Technology is changing the way we live and breathe. We’d even go a step ahead, and quote:
Everything we do as humans, including every feat we’ve achieved as a modern civilization, is marked by dynamic leaps in technology.
What is a dynamic leap, you ask?
Let’s understand technological advancements through an example of linear and dynamic steps.
When talking in the Linear terms, if you go from 1 to 30, you cover 30 steps.
Common sense, right? But wait. When talking in Dynamic terms, if you go from 1 to 30, you cover a Billion.
That’s what a dynamic leap is; and technology is evolving at a dynamic pace.
Marshall McLuhan puts it best: ‘First, we build the tools; then they build us back.’
The same is true with the BFSI (banking, financial services, and Insurance) sector.
Since the advancements in automation and digital technologies, it has become preemptive for financial institutions to change the dynamics and inculcate automation in their regulatory requirements.
If we follow the automation trend, it suggests that intelligent automation technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI can reduce costs in Fintech by up to 25%.
Alt: RPA Implementation in Fintech Industry
According to Investopedia, ‘Financial technology (Fintech) is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.’
In other words, Fintech is the innovative use of technology to promote efficiency, cut costs, and aid the banking world with its metamorphosis to expand and grow in the Digital sphere.
An RPA study by Juniper Research even suggests that the influx of revenue from Robotic Process Automation in the BFSI sector is expected to grow by $1 Billion by 2023.
With that said, let’s shed some light on what exactly is Robotic Process Automation?
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are software robots that identify, learn, and mimic human actions and interactions with a digital system. These bots can be trained or programmed to perform a myriad of mundane and repetitive tasks- cutting costs and promoting efficiency.
Although not exactly a replacement, RPA bots, in a nutshell, allow enterprises to seamlessly automate and execute operations as though a human was executing them across different platforms- this time around, just error-free.
Be aware though, correct RPA implementation requires a professional RPA consultation. Make sure to do your due diligence and get a custom RPA solution that best fits your business requirements.
RPA in Banking and Finance Industry
As stated above, RPA in any industry refers to implementing specialized software robots (short for ‘bots’) for carrying out repetitive, and rule-based tasks.
The correct implementation of RPA in fintech helps in bridging the gap between different applications present in the legacy system.
If you’re a skeptic, you might pose a great argument that there are several such implementation software available in the automation market. But you’re half-right.
There are indeed several system implementation software including names like SAP and Oracle, but they all fall short in integrating, processing, and of course, automating micro-level tasks- which RPA does not!
Real-World RPA applications in Fintech
Before we assert the real-world applications for RPA in Fintech, let’s consider a datum:
Forrester, an esteemed American market research firm, reported in a study that RPA demand is expected to top $2.9 B in 2021; that’s magnanimous as compared to $250 Million in 2016.
The statement doesn’t mean that RPA will entirely replace the human workforce by 2021, or sometime in the future. Instead, it’d supplement the human asset by offering a window to breathe and focus on high-priority tasks that require strategic understanding.
RPA bots don’t disrupt the existing workflow but enhance and promote efficiency across different sectors.
That being said, underneath listed are a few practical real-life RPA applications in Fintech:
- Customer On-boarding
- Data-entry, and Transcribing Reports
- Data-Management for Quarterly and Yearly Closing
- Loan Processing
- Running Background Checks
- Processing Insurance Claims
- Customer Support and Complaint Management
Though, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. RPA application and use cases go way beyond this generalized approach, thanks to advanced AI and ML technologies such as Artificial Neural Network, Speech Recognition, and more.
To get a deeper insight into RPA applications in real-life in sectors excluding BFSI, you can check out this comprehensive blog post titled- ‘5 Amazing Examples Of Robotic Process Automation In The Real World’.
RPA Bot Types to Promote Fintech Operations
Despite a clear understanding that RPA constitutes naught but software robots, many people, including some of our clients think of RPA as humanoid robots- similar to the ones we see on-screen (Star Wars) or like Sophia by Hanson Robotics.
