Being a bank in today’s competitive environment is tough. Technology is always racing ahead, and customers wish for a digital experience from their bank that’s as easy as their interaction with their iPhone. The challenge that community and mid-sized banks face in achieving this is that their core processes are deeply embedded in legacy systems. A digital transformation is required to serve current customers, and attract new ones, but it must be executed within the constraints of existing systems. How can this be achieved? Say hello to RPA.

RP… What?

Robotic Process Automation – or RPA – brings the genius of robotics to the world of software. Just as the advent of the currency-counting machine eliminated the need for the bank teller to spend excessive amounts of time counting large cash deposits, RPA supports back-office employees by relieving them of the need to reconcile data in customer accounts, transfer data between the core banking system and debit card system, and more. Really, the possibilities for RPA are endless, and they don’t require expensive upgrades to existing systems.

How to Begin Your Digital Transformation with RPA

Large banks, thanks to their hefty investments in technology, have excelled in customer satisfaction. Now, thanks to RPA, mid-sized and community banks can remain competitive with an investment more appropriate to their size. In fact, Deloitte has predicted that almost every company in the world could be using RPA by the year 2023. Bank executives should not be asking, “Should I automate?” The better question is, “How and where should I automate?”

Determine Technology Gaps in Your Processes

Which part of your bank is struggling the most due to too many or disparate systems? Said another way, which department finds people touching the same data multiple times to input it into different systems or having to double- or triple-check its accuracy for compliance’s sake? Is it deposit operations, loan operations, customer support, or another team? Once you’ve identified these areas of focus, narrow the list down further to specific processes or tasks that have the highest volume and are consistently completed on a daily or weekly basis.

Conduct an Automation Assessment

Once you’ve identified a potential process to automate, you need to take a closer look to determine its eligibility for automation before committing resources. This assessment should include creating a flow diagram to visualize the process, documenting the people and systems involved in its execution, and taking note of any exceptions or workarounds. Armed with this information, your team – or a consultant, if you prefer to hire the expertise – should be able to develop a reasonable timeframe and cost for automating the selected process.

Execute Your First Automation Project

Assuming the results of the process assessment are aligned with your desired budget and timeline, you should assemble the team to build and deploy the automation. (If not, you should assess the next project on your list.) The automation can be done with internal resources, of course, but you may benefit from leveraging a partner like R-Path Automation to complete the project as quickly as possible to demonstrate to executives and affected employees just how valuable RPA can be.

Continue the Momentum

With one successful project under your belt, and a likely list of projects to engage next given your initial gap analysis, you can take what you’ve learned and plan your automation roadmap. Incidentally, as you’re ultimately using technology to automate historically manual processes, you might also call this your digital transformation roadmap! As you automate one process and then another, you’ll find that you’re saving time and resources that you can invest back into other parts of the bank or into new tools to improve your customers’ experience and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Digital Transformation Enhances the Customer Experience

As competition grows, banks are under increasing pressure to create efficiency in the back office and provide more engaging customer experiences. Organizations of all sizes can leverage RPA to better engage their customers and gain a competitive edge.

Interested in getting started and seeing how digital transformation can help your bank? Be sure to subscribe to our blog and download the Executive Guide to Automation here.

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