Written by Sukumar Narayanan, President, DecisivEdge™
Unlike manufacturing and other highly streamlined industries, financial institutions tend to have a significant number of processes requiring manual intervention and data manipulation.
These are both highly inefficient and perhaps more importantly subject to errors.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a newer strategy that facilitates the automation of high-volume, repeatable, rules driven tasks.
“RPA” is becoming mainstream and is being leveraged in Logistics, Accounting and other disciplines to improve efficiency and compliance. The global robotic process automation market is expected to grow exponentially to reach $2.8 billion by 2023. While its adoption is broad, North American business seem to be at the forefront of adopting RPA, according to a recent report by Energias Market Research.
All financial institutions are focused on accomplishing the following –
- Minimizing operating costs
- Minimizing processing errors
- Ensuring data integrity and security
- Ensuring regulatory compliance
Financial Institutions are discovering that RPA can help them accomplish all of the above goals.
By leveraging RPA to automate rule-based, repetitive processes organizations are improving execution times, reducing errors and making the processes more scalable. An additional benefit is the reduction in human resource requirements both at constant volume and to accommodate future growth.
When working with a large, national consumer lender to automate their bankruptcy payment processes, we discovered that despite employing a very large team, they could not consistently comply with the regulatory requirement to have payments posted to the appropriate accounts within five days of receipt of the payment from the bankruptcy trustee. By automating the processes and leaving only exceptions to be handled manually, our client was able reduce their team by 80% and achieve 100% compliance.
Manual intervention in processes can also impact both data integrity as well as data security – both significant concerns for financials institutions. Think of the number of situations where a person downloads data from two different systems, merges them and then uploads it into a third system or generates reports from the merged data. These types of activities are prone to error and can compromise the integrity of the original data. Also, once the data is on an Excel sheet on a laptop or on a paper report, it is inherently less secure. Automating these processes to essentially eliminate the manual intervention can ensure accuracy, data integrity and that security is not compromised.
The financial services industry is constantly evolving and looking for new ways to improve efficiencies and automate manual tasks performed by operations and finance departments. With improvements in automation, cost efficiency, and data security, we believe RPA is here to stay. If your organization is struggling with error rates, compliance and scalability we would welcome a conversation to fill you in on how we are helping our clients address these issues.
About the Author:
Sukumar Nanayanan specializes in leading corporations through IT enabled business transformation programs, consulting extensively with senior executives of companies seeking to improve business performance by leveraging technology. Advisor to PE firms on enterprise software and professional services companies.
A leader in the areas of enterprise governance; merger assessment and planning, post-merger integration planning and execution; business process reengineering/redesign and business-aligned IT strategy, Sukumar is the President of DecisivEdge, LLC.
Sukumar holds an MBA in Management Information Systems from the Temple University Fox School of Business and Management.