While the banking industry is excited about the transformational effects of AI and blockchain there are bigger and faster gains to be had now with far less investment. Innovative fintech firms are already providing huge gains in workflow efficiency by eliminating manual processes in the back office.
Historically, only the alpha producers had access to the latest technology in order for them to keep a competitive edge. However, this hasn’t always been the case in the back office of a bank. Operations have often been starved of technology and instead have relied on legacy systems and architecture with the de-facto fallback to emails and spreadsheets to support their processes. A typical bank operations department may send hundreds of thousands if not millions of emails each day. Any improvement in this workflow can add up to a significant cost saving at scale.
Automation in Operations – Human or machine?
Operations are the lifeblood of a bank and vital to how a bank functions. Their job is to ensure seamless transactions, payments and settlements to reduce any risks the bank could be exposed to through discrepancies, outtrades, or losses.
With the huge amounts of data that are generated and consumed end-to-end, fully-automated straight-through processes are the ideal state. However, automation is not always possible.
At a strategic level, banks need to decide the appropriate level of process automation for the task at hand. Fintech firms such as Duco can fully automate and significantly increase the speed of processing and reconciling large amounts of trade data. However, the exceptions process often requires complex human interactions across different sets of data, applications and databases and multiple communication platforms (chat, email, phone).
These human interactions cannot be automated and are slow, manual and costly, which results in:
- Overly complicated error-prone workflows
- Lack of integration because of legacy systems
- Communication challenges with offshore operations departments
- Lack of visibility
Improving workflow efficiency
Fintech firms are providing unique and elegant solutions to these interactions around data. The fintech ecosystem has accelerated the unbundling of Bloomberg which has affected both the front and back office. Operations departments now have access to workflow applications such as Symphony and ipushpull which, when used together, eliminate email and file sharing and provide a unique way of collaborating and approving data. Fintech’s use of API-first technologies means there is no need for banks to rewrite or replace legacy systems and architecture. Instead, fintechs provide interconnectivity between applications and interoperability of data reducing the manual or double entry of data by connecting data across spreadsheets, databases and internal or third-party systems.
Fintechs are improving back office efficiency allowing cost savings by integrating existing and future workflows without a large investment, automating processes, and making human processes more efficient.
To learn more about how ipushpull is being used to eliminate emails and file sharing and streamline processes with real-time approvals and alerts, please go to www.ipushpull.com.