But it’s essential to understand that when we mention robots in the service sector (except for retail), we are predominantly talking about non-physical software robots.
That said, let’s highlight the two dominant RPA bots you’re likely to encounter in the automation space:
Attended RPA Bots
Consider Attended RPA bots as ‘called-help’ in case the workload increases. That is to say, these bots require external human intervention to automate and execute certain business processes.
Unattended RPA Bots
Unattended bots, as the name suggests, automate and execute activities without any human assistance. For instance, updating an excel sheet, drafting a welcome email, extracting data from structured invoices, and more.
Achieving more with Attended and Unattended Bots
Robotic Process Automation is effective, and a hot-topic amongst C-suite but that doesn’t change the fact that the technology is still in its pilot phase.
For an effective RPA implementation, we’d advise to create a unique combination of both attended and unattended categories and automate selected business processes for increased ROI.
Introduce RPA into your business processes and enable your workforce to achieve more with a unique amalgamation of the human taskforce and robotic workforce.
Although, it’s needless to say that RPA constitutes a wide range of nuances and correct implementation requires assistance from professional RPA providers.
Having stated the major categories, let’s discuss the RPA bot categories that suit best for fintech automation.
Having been working with insurance partners and leading Fintech enterprises, we’re aware of the time and resources it goes into reviewing, approving, and submitting data provided by customers, employees, and other associated partners.
Verification bots in Fintech automate these mundane tasks while making real-time requests to external and internal software involved in particular legacy systems.
An agile future-proof platform is the best way to safeguard your business from future uncertainties.
But here’s a hard pill to swallow:
Most of the businesses operate on obsolete systems. According to a 2017 report by Statista, banks nearly spent $20billion on updating legacy systems in North America.
Integrating system RPA bots in Fintech helps in bridging the communication gap between systems that can’t be eliminated yet or are too complicated to be united.
Be it an enterprise, an individual, or anyone for that matter- pre-planning events make up for a better part of business functioning.
Schedule bots help BFSI industries trigger automated solutions and execute certain actions- ensuring no deadlines are missed or your actual workforce has to deal with urgent issues in a short span of time.
Data-entry is boring, repetitive, time-consuming, and even costly- but despite the negatives, these processes are imperative to the proper functioning of any Banking, finance, or Insurance enterprises.
As we’ve discussed in the ‘System Bots’ section, a majority of financial institutions are still powered by legacy systems- making it extremely expensive to integrate new-age APIs and logic chains.
Data-entry RPA bots, on the other hand, offer synchronous automation of data without complex integrations, or huge investment. RPA bots flawlessly execute data-entry jobs and perform all the actions including logging, copying, and more just like any human- but barred from any clerical errors.
Fintech and RPA: Use-Cases Discussed
Another Mckinsey study states that the correct implementation of RPA is equivalent to the work output of 110 million to 140 million FTE personnel by 2025. Now that’s not to say that RPA will completely replace the human task force; in fact, far from it.
Innovation is the key element differentiating Fintech firms and Startups from the traditional BFSI industries. RPA renders benefits to a wide array of industries, but financial institutions stand to benefit the most.
But why though?
The BFSI sector is rule-based, highly regulated, and data-driven. These factors make implementing RPA and AI quite essential in Fintech.
Implementing RPA and automation technologies in the financial processes translate real-world benefits, and is a viable option for traditional institutions to not lose relevance in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Here listed are the key uses of RPA in the financial processes:
Processing claims accommodates for a majority of tasks in the Insurance sector. The process, however, is manual, time-consuming, and prone to human errors. Even a slight variation in numbers could wreak havoc for both the parties- Insurance companies and the insured.
RPA bots improve claim processing by eliminating clerical errors and processing claims quicker, and more efficiently than a human ever could.
Consider it this way:
What generally took four days and multiple bank visits can now be done and dusted in merely a couple of hours- saving hundreds of dollars, FTE-hours, and most importantly, accuracy.
