Every two weeks, we’ll ask our experts to share their opinions on hot topics in fintech. This week, Daniel Sevskis discusses the possibilities of robotic process automation.
Robotic process automation has dominated fintech headlines in the past week. If you’re concerned that robots will steal your job, let me assure you. They won’t. At least, not yet. What they will do in the near future, however, is transform your daily routine.
What do I mean?
Let’s begin by defining robotic process automation (RPA).
“RPA is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define a set of instructions for a robot or ‘bot’ to perform.”
Aaron Bultman, Nintex
Robotic process automation is exactly what it says on the tin: the automation of manual processes with the help of robots. In an increasingly data-driven world, RPA can manage large information sets with speed and accuracy.
Robotic Process Automation as a Solution to the Forthcoming Skills Shortage
Forbes contributor Jon Theuerkauf understands the “fear around the possibility of artificial intelligence (AI) replacing human workers”. However, he believes that a business with a “digital workforce in place has the potential to reskill its human workforce in a more efficient and effective way.”
In Theuerkauf’s view, the introduction of RPA is inevitable. If companies don’t “incorporate automation into their long-term strategies”, they “may fall behind”. He points to the mass exodus of the baby boomer generation into retirement as evidence. The very foundation of the workplace is undergoing a cardinal shift.
The Battle of Cost Versus Value
The eternal battle of price against value rages on. Fortune argues that motivation is the deciding factor. A recent article asks whether RPA is introduced “with an eye toward saving labour costs, rather than creating new value for customers”.
Even if we subscribe to Theuerkauf’s view that the “strategic benefits of building a multiskilled, multitalented digital workforce” is “to augment the human workforce”, it’s important to understand the challenges. Robotic automation works well to ease pressure on human workers undertaking repetitive tasks, but what happens when robots break?
Enterprises Project warns that, “if you start putting [robots] in charge of mission-critical tasks, they could break your business”. Businesses must “[plan] for bot maintenance as well as bot development”.
Robotic Process Automation in Risk Management
An area in which robotic process automation is gaining traction is compliance, security, and antifraud.
I work closely with my digital colleague to identify suspicious payment transactions. At ECOMMPAY, we’re of the opinion that automation and AI greatly enhance our work, but manual monitoring ensures a comprehensive security coverage.
RPA saves time and money for fintech market players, offering clients tangible benefits.
“RegTech solutions integrated with automation technologies such as RPA have been shown to deliver savings of up to 75% for carrying out internal processes for companies in the financial sector.”