transaction patterns that look suspicious. Human involvement is minimised, with fraud detection analysts only needing to focus on red flags, rather than wasting time on rote work.

Streamline entire processes

When processes rely on a mix of capabilities provided by bots and humans, the flow of work between these resources can be optimised using a digital process automation (DPA) solution.

With a low-code DPA platform, it’s possible to build applications that optimise entire business processes – such as customer on-boarding or loan origination – from end to end. Using low-code tools, teams can build web and mobile applications, digital forms and workflows without having to write any code and with minimal intervention required from the IT department.

This allows firms to improve processes quickly through digitisation and automation, without having to wait out lengthy development cycles. Additionally, a DPA platform can act as a powerful workflow engine, which seamlessly routes work from bots to humans as required, making sure that the best resource is used at the right time.

Support compliance efforts

In the heavily regulated financial services sector, these automation platforms – RPA and DPA solutions working together – can increase the efficiency of your compliance efforts. When the entire process is digitally managed and every action is logged on one platform, it’s possible to prove compliance with company policies and industry regulations. This information is easily shared with internal or external auditors, or even regulatory bodies as required.

Make processes more intelligent

With a low-code DPA platform in place, it’s easy to integrate new and emerging technologies into your automation environment. This includes artificial intelligence solutions with various capabilities such as machine learning, advanced analytics, optical character recognition and so forth.

When these services are combined into the automation environment, this augments the abilities of RPA solutions and supports humans more extensively. For example, machine learning can improve RPA’s propensity to detect fraudulent behaviour; and natural language processing and/or optical character recognition can be harnessed to help bots process data from unstructured sources such as scanned documents and emails.

This cuts out the need for people to handle this work themselves, which takes process transformation to an entirely new level. With the addition of AI capabilities, it’s possible to optimise a wider range of tasks and streamline entire processes in a way that relieves skilled humans from repetitive work. This allows firms to gain greater value from their talent pool, because these individuals are spending more time on work that requires reasoning and judgement, or emotional intelligence (in the case of customer-facing roles).

Next steps..

Using all these resources together enables financial services firms to gain maximum value from automation technologies, AI solutions and their employees – all while improving their processes in intelligent new ways.

There’s no doubt that intelligent automation has the potential to drive digital transformation in many organisations. But there are so many different solutions to choose from, not to mention multiple processes that could benefit from this type of approach. Where do you start?

With a business optimisation partner like Velocity, we can help you to identify which business processes will benefit most from intelligent automation. We also take a vendor agnostic approach to selecting which technologies are best applied to each project.

Sometimes it’s best to start small and scale from there. Why not pull up a virtual stool and let us know when it suits you to have a chat