Co-op automates 'excess queue' procedure with Blue Prism

Source: Co-operative Financial Services

The Co-operative Financial Services has completed a project to automate the bank's 'excess queue' procedure, using Blue Prism's Automate product.

The excess queue procedure is carried out daily by the bank to accept, reject and return direct debits, cheques and standing orders as a result of the customer having insufficient funds to meet the payments. The automation of the entire procedure means that the bank now has a 'virtual team' of 20 people completing the workload by 11.00am each day instead of a team of employees working to meet a 3pm daily processing deadline. Employees previously tasked with these duties have been redeployed into proactive customer account management roles to the benefit of bank customers.

Automate has also significantly improved consistencies around customer account management as the bank embarks on a programme to protect its most vulnerable customers.

Overnight BACS processing results in a daily 'queue' of customers with payments due to leave their accounts and with insufficient funds to meet these payments. A nine-strong team in the bank would have the daily responsibility of manually reviewing the 2,500 or so higher risk accounts and making decisions to either return or process the payments depending on the account profile of each customer.

Co-operative Financial Services completed the project using Automate, a robotic integration tool from Blue Prism. This enables non-technical users to replicate the manual steps taken by clerical staff and interact with the bank's core systems non-invasively, so no change is needed to those systems.

Commenting on the plan to automate the excess queue procedure, Joanne Masters, Business Systems Manager at Co-operative Financial Services said: "The Bank is committed to proactively supporting customers and the business case for this project was to redeploy staff from manual roles into customer facing account management roles, alleviate the daily time pressure of having to complete all processing by a 3pm deadline and manage all customer accounts with the same degree of accuracy and consistency. The queue is now managed entirely by thhe Blue Prism product, requires little human intervention and the project is well on its way to achieving all of our objectives."

The bank has already seen a number of benefits as a result of automating the excess queue procedure.

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