The Banking & Finance Services sector has been quick to realize the many benefits of Intelligent Automation (IA) and adopted it with a zeal. 2020 especially has been a watershed year – bringing compulsions such as need for cost optimization, process efficiencies and revenue growth – all in an extended remote working atmosphere, due to the global lockdown. Not surprisingly, automation adoption is likely to double, since it can deliver on all these compulsions while also providing a superior customer experience and retention, and contactless banking.
Speed, Service, Satisfaction
Steering away from big ticket investments in favor of process transformation through IA, that too with heightened speed and urgency is the game plan for the banking industry. Using Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Chatbots, workflow orchestration, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and other Cognitive technologies, Intelligent Automation can deliver end-to-end automation of both customer and support functions such as Human Resource, Finance etc. The resulting digital workforce can be counted on to automate processes involving data extraction & consolidation, application integration and other manual rule-based repetitive processes quickly and without errors. This results in better work satisfaction channels for employees, as well as better and customized output, products and services for customers.
Banking on automated processes
IA can play a significant role in driving the Contactless Banking, Operational Efficiencies and Business Continuity agenda by bringing in automation via the following identified areas:
- Account Onboarding & KYC: With seamless data extraction and processing capabilities provided by IA, online instant account opening has become a reality in the true sense. Solutions like Virtual Loan Agent, Video KYC, document verification & validation with OCR & image processing equip banks go a long way for business growth. Early adopters have already incorporated these new digital channels. One example is a leading Indian bank that opened 250,000 accounts in the last quarter alone – a period of supposed slowdown for the industry.
- Loan Credit Approval: Banks can now process loan applications within hours. IA enables interaction with multiple systems concurrently, speeding up document validation, background checks and credit checks – all in one go. This, coupled with a well-defined rule-based decision-making process, ensures lesser reliance on humans processing loan applications. Reading of unstructured data, extraction, analysis of required information and processing leads to faster, safe processing with quick turnaround time. It also decreases dependence on Credit Officers and shifting physical files.
- Account Maintenance: Routine and urgent updates to bank/ loan accounts was often due to lack of desire or convenience to visit the branch. Banks can use IA solutions to offer such services conveniently – some examples: updating of EMI/ Interest moratorium, KYC refresh, address change etc.
- Customer Service: With lockdown and remote working, new channels need to be offered to fulfilling customer requests such as Interest Certificate, Net Banking activation, Bank statements, issuing Check book, Unissued check status etc. Banks can offer solutions to such requests via chatbot or whatsapp or email, an NLP – all of which make a real difference in customer experience.
- Invoice Processing: With the availability of out-of-box tools, 3-way matching of Purchase Order, Goods receipt and Invoices can be automated, with in-built exception processing workflows. This helps make Invoice processing paperless, minimizing human interventions.
- Financial & Regulatory Reporting: IA is highly effective in extracting, consolidating and validating data from multiple systems (including legacy), to present information in the required layout and format. Thus, the digital workforce helps fulfil reporting needs – some examples include Financial Reporting, Credit Bureau submissions, Regulatory submissions, etc.
- System Health check & Monitoring: Banks can instill a preventive mechanism to avoid downtimes. Processes such as auto save and recovery, remote communication, alert notifications, and round-the-clock system monitoring network can significantly reduce downtimes. This increased availability leads to smoother operations, lesser losses and better brand reputation.
With constant innovation and upgradation in technologies, the demand for IA will only rise further. How quickly organizations enrich their services will define their relationship with the customer for years to come. In a business environment where services are becoming increasingly commoditized and banks cannot claim their monopoly, their best bet is to rise-up to the challenge or face extinction. Intelligent Automation (IA) led business transformation will be a sure-fire way to help banks persevere and prosper in these trying times.
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