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How retail banks can use automation to excel in 2022

It’s been a challenging couple of years for most of us, and banks have come under specific pressures as they adapt to working from home, new and increased security threats and greater pressure to present customers with a seamless and efficient digital and phone-based service.

Now, banks are starting to look to the future, and ways in which technology – and specifically, automation – can build resilience, create efficiencies, and help them remain agile and competitive.

There are three main areas of automation we’re seeing banks invest in as we head into 2022.

 1.      Automated process discovery

Automated process discovery lets banks see how they are truly operating. By using systems such as process, task and even conversation mining, banks can root out where their main inefficiencies lie and show trends in customer behaviour, for example revealing common complaints about products and services.

Manually reviewing processes is time-consuming, prone to error and difficult, especially under remote working conditions. Multiple people need to be involved in manual process discovery – automating the task can save considerable resources that can be invested in improving customer experience.

Process discovery is an end-to-end action that needs to be reviewed in its entirety to understand what’s happening and its effect on the bank. Not studying the entire process can result in over-documentation and automating processes that just don’t need to be automated.

 2.      Intelligent automation as a way to scale your RPA efforts

Robotic process automation (RPA) can help banks in a several areas, from more efficient customer onboarding and loan application management to helping with anti-money laundering efforts and detecting fraud at an early stage. For RPA to help with all of this, banks need to pair it with intelligent automation.

2022 will see more banks investing in intelligent automation to support their RPA efforts, but while there’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to providers and partners, it’s a choice that needs careful consideration. It’s best to focus on areas that will have the most impact and not try to change too much at once. Banks should choose the technology – and work with the partners – that helps them excel in areas they are struggling with.

 3.      Ongoing monitoring of process health

Another area of automation worth investment in 2022 is process intelligence. It’s essential in monitoring the state of a bank’s processes – which can easily get into disarray considering modern banking’s need to continually adapt in order to stay competitive with digital-first challengers.

Most traditional banks still have manual processes – and even legacy systems – to manage, and this is where process intelligence proves its value. It can sit across manual and digital processes (and on-site and remote activity), monitoring both for issues and suggesting areas of improvement.

Automation just won’t deliver the return-on-investment banking leaders expect without the bank first understanding its processes. And to understand them, they need to be monitored over an extended time. By establishing an ongoing process health routine, banks can set more realistic forecasts and predictions, helping them create more accurate budgets.

 

Modern banks need to be ready to meet customer demands before the trends become evident but to do this, they must be agile and adaptive. By automating the right processes, banks can create a strong, stable and consistent basis to take the bank into whatever lies ahead and help it remain competitive.

 

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