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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ball

Banking’s New Era: The Power of Automation in Modern Financial Operations

Guest Editorial by Michael Ball, EVP, Kinective

 

“To err is human.”

-        Alexander Pope

 

Banking processes have been built around human operations and processes. We see it with reconciling at the end of the day, processing loans, signature ceremonies, the list can go on and on. 


Michael Ball

But as Alexander Pope’s quote suggests, human processes are riddled with errors. No matter how hard we try, or how well we hire, humans can (and will) make mistakes. Simply put, manual tasks lead to significant challenges for FIs, including reduced productivity, less-than-optimal customer service, and increased operational costs.

 

Today, automation plays a transformative role in modern banking operations. From decreasing loan origination and closing process times to maximizing FTE hours, credit unions are turning to automation to improve their manual processes and drive new efficiencies.

 

Here’s where manual tasks and operational processes could be hurting you

Manual methods, while familiar, are fraught with inefficiencies and errors, leading to significant challenges and risks for financial institutions (Fis). The primary impact of these manual processes is felt in diminished productivity, as staff spend considerable time on routine tasks that could be automated. This not only slows down service delivery but also increases operational costs.

 

Compliance: As we all know, the banking sector is heavily regulated, and becoming more heavily scrutinized by the minute it seems. Manual compliance processes are time-consuming, and they are also prone to errors — risking hefty fines and reputational damage.

 

Experience: Today's consumers expect quick and seamless service. Delays and inaccuracies from manual processes can lead to dissatisfaction and ultimately, customer attrition.

 

Scalability: Traditional banking processes struggle to meet growing customer demands or adapt to peak periods. This inability to scale efficiently can hinder an FIs growth and responsiveness in a competitive market, underscoring the need for transformative approaches to banking process management.

 

Harnessing the benefits of Workflow Automation

Automation can completely transform the way an FI operates. From increasing efficiencies to cutting costs, here are some of the ways we’ve seen teams benefit almost immediately after replacing manual processes.

 

Increased Efficiency: Automation streamlines processes, reducing the time required for transaction processing, account openings, and customer service inquiries. This acceleration in service delivery allows employees to focus on strategic tasks requiring human intelligence and creativity.

 

Reduced Costs: By reducing reliance on manual labor for repetitive tasks, automation lowers operational costs. It also minimizes errors that could lead to costly regulatory fines. Over time, these savings can be substantial, allowing FIs to allocate resources to growth and innovation.

 

Enhanced Member Satisfaction: With back-office processes running smoothly, members experience faster service times, fewer errors, and more personalized banking services. Automation also enables 24/7 service capabilities, improving accessibility and convenience.

 

Streamlined Compliance Efforts: Automated workflows are designed to adhere to regulatory standards automatically, reducing the risk of human error. Automation provides a clear audit trail, simplifying reporting and monitoring for compliance purposes. This protects the FI from potential fines and legal issues, strengthening trust with both customers and regulators.


Implementing Automations

Like any technology adoption, there are intricacies involved with shifting your workflows from manual to automated, including integration complexities, employee adoption, and desired process flows. These considerations require a strategic approach, focusing on seamless technology integration, comprehensive training programs for staff, and a clear understanding of the investment’s long-term ROI.  


So, while Alexander Pope may have said “to err is human,” I would like to suggest an alternative: “To automate is divine.”

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