Future-Proofing Your Fintech Toolbox

Future-Proofing Your Fintech Toolbox

Over the past two years the coronavirus pandemic has forced organizations to expedite their digital transformation plans and increase investment in technologies like robotic process automation (RPA). For financial organizations, the technology has proven to be more than a strategic lifeboat in the storm, but a continuing driver of innovation across the enterprise.

For our organization, RPA has been an invaluable asset in building resilience, agility, and new efficiencies. We began our Enterprise Optimization Transformation (EOT) initiative in 2016 with the intent to improve processes, drive efficiency and increase overall operational performance. Being an early adopter of RPA proved to be our greatest strength during the pandemic: With unprecedented volume fluctuations occurring across the business, we deployed bots to handle critical processing functions. Since automation was already a component of our businesses’ daily operations, we were able to swiftly allocate bots to high-volume areas to accommodate for the sudden shift in demand. Having institutionalized automation early on gave us more resilience and flexibility. RPA and other technologies can continue to pay off in the face of other adverse events. In the ongoing “great resignation”, our employees have not been overburdened by the cumbersome, data-intensive tasks that cause staff burnout. Automating these rote functions gives employees more time for meaningful work and improves productivity at the organizational level. This is how automation should be implemented – as native to your organization and constantly running in parallel with human staff to be thinkers and optimize performance.

While RPA technology presents an opportunity to transform how financial services firms operate, automation is only the beginning. Businesses using RPA as a standalone tool are stopping short of achieving true business transformation. Becoming agile and prepared for adverse events requires organizations to move beyond automation alone to leverage other financial technologies across their processes and systems and achieve true strategic value. 

For our organization, RPA was not the goal of our transformation, but rather a conduit for other technologies that have helped our teams work smarter.

It's key to take a full spectrum ap­proach towards building out your fin­tech toolbox. Look beyond quick wins and one-off workflows to examine cross-functional processes and entire business areas. This will identify where technologies can make improvements, and not hamper growth and progress. We have seen success implementing optical character recog­nition (OCR) and Intelligent Document Processing solutions to extract data from various document formats, streamlining loan review activities and the processing of bank documents. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have also been an integral tool to help expand access of valuable data across systems and platforms while keeping this information safe and se­cure. Advanced data analytics are another capability you should have in your toolbox, as they enable financial organizations to view real-time insights, identify patterns, forecast market outcomes, and pro­vide a better direct to consumer experience. For companies de­termined to scale automation across the entire business, advanc­es in low- and no-code design have made bot development more accessible to citizen developers, who can create simple automations to solve for business problems within their own departments.

Continuous process discovery, when paired with these fintech tools, enables organizations to keep identifying high-value candidates for transformation, automate and monitor processes, and continue optimizing them for maximum execution capacity. The goal is no longer to simply deploy automation – it’s to reach digital maturity. Integrating automation with fintech tools will help financial organizations reach this mature state while crisis-proofing their operations.

Considering an experienced partner will make the integration of these technologies even smoother and can provide valuable enablement services like bot support and citizen developer training, even remotely, to ensure your business captures the most value from your transformation projects. These investments won’t be undone post-crisis either—financial firms with professional monitoring and support programs in place will find themselves at a greater cost advantage during the recovery and ultimately growth.

"Adopting automation and complementary technologies today can strengthen financial organizations against the unforeseen, disruptive forces of tomorrow"

If the past two years have taught business leaders anything, it is that disruption is inevitable. Whether it is in the form of global pandemic, regulatory changes, or shifting geopolitical dynamics, there will always be unforeseen circumstances that can seriously disrupt business as usual. In an industry already vulnerable to economic and social change, it is imperative that banking and finance leaders adapt and find new ways to thrive and deliver superior service to the consumer. Integrating automation with financial technologies like AI, OCR, and APIs can strengthen your business in the face of uncertainty while accelerating productivity improvements and operational excellence. Capitalizing on the lessons learned during the pandemic and building out a long-term transformation strategy with advanced fintech capabilities will be crucial across financial services firms putting themselves in stronger positions for future growth.

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