The Past and Future of Automation in the Banking Sector
Intelligent Automation is a hot topic in the banking sector and is considered by many to be a transformative technology for the industry. Automation in banking has a rich history and is on the way to a bright future. What might we expect from automation in banking in the future? To begin, let’s be clear about the definition.
What is automation in banking?
Automation in banking is adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) into banking business processes, not just to stay competitive and increase efficiency, but also to reduce non-core resources and achieve operational agility. It allows banks to offer new opportunities and experiences for customers, as well as helping them enter and grow in new markets, which, traditionally, has been challenging.
A brief history of automation in the banking industry
It’s important to keep in mind that for banks, digitalization is not an innovative process by itself. There are at least four milestones in the history of automation in the banking industry which helped to significantly raise customer satisfaction, reduce manual labor and lower operating costs. Each also increased the quality of banking services:
- Banks integrated the ATM into their infrastructure, starting in the late 1960s. This was the earliest and most crucial step in automation that helped to redistribute work and speed up cash operations.
- Then, banks computerized their offices. This reduced the number of physical sources of information and mobilized information flows inside and between institutions.
- Banks introduced personal applications, so users could handle their own finances. This allowed easy and reliable access for customers, who now could directly manage their accounts and make transactions.
- Then came the introduction of chatbots, which can automatically answer an otherwise overwhelming number of uniform requests from clients and allow bank employees to focus on more unique and essential tasks.
New automation opportunities in banking
As history shows, automation in banking has been a project —and a prospect — 50 years in the making. Now it’s time to recognize and undertake new challenges, implementing modern automation strategies as a continuation of how banks have optimized operations and improved efficiency and reliability over the years.
According to EY’s “Global Banking Outlook 2018,” 62% of global banks expect to be digitally mature in 2020, compared with just 19% in 2018. Banks will need to make serious investments in end-to-end processes and infrastructure that can drive efficiencies across the entire organization. They must stop spending all their innovation resources only on tactical projects and customer interfaces. Explore real-world WorkFusion customer use cases in banking and finance to better understand how end-to-end processes can be automated in the industry.
The goals are clear: increasing margins, restoring customer trust, implementing new digital infrastructures, and reducing costs and risks. Intelligent Automation is the solution for — and it is already drawing major interest in the banking sector. To learn more about the issues that affect operations, infrastructure and risk elimination, take our free industry-specific business course, Intelligent Automation for Banking.