What Is Banking Automation?
When banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions use automation to enhance core business processes, it's referred to as banking automation.
Banking and financial business processes involve an overabundance of repetitive tasks, making them ideal for banking automation technology. And while some of this digital transition has included the development of complex automation tools for investment and fraud detection systems, some of the most significant benefits have come from automating smaller, more menial tasks found more widely within these institutions. The automation transition has also enabled banks to expand current product and service offerings by leveraging data. What could you do if you got to know your customer better?
The banking industry has particularly embraced low-code and no-code technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and document AI (Artificial Intelligence). Why? These technologies require little investment, are adopted with minimal disruption, require no human intervention once deployed, and are beneficial throughout the organization from the C-suite to customer service. And with technology fundamentally changing the financial and consumer ecosystems, there has never been a better time to take the next step in digital acceleration.
What can banking automation do for me?
Most of the products and services banking and financial institutions offer involve or have benefited from automation. Banking automation technologies have drastically shortened response times while increasing the value of each work hour. Other banking automation benefits include:
Customers want to get more done in less time and benefit from interactions with their financial institutions. Faster front-end consumer applications such as online banking services and AI-assisted budgeting tools have met these needs nicely. Banking automation behind the scenes has improved anti-money laundering efforts while freeing staff to spend more time attracting new business. The result is a more personal touch and increased trust levels.
Banking automation reduces human errors and the time needed to complete these tasks to maximize cost savings. The result is better business outcomes and lower operational costs.
Banking automation has become one of the most accessible and affordable ways to simplify backend processes such as document processing. These automation solutions streamline time-consuming tasks and integrate with downstream IT systems to maximize operational efficiency. Additionally, banking automation provides financial institutions with more control and a more thorough, comprehensive analysis of their data to identify new opportunities for efficiency.
Traditional software programs often include several limitations, making it difficult to scale and adapt as the business grows. For example, professionals once spent hours sourcing and scanning documents necessary to spot market trends. As a result, the number of available employee hours limited their growth. Today, multiple use cases have demonstrated how banking automation and document AI remove these barriers.
Banks and the financial services industry can now maintain large databases with varying structures, data models, and sources. As a result, they're better able to identify investment opportunities, spot poor investments earlier, and match investments to specific clients much more quickly than ever before.
The banking sector once focused solely on providing financial services. Today, many of these same organizations have leveraged their newfound abilities to offer financial literacy, economic education, and fiscal well-being. These new banking processes often include budgeting applications that assist the public with savings, investment software, and retirement information.
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Who uses banking automation?
The finance and banking industries rely on a variety of business processes ideal for automation. Many professionals have already incorporated RPA and other automation to reduce the workload and increase accuracy. However, banking automation can extend well beyond these processes, improving compliance, security, and relationships with customers and employees throughout the organization.
Lenders rely on banking automation to increase efficiency throughout the process, including loan origination and task assignment.
Banking automation helps devise customized, reliable workflows to satisfy regulatory needs. Employees can also use audit trails to track various procedures and requests.
Digital transformation and banking automation have been vital to improving the customer experience. Some of the most significant advantages have come from automating customer onboarding, opening accounts, and transfers, to name a few. Chatbots and other intelligent communications are also gaining in popularity.
InfoSec professionals regularly adopt banking automation to manage security issues with minimal manual processing. These time-sensitive applications are greatly enhanced by the speed at which the automated processes occur for heightened detection and responsiveness to threats.
Timesheets, vacation requests, training, new employee onboarding, and many HR processes are now commonly automated with banking scripts, algorithms, and applications.
Banking automation has facilitated financial institutions in their desire to offer more real-time, human-free services. These additional services include travel insurance, foreign cash orders, prepaid credit cards, gold and silver purchases, and global money transfers.
Frequently asked questions about banking automation
The most valuable tip for implementing new financial automation applications is to spend more time than you think creating a detailed plan. This plan should include:
A list of repetitive, time-consuming tasks ensures you get the best possible return on your automation investment.
If you choose to automate a small process to test the technology, have an after-deployment plan. Everyone involved must understand the tech's limitations. It will also have to scale if it's successful.
Verify that the automation tasks meet all legal and compliance regulations.
Receive full approval to implement the technology before you begin.
Confirm that you have access to the technology, infrastructure, and expertise needed to implement the technology entirely.
Companies in the banking and financial industries often create a team of experienced individuals familiar with the entire organization to manage digital acceleration. This team, sometimes referred to as a Center of Excellence (COE), looks for intelligent automation opportunities and new ways to transform business processes. They manage vendors involved in the process, oversee infrastructure investments, and liaison between employees, departments, and management.
As RPA and other automation software improve business processes, job roles will change. As a result, companies must monitor and adjust workflows and job descriptions. Employees will inevitably require additional training, and some will need to be redeployed elsewhere. Documentation will also change.
The time and location of business process digitization initiatives can make or break entire digital transformation implementation plans. To reduce any associated risks, select the best time to deploy the technology carefully. For example, Friday afternoons at 4 pm would be a horrible time to change a business process if your team's technical experts leave at 5 pm. Identify when experienced employees will have time to learn the new technology, help find errors, and help other employees embrace the change.
You must also choose where to digitize processes carefully. For the best chance of success, start your technological transition in areas less adverse to change. Employees in that area should be eager for the change, or at least open-minded. It also helps avoid customer-facing processes until you've thoroughly tested the technology and decided to roll it out or expand its use.
Once you've successfully implemented a new automation service, it's essential to evaluate the entire implementation. Decide what worked well, which ideas didn't perform as well as you hoped, and look for ways to improve future banking automation implementation strategies.
No one knows what the future of banking automation holds, but we can make some general guesses. For example, AI, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning have become increasingly popular in the banking and financial industries. In the future, these technologies may offer customers more personalized service without the need for a human. Banks, lenders, and other financial institutions may collaborate with different industries to expand the scope of their products and services.
How do I get started with banking automation?
Digital transformations don't have to be complex and overwhelming. To get the most from your banking automation, start with a detailed plan, adopt simple-but-adequate user-friendly technology, and take the time to assess the results. In the right hands, automation technology can be the most affordable but beneficial investment you ever make.