How RPA is changing the financial services sector

Robotic process automation is enhancing the credit lending process by clearing backlogs, freeing up staff, and driving a better CX.

How RPA is changing the financial services sector

Of all industries taking action to accelerate automation initiatives, the financial services sector is leading the way. 95% of financial services companies (Bain IT buyer survey 2020) have embraced automation as a key tool for achieving new efficiencies, reducing overheads, and eliminating manual errors.

This has been especially vital for credit lenders in the past 12 months, with a global health crisis significantly impacting the economy and placing individuals under enormous financial strain.

The distress following COVID led to a massive influx of loan and deferment requests, with people unable to wait several weeks or months for a decision to be made.

Fortunately, some credit lenders were able to avoid backlogs and the ensuing panic due to robotic process automation.

As an increasing number of lenders turn to robotics to cut loan processing time, we take a look at the stages of the lending process and examine the value robotic process automation can provide…

Application processing

With all loan applications now completed digitally, RPA bots can remove the administrative burden of frontline staff who no longer need to manually input application information into company systems.

For example, working with intelligent capture technology, a bot can be used to extract data from a PDF and populate fields in the internal system so the application is ready for assessment.

This not only frees frontline staff and speeds up the application process, but also eliminates human error which can have costly consequences.

Loan approvals process

Robotic process automation eliminates many of the time consuming administrative tasks associated with loan processing.

This includes underwriting – a process typically requiring many man hours to consolidate data which is replete with manual errors and risk.

RPA is capable of collating data from many disparate sources and populating a document ready for underwriters to analyse it. This saves countless hours which reduces the time taken to approve or deny a loan, thereby clearing the backlog of loan applications and driving a better customer experience.

An AA-rated trade credit insurance company was struggling with the underwriting of credit limit requests, and discovered that the repetitive manual processing came at a high cost.

The company cut processing time by 50% and saved 440 man hours every month by deploying a bot to automatically collect, assemble and present data ready for underwriters to assess.

Loan contracts

The loan approvals and disbursement process is another highly manual area of the credit lending process which can see a huge return on investment from robotic process automation.

For example, an RPA bot can move at lightning speed through a confirmed approvals lists to check and distribute loan contracts.

When contracts are returned, a bot could be programmed to assess the validity of the documentation before confirming it is ready for disbursement and under what circumstances (i.e.: to a single account or multiple accounts).

Loan administration

The loan process doesn’t stop as soon as a loan is approved. Loan administration itself can be costly and time consuming, which affects the ongoing sustainability of the business.

Particularly in the past 12 months, requests for payment deferments have been astronomical as people have lost their jobs or closed their businesses.

RPA bots can help clear loan request backlogs by collating data such as:
   •  customer credit score
   •  length of time with the lender
   •  calculated level of risk

The bot then serves up this data to staff for fast decision making, and can even be engineered to red flag high risks so they are evaluated more closely.

Compliance

The finance industry is subject to an array of regulations which are constantly changing. In the lending space, companies must be able to prove due diligence in how they assess, and approve or deny, a loan – among other compliance obligations.

This can be even more complex for multinational lenders who need to meet different legislative requirements in different countries.

Robotic process automation reduces the guesswork and risk of loan assessments, while generating an auditable data trail to help prove compliance.

For example, a US-based loan servicing provider was required to classify loans correctly in order to receive Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac incentives. The process required the manual assessment of more than 10,000 loans every day which was wasting valuable staff time and leaving the company open to penalties.

A bot was deployed to classify loans against a series of rules which has saved the company thousands of man hours and resulted in a substantial reduction in risk.

Specialist lending

There are some instances where the lending process requires additional considerations, or an extra fast turnaround.

For example, supply chain financing often needs to be processed particularly quickly so businesses can secure goods within tight delivery time frames.

Robotic process automation can be configured within these environments to help credit lenders meet service-level agreements and customer expectations.

RPA-as-a-Service for credit lenders

A McKinsey study found RPA could potentially provide businesses with a 30 to 200% return on investment in the first year.

This means that the faster you can deploy robotic process automation, the faster you will see a return. For credit lenders, this also means clearing backlogs of loan processing activities struggling under the weight of recent events.

At Converga, our RPA-as-a-Service is designed to:
   •  help you identify the right processes for RPA
   •  develop and deploy rapidly (i.e.: in weeks rather than years)
   •  remove cost barriers to implementing RPA

Importantly, RPA-as-a-Service means you can scale as you add new processes – and progressively achieve an even higher return on investment.

Our RPA experts have extensive experience across a range of industries, and will work with you closely to design an RPA roadmap for success.

By getting started now, you can enjoy the advantages of reduced costs, seamless compliance, improved customer experience, and the freeing of your staff to focus on tasks that are exciting and add more value to the business.

To start a conversation on how robotic process automation can support your credit lending process, please contact us.