Banks stand to reap $512 billion revenue boost from 'intelligent automation'

Banks stand to reap $512 billion revenue boost from 'intelligent automation'

With banks the world over exploring the business case for AI and robotic automation, a new report estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars in additional revenue may be up for grabs as the focus moves away from costs savings to income generation.

To date, automation technologies, such as RPA, have been implemented by the financial services industry to drive down costs and create efficiencies. But a new front is opening, with the deployment of machine learning tools for customer-facing interactions seen as new weapon in the armoury of banks facing the threat of competition from Big Tech players like Amazon and Alphabet.

Capgemini interviewed 1500 senior executives from 750 global organisations to draw out the benefits and challenges facing banks as they enter a new machine-learning era.

The study found that, on average, over one-third of financial services firms have seen a 2-5% increase in topline growth from automation, with faster time-to-market and improved cross-selling efforts as the key factors that influence gains. Meanwhile, 64% of organisations from across different segments have seen improvement in customer satisfaction by more than 60% through intelligent automation.

The report finds that more than half of firms (55%) are focused on increasing customer satisfaction through automation, while close to half (45%) see growing revenue as a key objective. Capgemini estimates that the financial services industry could expect to add up to $512bn to global revenues by 2020 through ‘intelligent automation'.

Challenges remain however, with a dearth of talent and legacy infrastructures seen as key barriers to adoption.

According to the report, only 10% of companies have implemented the technology to scale, with the majority of firms struggling with business, technology, and people challenges. Further, only around one in four has the technological maturity to implement cognitive automation technologies comprising machine learning, computer vision, and biometrics. Most organisations still have RPA, or - at best - Natural Language Processing (NLP), forming the backbone of their automation initiatives.

Anirban Bose, head of Capgemini’s Financial Services Global Business Unit says: “The most visionary financial services firms have leaders with a sophisticated view of the potential impact automation can have throughout their business. And they are already reaping the rewards. Hundreds of billions of dollars in automation-generated revenue is up for grabs in the coming years. Only those companies that deploy this technology in a way that looks beyond cost cutting and focuses on creating value for customers and shareholders will be able to win in the marketplace.”

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 July, 2018, 08:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

But is this new revenue, as the smartphone created, or just shuffling the revenue around the market? One bank's gain is another's loss?

Philippe Guenet
Philippe Guenet - Henko - Reigate 13 July, 2018, 09:232 likes 2 likes

Such articles sound like tabloid sensationalism and are very damaging on the nature of technology change and how to implement it. We seem to lash-on on a theme for the year just like fashion. This generates meme-style strategies, whilst previous themes have been half progressed. 

Automation will indeed make operations more efficient and lower some operational costs. But AI is not a magic bullet. Get your data right and it can STP already. You won't be building good AI on top of poor data. So this challenge has been around for a long time. Those have have not managed to systematically manage / improve their data are starting from far back.

There are many in such state because so far it was far easier to meet set targets by shifting the manual handling of exceptions to cheaper shores rather than industrialise their structural resolution. 

Eventually all this is a zero sum game. There are no "revenue boosts". This will shift market share between players by nature of competition. Very quickly it will become the new standard. So this is not about growth, it is about market share and survival. 

Technology has always been central into banks, but with more pressures on margins, it needs to be more efficient. This is not achieved by major investments. This is achieved by absorbing change as an on-going flow. If change is hard, make it continuous. Such sensational headlines are not supportive of a more intelligent approach to change. The real trick is absorbing the potential of technology towards business outcomes as an on-going activity. 

Such an approach will also enable further human potential above AI rather than see it as a simple cost cutting exercise. 



Bill Trueman
Bill Trueman - - London 13 July, 2018, 09:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What poppycock!

Competition will drive down any additional revenues/margins after the expenditure and initial costs have been spent. This is how it always works.

The technology leaders will be the 'winners' as they will attract the market share and customers and the lower delivery costs (so still also about costs!). 

And it won't necessarily be all about the BIG BANKS, but about new entrants and new subsidiaries and other parties that disintermediate.

This is a bit of a 'non-story', as it has not drawn out any/all of the wider aspects of the potential changes that will occur. One cannot review the impacts in a vacuum, as too many other factors will impact the changes in the real world. 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 July, 2018, 19:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If this "zero sum" notion were true, the GDP of Earth should have remained constant - since there are no exports out of Earth. But we all know that combined GDP of all nations on Earth has been growing with time. I guess some of the commenters haven't heard about MBS, CDO, CDO2 and other structured financial products that banks have created out of thin air and from which they've made huge revenues and whopping margins, which is one reason why, despite all the competition and threat of disintermediation by every Tom Dick and Harry, finserv has remained the most profitable sector in FORTUNE 500 for a long time.