Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Why automation in finance makes good Sense

Posted on: 18 July '16

In my first blog in this 3-part series, I discussed the advantages of automating mundane, repeatable transaction tasks to free up humans to tackle creative, value-add activities. This blog also arises from a panel discussion I took part in during the recent Future of Digital Banking conference in London.

The panel discussion, “The human vs. the automated: understanding where each adds value,” explored opportunities in automating processes and how they fit alongside changing customer-facing roles in digital banking and financial services.

Automated computer applications can zip through transaction calculations and identify patterns and trends. These strengths make them perfect for tasks such as online and mobile banking and investment services maintenance, data quality and transfer checks, fraud detection and financial settlements. However, they can do much, much more. Automation, working hand in hand with your valuable staff, can elevate customer service to a whole new level. And as you know, today’s competitive world is all about relationship management.

Automation combined with artificial intelligence applications can track customer history and identify behavioral patterns. Through personalization and contextualization, cognitive computing can flesh out who your customers really are, their priorities, where they are in their life journey, and even more importantly, anticipate where they might be heading.

Smart digital channels with automated intelligent systems such as chat bots (virtual service agents) —Siri being the world’s most famous example—can enable and improve the quality of convenient, real-time customer interactions.

So where does the vital need for human interaction fit in? Figuring out complex patterns can be done by machines in the blink of an eye, but making sense of information and deriving “Ahha!” insights, at this point, are what we humans do best. Judging the tone and true purposes of customer communications, responding to queries, and taking the initiative in solving problems to win hearts and minds can only be done by skilled, trained staff. When all is said and done, people still want to talk or communicate with people when it comes to issues that are important to them, and finances are right up there on the pyramid of top concerns.

As part of the strategic move to automation, financial institutions will need to retrain and refocus more of their workforce to successfully handle person-to-person interactions and develop a better sense of customer empathy.

Let me know your thoughts on this subject, and stay tuned for my final financial services automation blog on training the workforce to successfully operate in a digital, customer-centric world.