Robots in the bank. Financial industry 3 key areas to be streamlined by Robotic Process Automation

The development of financial institutions is slowed down by unproductive, repetitive manual processes. The multiplicity of banking systems, in many cases requires to double or triple the same effort, in order to fill in all the forms across not-integrated platforms. Rebuilding and integration of corporate architecture elements is a costly and time-consuming process. But the help is coming, robots are here to give hand.

They are easy to set up, deliver fast return on investment and are able to dramatically accelerate digital transformation. You can control them and plan their work without having to know the code. They do not tire, they work 24/7/365 and statistically in 1 minute they can perform activities that occupies 15, when done by man.

Robotic Process Automation – how is it working?

Programs – virtual robots can interpret the user interface of different applications and move around on the screen in the same way human does. Their actions can include signing in to applications, working on data, creating new files, sending emails, and much, much more.

Robots are not programmed according to code-based instructions, but configured (or “trained”) using demonstration steps. Robotic software’s intention is to configure its work without programming, which practically will allow robotics training by non-technical staff. In turn, that will save IT resources and enable them to work on more complex projects and processes, such as BPMS and ERP. How to start with robot? You need to install it, go through the selected process with it once, and it will be able to execute the action itself – any number of times.

What processes can be robotized?

To identify appropriate processes, choose those completely not dependent on human decision or judgment. The process should start with a digital trigger, be operated by digital data and in a structured and stable manner. It is best to primarily automate processes that require a lot of work. If you want to carry out the Proof of Concept, try to automate some process that uses the key systems of the company.

Robotic Process Automation technology will not solve all the problems of a large organization, but it rather focuses on immediate operational efficiency and quick cost reduction. As a lightweight “overlay” it is perceived more as a complement to existing automation initiatives. Since RPA projects do not require IT competencies and investment in new platforms, their economic threshold is significantly lower.

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Will human labor become unnecessary?

In fact, it works the opposite. People will be freed from tedious, manual tasks and able to dedicate their skills to more interesting, complex projects. Most of the companies that are planning to purchase this technology, admit that this is even more important reason, than financial. Business executives want their people to have more ambitious, more intellectual tasks and be able to add value to their organization. This will be possible when hand-picked and boring, repetitive activities that limit creativity and take valuable time, are taken away.

What benefits will banking and financial industry have from RPA?

Open APIs, which will soon be operating on banking infrastructure across Europe, will allow access to bank data by unlimited number of service providers: fintechs, online shops, insurance companies, travel agents, etc. In this case, it would also be best to employ robots to make API query processes as efficient as possible and avoid delays that affect the customer experience.

Robots can handle many of banking processes, beginning from tedious database replenishment. Banks IT systems, often very complex and functioning without automatic communication between them, can work more efficiently in the “hands” of robots instead of humans before they are well transformed with the help of APIs. Robotic agents will be most helpful in regulatory compliance, which increasingly affects banks and contributes significantly to human capital.

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    Robots will be able to take over a new account setting in the system, which usually involves performing multiple actions. They can perform combining and deleting accounts, retrieve data from electronic forms, take over tasks such as calculating for different price queries, track account activity and take specific actions in recognized cases of anomaly. We can teach them how to receive and pre-filter complaints, service credit card applications, incoming mail, personalized notifications, provide chat support.
    They often have to deal with such tedious work as creating mailboxes for employees or removing them. Or password management for all systems, or eliminating network errors. Many of these tasks can be handed over to robots today. For example, access to the AS400 will allow them to wander through the “green screens” and effectively relieve system administrators of many tasks, such as security monitoring or device management on the network. Due to the minimal risk of error, RPA agents will be allowed into systems that are currently excluded from service employee access.
    You can entrust tasks like product administration to the robots, like downloading updates and providing actual information, monitoring competition, creating data directories. You can teach them how to conduct accounting and bookkeeping activities, issue documents, create reports. Robot will collect customer information, supervise procedures, automate marketing in a whole new way or even create personalized marketing materials based on templates and rules.

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Are there any "buts"?

Robots are not infallible. Errors will occur when the robot receives the wrong data from the human, then the error will be repeated until human does not eliminate it. Robots do not understand, they imitate humans by doing things in the same way, but do it according to a programmed algorithm and can not make autonomous decisions. They are not prepared for unusual situations.

Obviously, RPA is not a stable solution and requires constant control, corrections of the algorithm and completion of process paths. The systems in which they move are often updated and are subject to constant change, which directly affects the work of robotic agents. Additional resources, dedicated to supervision, should be always provided.

During digital transformation, robots should be a companion, supportive and complementary solution. They are programmed only to execute processes. They can not transform or improve. Robots should be accompanied by a broader vision of automation in the organization and a similar strategy.

Robots as "economy sublimating" factors

The robots market is expected to be worth $ 6.7 billion already and will lead to an increase in global technology spending by 40-45%. According to Medici, RPA’s market potential is estimated at $ 8.24 billion by 2024. Roboticization is not only about banking. Technologies that currently being affected, are: human resources, customer service, marketing, IT and manufacturing.

In a PEX Network (Process Excellence Network) Benchmarking report 2017 The future of robotic process automation and artificial intelligence, respondents declared that they had already deployed robots within their organizations, with as many as 10% determining the number of robots at 500+.

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Automation, in a broad sense, can actually be called the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution. When technologies like RPA penetrate new markets, they change the way companies think about and manage them. Case studies show that companies that integrate their own resources with automated solutions, receive a return on their investments throughout just one year. Automation creates a completely new economy, that combines physical and digital economy with invisible, collaborative systems.