It is easy to envision science fiction when discussing the increasing prevalence of automation in the Financial Services Sector and several other workplaces. As more industries are disrupted and technology penetrates all corners of society, these stories, which felt far off in the distance, are becoming less and less far-fetched.
Just think, for instance, the majority of banks are using bots – sets of smaller programs that have specific functions – to scan loan documents, spot inconsistencies in numbers or formatting, and automatically correct them. These tasks can be performed in seconds compared to the time it would take a human to complete the same task. This speeds up the approval process, frees up employees for other duties, and even helps the company’s bottom line.
Gartner’s research reported that the excitement does not end there in mature economies. Provided that the push to integrate multiple technologies continues,
Automation could boost corporate rates of profitability by 38 percent by 2035 and expects by 2025, 40% of physical experience-based businesses will improve financial results and outperform competitors by virtual experience.
Automation in Financial Services Sector
The race is now on to improve the customer experience by creating new digital processes that optimize services, data, AI, cloud services, and the internet of things (IoT) that will provide the foundation for emerging digital technologies that organizations need to maintain for competitive advantage.
The primary trends within the financial industry show 3 notable automation:
#1) Voice-Activated Assistants
At the moment, Alexa, the artificial persona built into Amazon’s interactive voice-powered Echo device, is considered more of a necessity. It can put on the music of your choice, search the Internet to answer your most pressing and obscure questions, or start an appliance. Even tell jokes. Likewise, Alexa would be happy to order anything you want from Amazon.com.
Many similar personas are found in smartphones like Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant. They offer identical voice-dependent features, from restaurant recommendations to traffic navigation.
As more and more people familiarize themselves with these voice-activated assistants, other industries will begin to adopt them, and we are seeing several examples in the financial sector.
Voice-activated programs are used to save time searching for customer information in a database or through piles of documents. Some banks and investment firms are connecting their technology to Alexa, where customers can inquire about their account balances, make payments, place orders, or ask for customer service to help them.
#2) Customer Service Bots
Many financial institutions have implemented automated chatbots, which are programs that can offer limited text conversations with users. They can ask customers what they need help with, provide essential solutions from prepared answers, collect necessary information, and seamlessly put customers in touch with the right people according to the customer’s issue.
Additionally, automated phone programs could also provide customer information and history to each agent, right when a customer calls, rather than requiring them to spend valuable time searching for the information when a call is initiated or asking a customer to provide that data.
While the human touch is still needed to some degree in automated call centers, it is not always required in online chats.
Chatbots are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so customers can get answers to their questions as soon as possible. Additionally, chatbots can hold multiple conversations at once and do not have to be paid.
With an abundance of data already at your fingertips and methodical, established processes within your business, chatbots have the potential to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks across several departments. This year alone research showed 56 % of banks and credit Unions have moved into digital transformation with chatbots as a part of their data management strategy.
#3) Due Diligence AI
Rather than pushing employees to reach impossibly high levels of production, some companies are exploring avenues of machine learning to look for faster alternatives. A big part of AI is to help companies improve their processes, especially in conditions where even the fastest human can only go that fast for a specified period.
The reviewing process is especially critical: the program searches for errors in formatting, such as incorrect numbers, wrong data, or formatting problems that could be caused by humans in the creation process.
After “Due Diligence” AI was initiated, a bank reported that the system was able to run through 12,000 documents in seconds. Not only did it reduce errors, but it saved 360,000 employee hours each year who typically had to work on these documents.
What does the Future Look Like?
Overall, advances in automation have all sorts of potential to help financial services companies see more efficiency and possibly increase their bottom line.
While AI, chatbots, and voice-assisted systems will be able to take the burden off overworked employees, some complex problems still benefit from human involvement.
But companies do need to keep some challenges in mind for the IT teams over the next two to three years, such as how to integrate new technologies and reliably manage big data across disparate environments.
“ Organizations have a tremendous amount of ‘collective’ debt….the cause is an extensive and expensive set of business processes underpinned by a patchwork of technologies that are often not optimized, lean, connected, consistent or explicit.”
– Gartner, Top Strategic Technology Trends 2021
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