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Which Retail Banking Processes Should You Prioritize for Automation?

Which Retail Banking Processes Should You Prioritize for Automation?

Pedro Araez 668 15-Dec-2021
The digital revolution is at full speed in the financial industry, and many of the leading institutions in the retail banking sector are in the process of upgrading their legacy systems to digital ones—if they haven’t done so already. By shifting to digital technologies and accessing advanced automation capabilities, these financial organizations will be able to make their processes more efficient and cost-effective, all while adequately meeting the changing needs of their clients and the compliance rules set by regulatory bodies, among other benefits.

Digitalization and automation, however, come with their own costs, and not all retail banking organizations can immediately upgrade their core banking software so that they can make use of cutting-edge technological tools. Even large banks need to come up with a digitalization and automation program to ensure that they can sustain the acquisition and use of these technologies and that their staff members can adequately adapt to the changes in their processes that these new solutions will bring about.

If your retail bank is on the verge of embracing the digital revolution, then it’s a good idea to start thinking of the processes and components that you want to prioritize for automation. Because these initial choices will help convince the rest of your organization of the necessity of digital technology, you should choose processes that have a high impact rate of success when coupled with automation. It’s also a smart move to consider processes that can be automated independent of other systems and those that can provide a lasting impact on your organization and the people that your retail bank serves. These can include the following:

Account Opening
Opening a retail banking account can be a drawn-out process for many customers. Banks that still manually process applications go through a lot of hoops in order to clear their prospective clients and give them access to financial services and products. Automating account openings can simplify the entire process for banks and customers alike. Banks can use their mobile and digital banking platforms to accept applications, and prospective customers can simply submit the necessary documentation online. From here, the automated system can take over and compile all pertinent information about the customer from third-party sources, run their file through the bank’s know your customer (KYC) or customer due diligence (CDD) program, create a record and an account for the customer, and send them a pre-embossed card—all accomplished with as little human intervention as needed.

Customer Service
In the age of digital banking, customer service enables retail banks to connect with their clients on a personal level. However, many customers find it difficult to reach bank representatives at times due to the fluctuating numbers of calls and concerns that customer service teams have to respond to. The good news is that retail banks can automate customer service through the use of artificial intelligence. The system can process more calls and forward the pertinent information to the customer service team, who can then focus on resolving the issues. The swift response of the retail bank can provide better customer experience and foster loyalty among the bank’s clients.

Market Analysis
The use of automation in market analysis can significantly speed up the development of marketing campaigns. Market analysts can count on automated processes to collect information from bank customers, find the exact set of data that they need, and even test the campaigns that they are planning. The assistance of automation in the field of market analysis, then, can shorten the time marketing professionals need to come up with effective campaigns that have high chances of succeeding.

AML and Fraud Prevention
Automating your anti-money laundering and fraud prevention processes can curb the ballooning cost of compliance and help ensure that your retail bank will not fall victim to financial crimes. KYC and CDD solutions can be automated to prioritize customers and transactions according to the risk they pose to the financial institution and escalate cases that will require a more thorough investigation. The AML staff can take over these complex cases and investigate them one by one. At the same time, AML solutions equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities can be ‘trained’ to detect these more complicated cases in the future, thus strengthening the bank’s protection against new modes of financial criminal activities.

Compliance and Reporting
On a related note, the use of automated workflows can help ensure that your retail bank is able to achieve end-to-end compliance. Should regulatory bodies update their guidelines, your bank can easily tweak your workflows to reflect these changes, reducing the need for you to hire additional or highly specialized compliance personnel. And because your workflows follow a predictable route, you can simply extract the data for your internal and external reports from specific points in the process, or you can fully automate your reporting functions and simply go over the completed document prior to submitting them.
Shifting from manual processes to digital systems is a significant move for any financial organization, and it’s an endeavor that should be approached with proper planning and prioritization. Consider the following processes for automation in your own financial establishment and find out how doing so can help your bank keep up with the competition.

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