RPA Adoption in Banking Operations

Posted 2yr(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes

Responding rapidly to market opportunities and consistently producing enjoyable customer experience are key to success for any organization in today's digital age.

However many organizations including financial institutions often operate complex processes and legacy business models that are onerous. As a result, they are turning to innovative and new generation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to propel themselves forward. 

 RPA is the application of technology that follows rule-based business processes and interacts with an organization's systems in the same way that existing human employees currently do. 

 In this module, one bank shares their journey in adopting RPA and the role it plays in transforming their operations.

RPA explained

According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation, RPA is the application of technology that allows employees in an organization to configure computer software as a "robot" to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. 

RPA does not involve physical robots who sit at desks typing, coding and responding to queries. The robots used in RPA are software robots, comprised of powerful and dynamic process flows. 

In short, RPA mimic specific actions a person would take while working on a computer. This includes actions taken when interacting with an enterprise application, website, web portal, legacy systems, emails, Microsoft Excel, and more. 

The following graphic shares what RPA can do and cannot do. 

An RPA journey

RPA is rapidly emerging as a highly relevant technology for operations including accounting and financing functions. However, the key to successful implementation is to know how RPA can address each organization's unique business needs. 

The bank embarked on its RPA journey a few years ago when faced with digital disruption and transformation in the financial industry. 

They adopted a 3-step approach when adopting RPA:

1. Eliminate

Identify the tasks that are labor intensive and involve a large amount of manual work such as data entries and loan application. By eliminating these manual tasks, the bank is able to deploy their staff to focus on more complex and value-added tasks as well as provide opportunities for them to upskill. 

2. Simplify

Develop a simplified process that could be a foundation for various RPA applications. This simplification can be achieved by eliminating non-value added processes and/or non-standard complex processes. 

3. Automate  

By automating the various tasks, it helps the bank to have a scalable and efficient operating model.  Automate processes that are fairly standard and rule-based.

The graphic below shares how the bank has adopted RPA in their operations - from downloading of reports to performing queries and sending out emails. 

Watch this short video from Deloitte Consulting on how RPA can automate your processes.  

Doing more with less

An RPA approach to streamline internal processes, where people and technology play their part, works best with rule-based, regular tasks that require manual inputs. 

The benefits in implementing RPA are multi-fold - from reduced cost and lower operational risks to better customer service experience and improved internal processes. 

Ultimately, RPA allows jobs to become more fluid and frees employees from high-volume mundane tasks. As a result, employees are able to focus on driving innovation in areas such as customer service and product development, and contribute to the bottom-line for the business.