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Banking in the Digital Age Part 1: Intelligent Automation

Steve Pemberton, Accenture’s financial services APAC head of banking | June 2, 2016
In a five-part series, Accenture looks at solutions for the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of banking.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The primary challenge facing banks is the threat of disintermediation by digital challengers. Bank executives polled in our 2016 Accenture Technology Vision for Banking survey listed banking as one of the top three industries, along with electronics and high-tech and automotive, that will face the most digital disruption within the next three years.

But banks could flip this disruption on its head, and become the disruptors themselves by increasing the use of intelligent automation.

There are a host of banking operations that are ideal for intelligent automation. High-volume, low value-added tasks could readily be standardised and performed by software applications. These services could be scaled up or down as needed. Through automation, banks speed up and off-load some of the more routine and repetitive tasks (such as qualifying loan applicants), and free executives to focus on higher-value functions that are helpful to customers.  

Intelligent automation in banks applies across functions. They can be used for banks' own operating issues, such as in payroll management and human resources work. For example, machines can analyse job applicant traits to predict which ones will leave and recommend retention strategies-insights that HR managers can use to personalise employee programs. 

And of course they can be used for highly-tailored customer service. Machines can quickly access and analyse big data to verify customer identity, understand problems and find solutions. The data can then be used by bank advisors to offer more personalised service - ranging from mortgage advice to insurance services to wealth management. 

Consider its potential use in wealth management: right now, robo-advice is only a fraction of the roughly $18 trillion wealth management market. Even though robo-advice to date has gained only a miniscule share of assets under management, it is a safe bet that use of the technique will increase, as it can reduce costs by as much as 70 per cent for some services.

No matter what business lines banks choose to use intelligent automation, the bottom line is that by shaping a highly productive relationship between people and machines, banks can create a more empowered workforce and better business outcomes.


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