Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a hot commodity in today’s financial services enterprises and across many business units from finance and HR to IT and marketing. It accelerates performance by automating routine (and often mind-numbingly boring) work formerly done by humans. Its impact is transformational, disruptive and enables real business value.
What is RPA and how can it be harnessed in the financial services sector?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilise the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. The financial services sector requires a huge amount of daily task management that could be easily re-organised and streamlined by adopting RPA technology. Repeatable tasks are costly for the sector so when RPA offers a solution, then initiating it should be made a priority.
Taking staff away from repetitive tasks and ones that are dull or tedious can allow them to capitalise on their new free time by offering customers a better and more personalised experience. Mundane tasks don’t have to be run by a team of humans – the best-case scenario is a collaboration between robot & human i.e. the Robot is the human’s assistant. Ultimately, a business is not degrading or removing the importance of the human element of a job – instead they are powering their staff up, to work on vital roles in the organisations, facilitating career development, long term staff retention and an ultimately happier workforce.
Business benefits of RPA
The financial services sector is consistently faced with compliance, regulation and auditing challenges making RPA an ideal solution to deliver 100% accuracy to internal processes within these organisations. RPA technology can deliver a whole range of benefits
- Better – more efficient processing with lower error rates
- Cheaper – lower cost processing
- Faster – faster throughput delivering quicker responses to customers and increasing customer satisfaction
Insurers and Banks work with many highly data intensive processes, where data is often held on individual legacy systems and must be moved around for processing purposes. This can mean that the data needs to be transferred or copied from one system to another. Financial Service providers also frequently need to take in data from their customers, carry out assessment on that data and make judgements based on the information provided. Examples include bank loan administration, checking of customer data for the purposes of KYC, claims administration, the adding of beneficiaries to insurance policies, accounts payable, reconciliations from investor trading systems to accounting systems, and the annual renewal of insurance products. These are just some examples of processes that can run more efficiently using RPA, quickly delivering benefits to both the business and its customers.
Furthermore, the financial services sector is a model environment for realising transformational RPA solutions. RPA is here, it’s evolving into many organisations and it’s here to help with some impressive business benefits:
- 4x Faster than a Human Worker
- Lower Cost Processing
- Lower Error Rates
Improve Audit Capability & Protect the Business from Regulatory Burdens
The financial services sector must adhere to strict guidelines to avoid regulation breaches and other issues that could potentially damage reputation and lose business. That’s where RPA comes into its own as it automates systems with such a significant level of accuracy, that compliance is guaranteed. It leaves a trail so tracking is easier, and measurement is available while it can identify areas in the business that may need attention.
Grow Revenue with Enhanced Operational Efficiency
RPA grows revenue with enhanced operational efficiencies and ROI is usually visible within 12 months. Operational efficiency is achieved by RPA capturing and imitating what a human user does, extracting data, and instigating workflow automation. Using robots to execute processes independently or as part of a larger business process and doing so faster than a human would. Physical manipulation is not required via the mouse and keyboard and human interference is only required when unpredictable situations occur. RPA is quickly installed and instantly generates reports with no disruption to business operations. This ensures operational costs are reduced and productivity increases allowing for faster claims processing and recoveries.
Change the Customer Experience by Increasing Customer Satisfaction
As customers’ expectations continue to increase for seamless and speedy interactions with service providers, RPA enables financial service providers to increase customer satisfaction with faster processing, improved security and 100% accuracy – increasing your competitive advantage and accelerating growth. Customer experience is a vital part of the financial services offering and no financial services company should risk a level of reputational damage through muddled systems or problematic paperwork.
Customer Expectations are improved by:
- Faster Processing
- 100% Accuracy
- Speedy Interactions
- Seamless Service
- Improved Security
- Digital Transformation Acceleration
Delivery of omni-channel customer self service
Increased adoption of connected insurance (IoT)
- Improved employee engagement
Removes the monotonous, dull tasks that plague offices
Staff are utilised more proactively in other areas of the business.
- 24/7 operation with improved security
No rest time needed
Completes tasks every day of the year, securely and effectively.
- Data gathering capabilities and predictability
RPA can log, update, and process data.
It understands repetitive processes so it can predict outcomes.
Preparing for RPA technology
Altering the way, a business works is always going to be challenging and moving towards a more technological efficient system does take time but the benefits when it is implemented make the journey worthwhile. The initial planning will work to align the plans with efficiency and reduce the chances of complications down the tracks. Collaboration is key and not forgetting, the need to engage with other stakeholders and team members so they are educated and prepared for the changes ahead. Often transformation projects get delayed as people aren’t prepared or projects are not fulfilled due to fear amongst staff so there is a requirement to initialise training and collaboration with teams. Once it is planned, implemented and structured into a financial services business, RPA will become an important team member in daily business operations, empowering your staff, improving customer experience and increasing revenue.