When Bank Innovation was launched back in 2009, our goal was to show banking executives how a digitized bank could make a traditional bank better, how a technology-driven strategy could transform satisfaction levels that had at the time — this was during the credit crisis — plunged to all-time lows.
We are proud to say that Bank Innovation not only showed banking the possibility of a technology revolution; we have witnessed it. The data validates the reality of digital banking all around us, as exemplified by the fact that 94% of consumers in a Federal Reserve survey said that they primarily used mobile banking over the past 12 months to check an account balance or recent transactions.
It is time for Bank Innovation to show banking the possibility of the next technology revolution.
And that revolution is automation.
Starting today, Bank Innovation will transition into Bank Automation News and will concentrate its news focus on the banking automation revolution that will transform financial services over the next 10 years.
There is no industry that is better suited for automation. Beyond the “relationship,” banking is but a business of numbers and data.
“Automation has become one of the main vehicles to assist the bank in maximizing revenue and minimizing costs,” said one respondent to the automation survey we conducted in the fall. “It has become somewhat of a priority for banks as customers are staying more at home and need to conduct business with as less friction as possible.”
This is not just talk. According to the survey, 64.5% of financial services executives say that “banking has embraced automation technology as a critical driver of operational excellence in the coming years.” Not one respondent to our survey on automation said that banks will reduce their investment in automation in the coming months — this despite a recession and an unemployment rate of 6.7%.
There is clear evidence that automation is already finding outsized success in product development. JP Morgan Chase & Co., for example, now offers Autosave, a new tool that automatically transfers funds to a Chase savings account, allowing customers to choose how much to save and how often to contribute to their savings goal. Total funds saved by users of the tool tripled year over year in 2020, and enrollment grew by 77% in November compared with the year prior, according to Chase.
Automation is also changing how mobile banking applications work. Green Dot is leveraging a partnership with Plaid to automatically integrate external payroll software within Green Dot’s new mobile app, called GO2bank. The integration will allow a customer to select their specific payroll provider on the GO2bank app, sign into their payroll account and click a button that allows them to move their direct deposit into the GO2bank account.
Finally, automation is fundamentally altering processes deep within banking organizations. TD Bank is working to improve integrations for its automated case-management system, which oversees security incident cases across the bank. The goal is to, through automation, change how TD shares data across different disciplines, including compliance, fraud prevention, or TD’s cybersecurity team, to yield better overall security results.
COVID-19 has accelerated this shift to automation. The move to work-from-home has forced banks to seek out alternative automated solutions for various problems. Meanwhile, the urgency and scope of the Payroll Protection Program led many banks to look for automated processing options, beyond what they previously had deployed.
According to McKinsey, some 88% of finance and insurance executives and 76% of information and technology executives reported increased implementation of automation and artificial intelligence — automation’s enabler — since the outbreak. Further, among executives of companies that moved most of their employees to remote work during the pandemic, 80% said they had increased automation, while only 51% of executives from companies that adopted remote work for just a few employees said automation had grown.
We have little doubt that the 80% will drive the 51% to eventually seek out more automated solutions.
Beyond the numbers, there are common-sense reasons for our concentration on automation. Automation improves customer experience, execution and operational efficiency. It will also improve intercompany operations, making for faster AP and AR, reduced risk and greater product development possibilities. We are, without a doubt, entering an era of new possibilities for financial services, where service to a customer goes beyond want to need, even when that “need” is not even known to the customer. At that point, the financial institution goes beyond just basic banking services, to customer care of a deeper and lasting nature. And that, in turn, will ensure the viability of the banking industry for decades to come.
Practically, the new Bank Automation News will track down the new initiatives and ideas that are defining the automation revolution. Bank Automation News will offer breaking news coverage on automation initiatives. We will also include a Center of Excellence, in true automation form, that will share the “how” of automation, which will include strategy, automation resources, and sample processes. All three of the former Bank Innovation events will transition to automation, starting with the Bank Automation Ignite summit on March 2-3, when attendees will discover new use cases and technologies that are accelerating automation in banking.
And that is just the start. Like true technologists, we will continuously look to enhance, improve and advance Bank Automation News as a crucial resource to your technology development. We look forward to charting this automation revolution and we invite to you explore the possibilities of banking automation with us. In short, welcome to Bank Automation News.