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How RPA is Transforming the Financial Industry, Enhancing Its Security and the Customer Experience
July 8, 2021 News


Written by: Rogelio Legaspi, Journalist, AOPG

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a powerful tool in helping organisations turbocharge their digital transformation journeys. It speeds up business processes through automation, cuts operating costs and even improves employee productivity. Especially in the financial industry, RPA is revolutionising how businesses operate.

The technology itself has evolved dramatically to get where it is now. As Dan Ternes, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific, Blue Prism, explained in an interview with DTA, two main factors have significantly contributed to the growth and progression of RPA: technological advancement and the change of mindset of the industry.

“In the past, the robots were doing 100% of the work and humans do something else. Now, what we’re seeing is we’ve added this concept of keeping the human in the loop, essentially its workflow, so that humans and the digital workers can collaborate, opening up more use cases,” explained Dan.

With this widening of scope for RPA usage, the mindset of the industry has changed in terms of how they can make use of the technology even more. For example, RPAs are now running much more complex tasks, and processes that are at the core of the business.

Many reasons are behind such a change in the industry. For one, organisations have become more confident with RPA, especially for Financial Services Institutions (FSIs), where businesses are built on trust. In addition, FSIs are under pressure to come up with solutions that address consumer-centricity. RPA can provide this competitive differentiator and help companies respond to the market dynamics, said Dan.

Aside from this, RPAs also help accelerate digital transformation for businesses in the industry, especially for the enablement of the remote workforce. “It’s about widening the access to digitally transform. From a tactical perspective, we actually see quite a lot of customers who used RPA to open up remote access for their employees. You know, that would have taken them months to do but managed to do it in days or weeks,” Dan added.

RPAs can also be a tool to improve regulatory compliance. For example, Dan said that companies can restrict access to data and ensure that data does not go to the wrong people. RPAs also follow a predefined process, ensuring consistent compliance to the rules and the policies that are set. He added that for investigation, RPAs will know exactly what went wrong and when it happened, an absolute gold for regulated industries.

As for the customers’ end, RPAs allow organisations to solve customer-centric problems, which, for Dan, is sometimes not a high enough priority. “For example, sometimes ATM machines fail, right? I tried to withdraw money and I don’t get my money. Our customers deploy RPAs in monitoring all of these ATM transactions. They’re identifying any failed withdrawals, then proactively text messages to the customer within three minutes. Previously, it would take seven days to get your money back. Now, the robots have refunded within 10 minutes,” added Dan.

Blue Prism provides enterprise RPA software for organisations, especially in the financial industry. According to Dan, what makes Blue Prism unique is that they don’t change version to version. Meaning, the critical automation capabilities are always there without any fees, featuring a unique pricing model where everyone else is charging.

“Security is another one and this is something that represents a massive focus over the years. Companies will know who can run what automation, in what departments, who’s got access to this at a small level and company-wide,” said Dan. “We also do testing better than a lot of people.”

For Dan, RPA still has a long way to run because the applications companies need are also evolving. He added that RPAs are broadening their scope to be the only way that organisations can pragmatically offer digital transformation and offer hybrid work models to employees. “There’s just no way they’re going to be able to do it through other integration or automation techniques,” Dan ended.