In most instances employees want to continuously improve on their goals, targets and achievements. "Do more" is high up on their agenda, but crippling manual activities, reams of documents, external validations, etc. tie them down. It is not unusual to see client relationship officers in a bank or an insurance organization spend endless hours going over documents to assess risk and meet compliance norms before sanctioning a loan or underwriting a policy. An increasing number of banking and finance organizations now have the opportunity to streamline these repetitive processes and improve operational efficiency by leveraging cognitive process automation (CPA) technology.
CPA uses OCR, algorithms, business rules, Artificial Intelligence (AI), ontologies and semantic associations to scan, analyze, organize, contextualize and interpret documents. In other words, CPA executes a number of complex processes, thereby allowing humans to go back to acting like humans.
Organizations need to bring 7 strategies into play to ensure their CPA initiatives deliver on the promise the technology offers. These strategies are the outcome of a study conducted by consultants at a financial services organization:
- Identify special situations: Make employees more effective by providing them access to contextual information. For example, system alerts on politically exposed persons or duplicate card requests etc., would allow employees to redirect these requests to appropriate channels.
- Enable Flexibility: Provide employees with detailed guidelines but keep processes ultra-flexible. This allows employees to get a second opinion from legal and other domain experts before processing a contract.
- Enrich business processes with intelligence: Provide employees with enriched customer data on their systems. For example, an employee processing a loan request would be able to spark new offers and sell additional investment products if the data also showed that the loan applicant was generating increasing income from other accounts.
- Provide contextual intelligence: Employees are handicapped by the lack of contextual information. They are forced to log into multiple systems/screens for customer information. Include rich contextual information about customers such as spend patterns, sentiment, credit risk analysis etc., within the workflow so that employees can identify opportunities to serve customers better as well as generate incremental revenue.
- Enable visualization of intelligence: Existing workflows demand that a large number of tasks be performed manually. For example, corporate lending analysts use annual reports to manually calculate liquidity ratios, valuation ratios and profitability. Use CPA to automatically extract and deliver data in the form of visual trend graphs for quick decision making. Additionally, integrate data from multiple screens, allowing analysts to explore the information on a single screen thus improving productivity and decision making.
- Develop predictive capabilities: Workflows must be designed to predict transactions that could go rogue in the future. The study found that a third of the cases were reverted back to the original analyst after a 4 eye risk and compliance check. These cases could have resulted in regulatory penalties. CPA can reduce the manual burden by automatically matching patterns against historical cases where penalty was paid and alert analysts to perform further checks.
- Build historical customer insight: Provide visual dashboards for customer history. These help analysts increase customer wallet share by cross selling services and products such as wealth management and insurance.
The study concluded that many financial organizations were already working to enhance their workflows. But those opting for CPA could introduce several additional magnitudes of improvement. These results could get a further boost through "learn and adapt" methods enabled by advanced Machine Learning technologies.