How RPA is automating the financial industry
Over two centuries ago, machines powered the first industrial revolution and increased productivity levels. Now, machines are mimicking humans, and in many cases, they are taking our place in doing simple and complex task, freeing our time to do more valuable work – while increasing productivity all the more.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the automation of basic tasks by software robots or bots, such as completing forms online and recording data automatically, without human interference – a monumental feat to productivity.
With artificial intelligence and machine learning, these bots can go as far as responding to emails and messaging inquiries by customers without error, and the technology has already been introduced in some of the largest banks and companies in the UAE – reducing costs to a major extent. CRM software, for example, can help fintech companies, such as Investera, manage client data and external interactions during the client lifecycle.
Ripple effect of RPA
According to research conducted by the global professional services company Accenture, procurement organizations that deployed RPA have experienced 40-60% of productivity gain, a 65% reduction in operating costs, as well as a 43% increase in staff satisfaction. 
For procurement organizations and the financial industry, AI-driven cognitive computing machines will be the next step in task automation, as these machines will be able to undertake complex tasks and strategic activities such as supplier selection by extracting data from text, images, or audio. 
In fact, RPA may revolutionize much of the workforce as we know it. Many companies, often in the USA, opt to offshoring in order to cut costs; however, with RPA, offshoring may become obsolete, so much so that Michael Henry, KPMG advisory principal, believes “RPA means the end of offshoring as we know it.”
Employing cognitive technologies – from natural language processing and speech recognition to machine learning – into RPA are allowing bots to do judgment-based tasks. As offshoring becomes more costly and challenges arise in retaining employees abroad, deploying RPA becomes a more attractive option for companies seeking to maximize production.
More case studies on RPA
As per a 2016 report by KMPG, RPA cuts costs by 75% for financial services.  According to another report, one large bank deployed software robots to handle up to 1.5 million requests annually. With the help of these bots, the bank only spent 30% for tasks that would have costed an equivalent of 230 full-time employees. In addition to cutting down on costs, the bank also reduced human error by 27%. 
RPA can also increase customer satisfaction as their concerns are met on the spot. According to the same report by Deloitte, a transportation company deployed RPA within its email system; soon as a customer emails the company with a complaint, key information in the email is recognized. The bots responded to customers’ emails and even issued refunds in some cases, automating the entire process, and ultimately reducing manual labor involved and daily processing time by 85%.
All in all, companies globally are now shifting to bots for high-volume processes, in efforts to reduce human error, cut costs, increase efficiency and customer satisfaction. RPA tracks every step of its operational processes, works 24/7, and ultimately improves employee satisfaction by taking care of manual, repetitive tasks freeing up employees to do more value-driven tasks – satisfying everyone involved in RPA-related processes, from upper-level management to staff and customers!
If you are interested in the way emerging technologies are transforming finance, find out how fintech is reshaping banks here.