Client onboarding, albeit the primary step in Fintech, is a complex procedure that requires manual confirmation from clients regarding multiple documents. Several traditional banking institutions, until today, ask employees to assist customers in filling out these necessary details- taking a huge chunk of their time and resources.
Implementing RPA with AI technologies like OCR (Optical Character Recognition) assists in streamlining this process by automatically picking up information from the KYC documents and filling it against the multiple data fields, in different forms, across systems.
RPA improves account reliability by automating the data-entry and eliminating critical errors.
Let’s break down this process for better understanding:
RPA bots establish communication and allow the transfer of data between two different portals, without the need for an employee to log in and manually log data against different fields.
When coupled with automation technologies like AI and ML, RPA only streamlines accounting processes, including but not limited to Account receivable and invoicing.
Risk and Compliance Management
The banking sector is a complex interconnection of system, processes, and rules and regulations.
Here outlined are a few processes that banks can’t go about even a single day: Spanning KYC, creating risk assessment reports, periodic disclosures, customer on-boarding, processing loans, and more. All these are complex yet crucial processes with stringent regulatory guidelines.
RPA solutions, at their best, increase efficiency and reduce compliance costs. These bots are programmed to automate manual and repetitive processes while complying with the existing and updated regulations.
Collecting interests on loans is amongst the primary sources of income for banks and other financial institutions. However, these institutions often go wrong with underwriting.
Referring to Investopedia, ‘Underwriting is the process through which an individual or institution takes on financial risk for a fee. The risk most typically involves loans, insurance, or investments.’
In other words, Underwriting is the process of predicting the payback capacity of a lender.
The reason banks often get this wrong is this process involves the collection of information from various sources- which is tedious, complex, and prone to errors.
However, when using RPA bots for underwriting, it’s often registered that the results are better; and for obvious reasons! RPA bots automatically collect the lenders’ data from multiple sources and logs that into the specified company’s system for the underwriters to make a better analysis.
The Best RPA Tools for Banks and Financial Institutions
There are numerous benefits of implementing RPA into Fintech. To highlight a few- RPA bots boost productivity, eliminate clerical errors, and significantly improve SLAs. But like any other innovation, the success of RPA implementation is subjective to the RPA tools and software that you choose.
With automation being a hot topic, new companies are emerging from the dark every other day. That said, it’s preemptive to identify and understand the prominent and most effective RPA tools and vendors currently available in the automation industry.
UiPath tops the list of RPA vendors, for a myriad of reasons including drag and drop functionalities, support for multiple frameworks, over 300 pre-built automation components, and more.
Supporting both web and desktop applications, the UiPath tool is easy to implement and often the first choice for industries, including Banking and financial services.
Being amongst the top RPA players, there are hundreds of certified UiPath partners across the globe. Finding the right one for your business isn’t easy, as it involves studying and scrutinizing all sorts of features and functionalities.
Signity Solutions, a UiPath certified RPA partner, comes to your rescue. With over a decade of experience in the Digital sphere, we help you assess, identify, and automate the right business processes for maximum efficiency and ROI.
Automation Anywhere offers cloud, and on-premise automation services with advanced security measures, and useful features like real-time analytics.
This particular RPA vendor offers a community tool that lets you explore the features, and automate tasks for free- for a certain period of time.
Offering a unique combination of intelligent AI components with conventional automation, Automation Anywhere is one of the best RPA tools to work with strings of unstructured data.
Blue Prism is often preferred by experts and is considered the best RPA automation tool for medium and large-sized financial enterprises.
It offers an AI-enabled virtual workforce (RPA software bots) that learns and upgrades in real-time.
Banking enterprises can better anticipate the end-users’ expectations, emulate interactions with the set systems, and execute the set instructions.
The key components of Blue Prism’s RPA suite include a control room, an object studio, and several Digital Workforce components.
Judging by the current market scenarios, and the latest trends in development, Robotic Process Automation seems to have a promising future.
Courtesy to the Coronavirus Pandemic, companies are proactively working to cut corners and prune away operational expenses- and RPA delivers right on.