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Business Process Management and Automation for Financial Institutions

Traders Magazine Online News, March 23, 2018

Mark Holenstein

The term “Business Process Management” has been adopted to identify the discipline of operations management.  It uses for various methods to discover, model, analyze, improve and automate business processes.  Any combination of methods used to more efficiently manage a company’s business procedures and processes falls under the BPM category.  Most recently the influence of BPM has been seen in the development of AI solutions specific to the banking and financial industry. 

The largest banks in the United States are investing millions of dollars into updating their capabilities through automation.  The finance industry has typically been one where the automation of processes typically performed manually by individual employees was thought of as a nearly impossible task.  Yet financial institutions have been at the forefront of technology and automating as many manual procedures as possible.  New automation capabilities of automation to replace various teller positions specifically has drawn attention to the technology industry, and has other organizations asking what they can do to replicate the same success in their own businesses.

In 2017, Chase Bank automated most of their teller-related procedures and eliminated over 25% of their employee expenses.  It is estimated that approximately 60% of transactions performed by tellers can be executed simply through the ATM, and that number is expected to be over 90% by the end of 2018, according to representatives from Chase.  Although these changes have increased efficiencies for banks nation-wide, it’s important to consider the systematic approach behind automation that allows the technology itself to function and exist- a Process Management System.

In a recent report produced by Business Process Trends, 43% of US business respondents reported that they are most interested in automating their business processes.  While implementing a BPM system allows for the automation of most if not all processes, it still does not provide detailed insight into cross system/cross people processes. For example, BPM touches all areas of the finance industry.  During the ATM process, a customer can deposit cash and checks; then the ATM communicates the transaction to the banking facility.  The customer can log-in to their smartphone application and check the update of status almost immediately.  While all of these internal processes are performed through an automation of some kind, rarely are they performed in a single system.  The joined-up thinking implied by BPM  provides banks with a seamless view of the transaction from beginning to end.  This end-to-end view enables management to avoid sub-optimization and to more easily manage and optimize their ongoing operations around the customer.

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