Can robotics revolutionise financial services?
Robotics represent a great opportunity for the financial services industry, offering a way to automate and regulate processes as well as deliver exceptional and compliant customer service. But they’re not always a silver bullet for your proposition and must be approached properly, says FNZ’s Matthew Ferman.
Getting it right for customers, regulators and the bottom line is increasingly tough for financial institutions. With increasing customer expectations, growing regulatory pressures and the ever-present profitability challenge, could robotics be the way to overcome these challenges and grow your business?
What is robotics?
Simply put, robotics is a way of automating basic client interactions and back office processes. Scalable, reliable and compliant, you’ll have already dealt with robotics in your daily life – from the announcement that your credit card statement has arrived to confirmation that your portfolio transfer is complete.
So far so straightforward – but robotics can go further than simple automation by using sophisticated algorithms and software to mimic human interaction and to interpret large sets of data. Growing areas like robo-advice and AI-driven data analytics see customers interacting directly with robots to manage their portfolio and make investment decisions based on sophisticated analytical insights, helping to close the advice gap in a consistent, compliance-friendly way.
Robotics can simplify both the front and back office, reducing cost and risk while improving client service and compliance. Robo servicing can also create best practice processes that are free from human error, freeing up your highly trained employees to add value where it counts.
It’s also worth remembering that the new generation of clients are increasingly comfortable with digital interaction – some even prefer it as a service method. And finally, one of the real opportunities of robotic solutions is that by nature they are agile and scalable, so it’s easy to adapt as customer needs, services and processes change. Find out more about our approach to robotics.
One of the real opportunities of robotic solutions is that by nature they are agile and scalable, so it’s easy to adapt as customer needs, services and processes change.
Yet robotics isn’t a silver bullet for your proposition. It’s essential to do some ground work before even approaching a robotics solution. Begin by challenging your offering from end-to-end, assessing every detail, from customer engagement through to ongoing servicing. Identify the interactions that need the personal touch then assess the areas that don’t – asking yourself “does this personal interaction add value to my customer and to my firm?”
Be ruthless as you assess what’s important to your customers, and remember that automating a bad investment process simply means you now have a bad automated investment process. For example, it’s common to improve the digital experience without improving back-end servicing, creating a service customers love, which is difficult and expensive to deliver. Conversely, investing in the back office without considering how customers are going to engage with the service means you’ll deliver something that isn’t compliant or isn’t valued by customers. Both are costly mistakes.
Creating the perfect customer experience, robotically
Adopting a piecemeal approach means there’s a risk of maintaining a patchwork legacy of products and services; even if your customers are happy with this, it’s a sure bet the regulator won’t be. Put customers’ needs first and consider this: differentiation isn’t always about developing bespoke products and services. It’s about being good at what you do – and robotics can give you that competitive edge.
Who wouldn’t want to improve the customer experience, simplify and streamline the back office, satisfy the regulator, create a flexible, scalable approach and improve profitability? Through utilising robotics that’s no longer an impossible dream – as long as you approach it the right way.
Matthew Ferman is Head of Solution Consulting at FNZ, where he works closely with financial institutions to develop market leading digital propositions. If you’d like to talk more about robotics, get in touch now.