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Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

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/   Insights

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Fast Facts: Student Loans

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/   Insights

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/   Spotlight

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/   Insights

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/   Insights

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/   Spotlight

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/   Insights

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What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

The days when financial institutions could deliver services based on their own corporate agendas are long gone. Banking in the 21st century has put the customer in the driver’s seat. Increased competition, stringent regulations and the sheer abundance of choices mean it’s now “all about the customer” and established banks are finally working with fintech organizations to tackle this digital disruption challenge. Personalization is at the forefront of this movement. For banks to deliver a truly personalized customer experience, they must first abandon their “inside-out” approach and gain a better understanding of how customers consume services and how to deliver across multiple platforms.

What’s the holdup?

When it comes to personalization, banks are seriously lagging behind. E-commerce sites have provided a personalized customer experience for years, presenting offers based on customer preferences (not what the retailer prefers to sell). In one click, the transaction is completed and the data collected from the transaction is used to further segment customer preferences. A win-win.

As technology advances, so do customer expectations for a fast and seamless experience with their bank. The gap between systems of engagement (the point of customer interaction, i.e., the bank’s website, email, mobile apps) and systems of record (the bank’s line of business systems, i.e., core banking system, CRM, BPM/workflow) is perhaps the greatest barrier to delivering a standout customer engagement experience. Further, established banks struggle to create an omnichannel experience that takes advantage of front and back office synergies.

Pick up the pace

In recent years, financial institutions have primarily focused on customer-facing, front-end systems such as the bank’s website, customer portals and mobile apps. These newer tools empower customers to carry out everyday banking tasks wherever and whenever they wish. A boon for the industry but not necessarily the Holy Grail when it comes to creating an exceptional customer experience. It’s the less-glamorous back office that provides the ability to transform “straight-through processing” of transactions, those in which workers perform manual repetitive tasks like updating multiple systems.

Robotic Process Automation or RPA is the emerging technology embraced by both IT and business groups within enterprise organizations. The Institute for Robotic Process Automation defines RPA as “the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.”

RPA software robots essentially mimic how a worker would interact with various systems to collect, retrieve and deliver information. These could include websites, portals, modern applications, legacy systems, and even desktop tools like Microsoft Excel. RPA sits on top of existing technology. It complements an organization’s legacy systems, increasing their functionality without disrupting the day-to-day business operations or creating the need for major transformational projects which could cost millions and take years to complete.

When you think about it, core retail banking is all about repeatable actions and processes, so RPA is a natural fit in facilitating the connection between both environments which allows the back office to “catch up” to front office processes.

Automate for a better bottom line

According to industry experts, human interaction accounts for two to five errors per 100 tasks. With the implementation of RPA, banks can experience productivity gains of 25-50% compounded across thousands of transactions, enabling greater agility. An RPA solution will streamline operations, reducing manual labor overhead, increasing data quality and improving compliance and standardization.

Banks built for the future are counting on the speed, accuracy and efficiency afforded by RPA to create a competitive advantage that capitalizes on personalization and improving the customer experience.


About Darren Collins: Darren Collins, Director of Industry Solutions at Kofax from Lexmark, provides global financial services organizations with strategies that map technical solutions to key business problems. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry where he has enabled organizations to increase their responsiveness to customers, provide better customer service and gain a competitive edge.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp