By: Ritesh Varma
COVID-19 has significantly impacted financial institutionsacross the globe, with leading experts forecasting a credit loss of $2.1 trillion for the banking sector. With the customers’ aversion to paper-based transactions and the fast shift to theremote working environment, banks need to accelerate their digital initiatives to enhance their topline and deliver uninterrupted services in a safe and secure manner. Robotic process automation (RPA)—the process of automating mundane, high-volume, and repetitive tasks—can enable banks to simplify data-intensive processes without impacting the quality of their services.
Here are seven critical ways in which RPA can modernize banking operations in the COVID era.
- Digital-first approach
RPA supports intelligent and intuitive processes to optimize day-to-day banking activities. Banks can eliminate manual processes and transform their back-office operations with RPA to deliver a touchlessexperience. Customers can access their bank accounts from the safety of their homes and employees can seamlessly addresscustomer requests while working remotely.
- 24X7 availability
Banks can enable anytime, anywhere operations by implementinga cloud-based RPA solution. Customers haveomnichannel access to all their banking needs with the click of a button, making lives easier for customers and bankers alike. Furthermore, cloud-based RPA solutions can reduce server maintenance and hardware costs.
- Online loan processing
The modern banker needs to shift a customer’s entire loan lifecycle online. RPA allows customers to utilize web and mobile-based portalsto upload documents for identity verification, loan request initiation, and real-time status monitoring.
- Faster response to customer queries
Using chatbots and social sensing tools, banks can quickly respond to customer queries online and manage social interactions. This can minimize the need for customers to visit a physical branch, ensuring the safety of both customers and employees, especially during these times of social distancing.RPA can also optimize a bank’s contact center operations by analyzing their customer database and dynamically routing calls based ontheir past interactions.
- Error-free operations
Repetitive tasks can become tedious for employees, and with pandemic-induced stress, such tasks are more prone to errors. RPA can automate end-to-end banking processes to deliver first time right results. Furthermore, banks can leverage intelligent bots to carry out ruled-based tasks for reducing errors and increasing the process accuracy.
- Efficient compliance management
Banks can simplify their data-intensive processes, including KYC, risk assessment, and anti-money laundering initiatives, by automating mundane, manual processes for improved accuracy and faster turnaround time. RPA makes it easier for banks to be compliant and follow strict guidelines by digitizing processes.
- Enhanced fraud detection
RPA, supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can detect fraud more efficiently based on a customer’s past transactions. It can sense suspicious activity, generate email notifications, and push messages right away, thereby safeguarding customers’ data and assets.
RPA has emerged as a critical requirement for banks to optimize their processes, reduce their operational costs, and help them deliver exceptional customer experience. With the growing need for RPA, hyper-automation is also emerging as an important trend as it combines RPA with intelligent process automation and artificial intelligenceand helps in delivering a superior customer experience. Banks need to hyperautomate to adapt to the rapidly changing business requirements and not just survive but thrive in the digital-only world.
(The author is Global Head, Business Solutions at Newgen Software and the views expressed in this article are his own)