The advent of automation as a part of business processes has seen a direct spike in the effectiveness and efficiency of firms in all sectors. The story of the finance sector with automation playing a huge part in how the face of the finance industry has changed. The biggest change can be observed in retail banking. Banks are developing new products and customizing existing offers by integrating automation in their array of services.

The rise in the number of fin-tech startups are proof of how the finance sector has realized the need for automation and embraced it to present customers a new way of operating in the field of finance.

Retail Banking, for instance, has introduced the concept of ChatBots, which are a way of improving their customer service.

But automation can also be used for more than straightforward customer management for instance, this technology has the capability to unlock value across a range of business functions. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be especially useful in transforming complex and time-consuming back-office processes, which allows companies to assign employees projects that add more value.

RPA transformation has three main steps which are necessary for a successful transformation.

The first one is ‘Strategic Fit’ which simply means that RPA must be strategically appropriate for the company. It needs to be understood that automation should be viewed not as a process but as a strategic capability that helps to increase business value. This re-engineering will be key to increasing the impact of automation and maximizing ROI, and it is imperative to perform all the necessary due diligence.

The next step is ‘Buy In’ which basically means that needs to be buy-in for transformation and automation from the C-suite for RPA to be a success. Adoption of the process may often require training and a thorough analysis of the potential benefits to the business. Lack of internal support at a senior level can be one of the major stumbling blocks to implementation.

Lastly, the final step is ‘Engagement’ which means that to avoid potential opposition, it would benefit automation adopters to divert their focus onto IT engagement from the get-go. Inculcating the IT function at the beginning of the automation journey would go a long way in charting out a roadmap for further transmission and also take preventive measures against any roadblocks.

Automation is no small undertaking and businesses have much to gain by integrating RPA, wherever appropriate and allowing banking services to strategically use technology and drive finance forward.