Does anyone remember life before ATM machines? How about before online banking and asset transactions? Digitization has transformed the financial services industry for the better. Instead of putting tellers and investment customer service agents out of work, these two automation advancements enabled institutions to expand and capture more business by attracting a new young generation of computer-savvy customers. This was followed closely by cautious but increasingly enthusiastic older adults.
There is no question that banks and the financial services sector were early adopters of technology and that their investments have paid big dividends in cost savings and customer satisfaction. Now, the next wave of automation is knocking at the doors of business executives, but the opportunities may not be so easily identified. So, when does it make sense to replace manual labor and processes with automation?
In this blog series we’ll examine some fundamental factors that can help you clarify when automation makes sense. The first important thing to remember from our two examples is that automation is not just about decreasing costs. Implemented intelligently, automation can spur tremendous efficiencies and innovation and reduce risk across a wide range of workflows and processes.
During the recent Future of Digital Banking conference in London, I participated in a panel discussion titled, “The human vs. the automated: understanding where each adds value.” The discussion revealed opportunities in automating processes and how they fit alongside changing customer-facing roles in digital banking and financial services.
By automating mundane, repeatable transaction tasks, companies can reduce and even eliminate errors and free up human brainpower for more creative pursuits—and to provide the all-important personal touch when and where it’s needed. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are you’ll find something to improve efficiency and please customers.
Today, even with all the computerized financial applications, many error-prone, manual tasks still remain in the back office. Ask yourself or your staff these simple questions when evaluating processes and workflows:
Don’t forget to take a bottom-up approach and actively seek for input from all levels of staff when searching for automation opportunities. Ask them what types of changes would reduce or simplify their workload, reduce errors and improve their work lives. At Mindtree, we continually ask our Mindtree minds to participate in idea generation with some very innovative results.
In the next blog, I’ll discuss the fine art of balancing automation with human interaction when redesigning banking and financial transaction processes.