How Retail Banks Can Use Automation to Excel in 2022


The last 24 months have put banks to the test. The need to adapt overnight to a work-from-home model, respond to increasingly sophisticated security threats and meet customer demand for seamless and efficient digital experiences created a real pressure cooker.

Now, banks are ready to look ahead and consider how technology – and specifically, automation – can help them improve efficiency, resilience and agility.

Banks are investing in three main areas of automation as they prepare for the new year.

Automated process discovery

Process discovery identifies the smallest of details involved in a process and documents exactly how humans execute it. It’s an end-to-end review that scrutinizes the entirety of the process to understand what’s happening and its effect on the bank. Not scrutinizing the entire process can result in over-documentation and inefficient work.

Automating process discovery not only allows banks to see how they are truly operating, it also helps save considerable resources that can be invested in improving customer experience. By using tools for mining processes, tasks and even communications, banks can detect inefficiencies in their workflow and identify trends in customer behavior.

Watch a short video explaining automated process discovery here.

Reviewing processes manually is time-consuming, prone to error and difficult, especially under remote working conditions. Multiple people are involved in manual process discovery. By automating process discovery, companies can divert resources toward more valuable goals.

Moving from RPA to intelligent automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) automates repetitive, mundane tasks that are part of larger processes found in customer onboarding, loan application management, anti-money laundering efforts and detecting fraud. But to get the real return on their investment in RPA, banks need to pair it with intelligent automation.

Banks are increasingly investing in intelligent automation to support their RPA efforts, but the automation market is constantly changing and it can be a challenge to know which provider or partner is the right fit. It’s best to focus on automating areas that will have the most impact. Start with the technology that addresses specific business challenges – and try not to change too much at once.

Monitoring the health of business processes

The rapid pace of change in banking and the need to constantly evolve to compete with digital-first enterprises can leave a traditional bank’s processes in disarray. The efficiency and health of the processes must be continually monitored. This is where process intelligence comes in.

Process intelligence can span manual and digital processes along with on-site and remote activity to monitor issues and reveal opportunities for improvement.

For banks to get the return on their automation investment, leaders must first understand their processes. This requires monitoring over an extended period of time. Establishing an ongoing process health routine will give banks the data they need to create more accurate predictions and budgets.

To meet customer demands – which all banks today must do – they must be agile and adaptive. Automating the right processes allows banks to create a strong, stable and consistent workflow that will allow them to move confidently toward the new future of banking.

ISG helps companies navigate a rapidly evolving automation market and overcome the obstacles to scaling intelligent automation. Listen to my recent podcast on this subject here. And contact us to find out more.


About the author

Wayne Butterfield

Wayne Butterfield

Wayne is an automation pioneer, initially starting out as an early adopter of RPA in 2010, creating one of the first Enterprise scale RPA operations. His early setbacks at Telefonica UK, led to many of the best practices now instilled across RPA centres of excellence around the globe. Customer centric at heart, Wayne also specialises in Customer Service Transformation, and has been helping brands in becoming more Digitally focused for their customers. Wayne is an expert in Online Chat, Social Media and Online Communities, meaning he is perfectly placed to help take advantage of Chat Bots & Virtual Assistants. More recently Wayne has concentrate on Cognitive & AI automation, where he leads the European AI Automation practice, helping brands take advantage of this new wave of automation capability.