Intelligent Automation in Banking

AI and Robotic Process Automation

Katherine Manning July 7, 2020 Automation Banking

Automation Graphic

In 2020, most consumers and banking institutions are generally familiar with artificial intelligence driving intelligent automation in banking. The concept has been discussed on board rooms for years. Today, many organizations are taking the conversations to the next level and deploying AI-based technologies company wide.

Although, banks ready to utilize intelligent automation – which includes AI and robotic process automation – should seek areas that would stand to gain the most benefits in terms of enhancing their digital transformation and workflow efficiencies. Not to mention, many banks struggle to determine which technologies should be prioritized to get the most out of their investments and which ones can align best with their business objectives.

According to Capgemini, the financial services industry is expected to add around $512bn in global revenues by implementing intelligent automation, and there is no question about the ROI when the deployment is executed thoughtfully. The best way to look at intelligent automation in the future is as a solution that can deliver improvements across the entire customer journey.

For instance, intelligent automation can help customer service agents perform their roles better by automating application logins or ordering tasks in a way that ensures customers receive better and faster service. Other examples where intelligent automation can be applied include closing accounts, sending notifications, blocking accounts, delivering security codes, and managing customer transfers to help improve operational efficiencies and the customer experience.

These are the types of tasks that can cause a lot of friction. With automation, employees can spend more time focusing on the bank’s clients rather than on every box they must check.

Intelligent automation creates efficiency and speed

An Accenture study found that banking executives now expect that AI-based technologies will not only transform their industry, but will also add net gains in jobs. Let’s discuss components of banking that can benefit from intelligent automation.

Trade finance

You will find requirements for high levels of documentation with a wide variety of disparate systems that can be improved by removing the siloes through intelligent automation.

Bill discounting and financing

Reduce manual processing for financing and discounting requests. Also, automate repeatable processes in both the supply chain and around working capital.

Commercial lending operations

Starting with the onboarding of the client, intelligent automation can quickly retrieve relevant data from both structured and unstructured loan documents then automate entry of this data into the loan processing and account opening systems thereby accelerating the commercial lending lifecycle.

Regulatory and compliance

With the never-ending list of requirements to meet regulatory and compliance mandates, intelligent automation can enhance the operational effort.

Anti-money laundering and sanction screening

Intelligent automation in banking can be used to retrieve names and titles to feed into screening systems that can identify false positives.

Letter of credit and guarantees

Automate calculation changes, notifications, and extraction of data from letter of credit applications.

Inward/outward payments

Automate repeatable payment processing tasks to accelerate transfers and retrieve details from fund transfer forms to automate outgoing fund transfers, as well as vendor payments and payroll processing.

Cash management operations

There are many manual processes involved with the reconciliation of invoices and purchase orders. For some banks, they may be dealing with large volumes of i invoices. Intelligent automation can be used to identify various invoice structures to retrieve the necessary data for triggering the next steps in the process and/or enter the data into the bank’s accounting systems.

Transaction screening

Intelligent automation can automate the removal of the most common false positives while also leaving an audit trail which can be used to meet compliance.

Import and export payments

Data retrieval from bills, certificates, and invoices can be automated as well as data entry into payment processing systems for importers so that payment operations are streamlined and manual processes reduced.

Payment operations

Consider automating both ingoing and outgoing payments so that human operators can spend more time on strategic tasks. Plus, several processes around payment issue investigations can also be automated to improve processing speeds.

Payment investigations and repair

In the event of missing, or incorrect, account numbers intelligent automation can be used to send alerts and/or responses. Further, issues around finding exchange rate discrepancies or even payment recalls can be automated. Another frequent payment processing issue is when beneficiaries claim non-receipt of funds, but intelligent automation can be deployed to send automated responses in cases such as these.

Starting with Intelligent Automation in Banking

Another Accenture report found that financial services companies stand to generate up to $140bn in productivity gains and savings by modernizing workforce technologies. But, how can your institution achieve these gains if you don’t know where to start?

O’Reilly has found that many banking institutions struggle with where they can initiate their intelligent automation strategy even when they understand the benefits. In this case, it is critical to start small and focus on the value that can be delivered before deploying intelligent automation across the board. It is important to first find manual processes that could stand to improve through the efficiencies brought on with intelligent process automation.

Consider looking at re-thinking your workflows or even making much-needed organizational changes. Start small with repeatable, digital, rules-based, and structured tasks. Once the value of intelligent automation is noticeable, move on to working with process automation around unstructured and semi-structured data such as identity documentation, emails, insurance forms, and applications.

Final thought

There are many examples of how intelligent automation is currently helping banks and how it can help banks stay competitive both today and in the future rife with evolving regulatory compliance. In the end, it boils down to how well intelligent automation is executed within the end-to-end customer and employee journey.

So then, what are the next steps for banks interested in using intelligent automation. First, it is crucial to identify the appropriate use cases such as repeatable and structured processes then prioritizing these based on alignment with business objectives.

It is certainly more effective to start small, and learn from the outcome. Build your plan interactively, but thoroughly assess every project deployment. Make it a priority for your institution to work smarter, and eliminate the silos suffocating every department. From this purview, banks can then design a strategic plan for succeeding in the future.

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