Without question, the financial services industry has experienced tremendous change over the past decade or so. Between ever-changing regulatory challenges to evolving technology to increased competition and more, staying afloat in this field certainly isn’t easy. Robotic process automation (RPA) is helping many institutions meet these challenges head on and emerge even more successful on the other side.
First, it’s important to clarify that despite its name, adopting RPA isn’t technically about unleashing an army of actual robots to perform the rote work of humans. In reality, robotic process automation involves software applications which are designed to handle everything from simple, routine tasks to complex workflows. Furthermore, RPA that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning has the capability of adapting and improving over time.
Simply put, RPA is revolutionizing the way that banks, lending institutions and insurers carry out their business practices. In fact, this technology is ideal for the financial services industry because of the staunch regulations and high volume of transactions being performed on a daily basis. From an accounting perspective, for instance, RPA can be applied to everything from recording journal entries to performing account reconciliation. RPA can even be used to manage invoices, audit expense reports and process payments.
Perhaps the area where robotic process automation is most beneficial to financial institutions is in the way of regulatory compliance and risk management. Employing an intelligent automation platform, a financial firm can utilize advanced technology to automatically evaluate account openings and review disclosures to ensure that employees remain compliant at all times. Robotic software can run continuous reviews and reconciliations to identify anomalies and alert management of potential problems.
In terms of risk management, RPA can help spot and verify even the most subtle of changes in exposure as well as determine the cause for such movement. Automation can also be used to assess credit limits and identify the cause when those limits are breached. Intelligent RPA combined with AI and machine learning can take these things a step further by leveraging data to provide recommendations for which course of action should be taken in order to limit risk and remain compliant.
One of the reasons RPA is such a valuable tool in the financial industry is because it is capable of undertaking tasks at an incredibly high rate of speed while also performing those tasks uniformly and without error. This is why it’s widely accepted, both by financial firms as well as regulatory agencies. It is not, however, meant to replace human workers altogether. To the contrary, RPA is designed to augment the skills of human employees, making their jobs easier and freeing them up to focus on those tasks that cannot be automated.
And lastly, despite being in an industry that is perpetually dealing with change, the one thing that seems to always remain constant is the need to reduce operating costs while maximizing efficiency. Robotic process automation is fundamentally designed to help firms achieve these goals by enabling the standardization and centralization of a broad spectrum of business processes. At the same time, RPA increases controls and facilitates consistency in execution. And because automation eliminates much of the tedious, manual tasks, staff can apply their talent to more high-value and meaningful work, which means higher retention rate. In other words, everyone wins.
Given all of these value-added benefits, it’s no surprise that leading financial institutions are already leveraging the power of RPA to help streamline operations and provide competitive advantage. If you are in the financial industry and would like to see for yourself just how automation can improve your firm’s overall performance, we encourage you to take Ayehu for a test drive today.