BPA is a business practice that automates everyday processes to save time and money. Once you understand the basics of BPA, you’ll be inspired to explore your business processes and see if there are areas where you can cut down on costs and improve operations.

If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know that automated processes are essential for any business to function effectively. In today’s fast-paced world, businesses need to be able to keep up with demand from customers, suppliers, and other companies at all times. 

Since every company is different, there isn’t one right answer when it comes to automating processes. However, there are many ways that banks can implement BPA in their everyday operations so that they can focus on doing what they do best—serving their customers best!

What is BPA?

Business process automation (BPA) is a set of tools, methodologies, and techniques that can help companies develop more efficient, reliable, and profitable operations. Automation is the process of replacing or automating manual, tedious, or fragmented processes with fewer or more automated ones. 

Automation can be used to reduce costs, improve upon the current operation, or create a new process entirely. The idea is that when you automate a process, you can ensure that every aspect of that process runs as efficiently as possible, while still keeping the correct information current and the workflow moving smoothly.

Business Process Automation in Banking

Automation is a big part of BPA in the banking industry. Automating processes in a bank can help save time and money on every level. The first step toward automating a process is to identify the process as a top-priority process. 

This means that the process has high importance for the company as a whole—it’s the lifeblood of the business. Once you’ve identified the top-priority process, the next step is to look for ways to reduce the number of manual steps involved with that process. If possible, reduce the number of manual steps as much as possible.

Banks can use automation to their advantage as well, especially in areas where there are high levels of demand and where manual procedures would be time-consuming or inefficient. 

For example, automated teller machines (ATMs) mean that a customer can just walk into the bank and get their money without having to take the time to scan their identification, fill out a money order, drive to the location, and wait for their cash to arrive in the ATM.

The next sections will tackle this more comprehensively.

Automating Banking Processes

Core Banking Functions

Banks could also use BPA to automate their core banking functions. For example, a bank’s core banking functions could be automated to the point where a teller could just draw money out of a deposit box and dispense it to a customer’s order. 

Since each department within a bank works on a separate computer system, data is sent and received between departments without any duplication. This means that data is easily accessible and traceable from one department to the next.

Automation Of Customer Onboarding

One great way to start automating the customer experience is by implementing BPA at the point of sale. With this method, the customer journey could start with Questionnaires being used to gather information about the customers’ needs and problems. 

This could then lead to a survey response drive that could lead to the development of new features or the addition of new products. Once the new features or products are developed, they would need to be implemented throughout the company.

Credit And Debit Card Processing

Credit and debit card processing could also be automated with a BPA-based system. In this case, each step of the processing could be automated from start to finish. For example, if a customer makes a debit card transaction, the machine would debit the customer’s account and then debit the bank. 

Once the bank account is credited, the customer could be free to make another transaction without having to wait in line or take a chance that the machine will have problems reading the card and sending the money. 

The BPA system could also be used to manage the back-office functions that are necessary for managing the daily operations of a bank—such as employee payroll, benefits administration, and employee scheduling. This means that the company could eliminate a lot of manual labor and risks from within the company if it wants to.

Automation of Lending Processing

Lenders will often process thousands of loan applications every single day. However, with a BPA-based system in place, this could be automated to the point where only a handful of employees are needed to manage the process. 

Once the loan application process is automated, the next step would be for the Lenders to automate the approval process. With a BPA-based system, the approval workflow could be as simple as entering a few codes into a machine and approving or disapproving the loan decision. 

Compliance and Risk Reporting

Lastly, compliance and risk management could also be automated with a BPA-based system. These departments are often connected to the core banking platform via a network or the internet. With a BPA system, the core banking platform could be connected to a remote system so that it could be further automated. 

For example, if the core banking system was connected to an ERP/MRP system, then there would be no need for a separate team for risk management since the information would be easily accessible in one place.

How to Achieve Bank Automation Success

The most important thing you can do to improve the efficiency of your processes is to clearly understand the processes in place and how they work. Make sure that everything is organized and that the information you need is easily accessible. 

Make sure that the people who need to operate your processes have the information they need and that they know where it’s located. Another important thing to keep in mind is to document your processes so that you can identify any problems and come up with potential solutions. 

To avoid reinventing the wheel, it’s best to use existing technologies and tools. You can find documentation, tools, and any other information you need in the resources provided here.

Adding Value Through Customer Service

As you can see, automated processes are an essential part of any business’s success. They’re the foundation of any business’s survival. But that doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t use manual processes where possible. 

Customer service is the backbone of any business. It’s what keeps every operation in the bank running smoothly and it’s what keeps customers coming back for more. As you’ve probably already realized from the examples above, customer service can be difficult to automate. 

This is because each customer service interaction is unique. You may not know how to handle a certain situation for different customers or in a certain way. As such, you need to be crafty when it comes to adding value through customer service. You need to make sure that every interaction you have with a customer feels human and is quick, but deeply meaningful.

Bottom line

As you’ve probably realized from the list of examples above, adding value can be difficult, especially in areas where there isn’t much demand and/or competition. Banks can add value through sales and marketing activities, for example, or by processing more complex and time-consuming activities, like filing certain paperwork, that customers may not value as much as quick, simple tasks.

Banks that go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service are rewarded with higher customer retention rates and more referrals. As such, banks need to ensure that each customer interaction feels human and is quick, but deeply meaningful. 

Automation is a great thing because it frees up time for things like actually doing the work that needs to be done. However, when done the right way, automated processes will still feel slow, steady, and human.

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