Process Automation: The Key to Business Continuity for Banks


The economy has entered a recession. But unlike the last major economic downturn, the cause did not originate with the finance industry itself due to poor regulation and debt defaults. The pandemic caused by Coronavirus has had a global impact, changing the way most organizations do business, sending shockwaves through the economy.

As a result, all banks and financial service providers are faced with the challenge of how to continue their business activities. Only banks that react quickly to changing market conditions and digitize business-relevant core processes can guarantee business continuity. Here’s how you can use process automation to shore up your operational resilience and sail through the storm.


Agility and operational resilience

At the moment, many are looking to the international standard ISO 22301 for business continuity management to help organizations identify and manage threats and take a proactive approach to minimizing the impacts of incidents.

In the US, the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) requires firms to create and maintain written business continuity plans relating to an emergency or significant business disruption.

These have been tested in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Only 12% of organizations are highly prepared for the impact of Coronavirus, according to Gartner’s recent Business Continuity Survey. The preparedness depends on their ability to adapt to the new normal and respond to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

A platform that allows you to make agile changes will be hugely beneficial in this new era of uncertainty. The ability to remodel and automate processes provides the resilience to adapt to disruptive events. You can model business processes for new (or even potential) scenarios and roll out new ways of working in a responsive manner. This could be a new process to add a layer of security when employees need to access systems remotely while working from home.


Re-thinking customer service

As countries around the world enforce lockdowns and people limit their time out in public, service providers across industries have had to rethink how they interact with their customers. While lots of banks have already embarked on digital transformation projects to moving their services online, many branches still provide core services for customers who prefer to carry out transactions and seek advice in-person.

Research from Samsung revealed that 77% of customers still seek out face-to-face interactions when dealing with complex financial matters, while Accenture revealed 80% of customers still chose in-branch as their preferred channel in 2017 when it came to lending, down just 7% from 2010.  

Banks and financial service providers need to respond and switch their in-branch customer service and facilities to online and mobile to provide an omnichannel experience. By taking a centralized approach to your business with a process automation platform that acts as an orchestrator, you can gain a holistic view of your operations and contextualize customer information. This allows you to react to each customer’s unique situation and work out how to serve them best.


Handling an increase in demand and pressure

In addition to adapting current processes, some organizations will also be seeing a strain on their resources as their processes support a substantially higher volume. Many banks and lenders are seeing this as customers request mortgage holidays and loan deferrals while they navigate through this difficult time.

Bizagi customer VKB Bank were faced with an increased number of credit instalment deferrals, jumping from around 150 requests a year to more than 100 per day. The spike in processes was draining the bank’s resources, as each request took 40 to 60 minutes to complete.

In just three weeks, they were able to design and implement a new process using Bizagi, which automated key steps in the process, supported by UiPath bots. This increased efficiency by 90%, so processing time was reduced down to just 4 to 6 minutes. This meant they could process more credit instalment deferrals without having to hire more staff, saving them time and money.

If you’d like more advice on how your organization can continue with effective business operations following COVID-19, download our 3-Step Guide to Business Continuity. You’ll find out how to design new processes for collaboration, reassess your risk management, and automate processes for greater efficiency.

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