Never has the economic landscape across all industries felt so uncertain, with financial organisations focused on building long term stability and resilience, by looking to new and innovative ways to drive down operational costs and increase productivity and profitability.
This isn’t a new concept to the Financial Services sector who have thus far been leading the charge in implementing smarter ways of working with Robotic Process Automation adoption. Many have already started to incorporate this technology, and are recognising the significant benefits that can be achieved. With RPA proven to be ten times more efficient when compared to manual, with an ROI delivered typically in 3-9 months, it can help a business get more from their workforce by combining human with the robot. This is supported by recent research commissioned by Cap Gemini who highlighted that “RPA can drive 25-50% cost savings by automating data-intensive, repetitive tasks, and by improving the accuracy and efficiency of process execution”.
So what are the challenges being faced by the Financial Services sector right now and how can Intelligent Automation help?
Compliance management and productivity
This is a critical business function within the financial services sector, however current business process often results in large compliance backlogs due to the manual effort and archaic approaches for managing organisational compliance requirements. Intelligent Automation provides a smarter way of working by automating these repetitive and mundane processes (such as data entry between spreadsheets and systems, analysis and reporting), and empowers the human workforce to spend their time and effort on more value-added tasks.
By applying RPA and cognitive technologies (including Artificial Intelligence solutions), processes can become far more intelligent, efficient, productive and accurate, therefore eliminating error which can lead to regulatory fines.
Automated reporting, automated audits, process streamlining and standardisation are just a few of the ways in which Intelligent Automation is helping the Financial Services industry to overcome challenges in this area.
Crime (Cyber and Fraud)
Cybersecurity has never been a bigger threat with data breaches and fraud becoming increasingly common.
One way that technologies such as RPA, AI and Machine Learning are being deployed is to support and optimise business processes that identify and report on suspicious transactions and activity. RPA enables firms to standardise repeatable, manual activities and apply business rules 247 to not only improve processes that are critical in cyber, fraud identification and reporting but to reduce human error occurrences that may leave firms exposed and vulnerable.
Consumer demand for efficient and real-time services are driving the need to take an automation-first approach across the Financial Services sector. With increasing volumes of data and emerging channels for accessing such data, market and customer analysis are becoming increasingly important to ensure that the Financial Services industry is better at serving customer needs and driving exceptional customer service.
Intelligent Automation and data analytics combined are a powerful way in which organisations can access, analyse and leverage extensive resources (customer databases, social media, etc.) to improve personalisation of
services and financial product offerings that are tailored to needs and individual requirements.
The application of Intelligent Automation in customer-facing processes also means that the human workforce can focus on value-added activities and relationship building, whilst automated aspects of the process are completed in real-time by your digital workforce.
According to Martin Weis (EMEIA Robotics Leader at EY), between 20% and 30% of new hires each year are to replace the workforce that is (or was) responsible for doing repetitive tasks. Retaining talent is a very real, complex and costly problem resulting in employees often being over-skilled
Intelligent Automation can empower your employees by automating the
routine, mundane tasks and focus their time and effort on leveraging the unique talents that its human workforce has to offer, the more complex, challenging, customer-centric activities. This will not only lead to a more efficient way of getting work completed but drive exceptional customer service whilst significantly improving employee satisfaction.
Accounting departments within the Financial Services contain many processes that are characterised as high-pressure and time-consuming for employees. There is a continuous flow of data – often from varying sources and in varying formats – combined with a need for strictly accurate and efficient management of those carrying out critical tasks such as
accounts reconciliation or preparation of financial statements and reports.
Intelligent Automation is being widely adopted to support the recognised need for process improvement and optimisation, and to eliminate the time-consuming, repetitive and rule-based tasks from the human workforce.
Some of the many benefits in Accounts processes include:
- Pre-populating financial forms, statements or reports with information from various systems, databases and/or applications; thus, eradicating mundane data-scraping and data-entry tasks from skilled human workers.
- Accelerate claims processing activities or budget approvals by automating rule-based process components whilst ensuring a reliable audit trail exists and allowing for human intervention where required (i.e. verification/checking).
- Ensure consistency within processes that can often be performed differently by different members of the team such as bookkeeping which is also a notoriously manual process; this reduces the chance of errors, missed information and/or information gaps. Standardisation of processes will also often improve a firms’ ability to ensure compliance.
Whilst traditionally RPA was considered to be an expensive and drawn-out activity, today it promises to deliver almost immediate benefits, can be installed quickly and within a proven cost-saving budget.
So, if you’re not already automating those repetitive, manual, rule-based processes (at least!), then it’s time to get started now.
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