To begin with, by “robot” in banks we mean a software package that allows you to autonomously perform certain sequential actions that are now being carried out by a person.
What types of robots exist:
• RPA – Robotic Process Automation – a technology for automating business processes, which consists in the fact that simple work at a computer instead of a person performs a software package.
• IPA – Intelligent Process Automation – technology for intelligent automation of business processes. In this case, the robot not only performs simple actions like copy-paste-compare-save, but is also endowed with a decision-making function.
• Chat bots – technologies that mimic human speech behavior and are designed to communicate with live people, for example, bank customers.
• Cognitive robot – the most advanced software system that combines all three of the above functionalities and actually copies human actions, including in the field of decision-making.
In April 2020, the first robot was introduced at Rosbank House to automate the process of making a loan decision. To understand its functionality, there is a bit of methodology: one of the steps of checking the employer of a potential borrower is to confirm the ownership of the declared work phone number for contacting the company through independent sources. This is done in order to verify the data declared by the client. This functionality is mandatory when carrying out an underwriting of solvency and was previously performed by employees in manual mode.
Now the mechanism is constructed as follows: the robot compares information from Yandex search results with the specified search criteria, according to which the phone is recognized either as belonging to a given company, or not belonging, or fraudulent.
The first results show the average processing time of one task by the robot in 2 minutes. Inspections can be carried out in the format of 24 hours, which allows you to use the information received when making a decision as soon as the business day of the credit analyst begins.
Robot settings understood by business users
The robot generates tasks for itself from the credit files available in CRM Loris, and works until all tasks are completed. Or it’s possible to set up a work schedule taking into account time zones and non-working days, or even using Cron expressions
When introducing robots, only the UiPath platform was used without any other software, except, of course, the Chrome browser, Microsoft Office and other software products that are almost always installed by users.
The robot acts as a person and, accordingly, uses the same infrastructure as the person, therefore, it does not need separate powers if it has powers in the system like a person who previously performed the duties of a robot.
We faced some concerns from IT and security due to the innovation of this approach. IT was worried about the load on information resources, which, in their opinion, could arise due to the fast operation of the robot. Yes, the robot can perform operations 5-10 times faster than humans, but it always waits for a response from an information system or web resource (it waits for the site to fully load, draw the window, change the “Download” indicator, etc.), without which the process doesn’t move further, besides the robot does everything in a single task, in one thread: as a person, but in 24/7 mode.
This project uses a search engine that has not yet calculated a robot and still does not require captcha (a means of protecting the site from bots and automated systems), this shows the advantage of this approach over headless-browser approaches.
You can watch the work of the robot in real time, observing how it clicks on various buttons, moves the cursor, etc. There were some problems when disconnecting from a Remote Desktop (RDP) session, as at the same time, the Windows user session ceases to draw the graphical interface and the robot’s work at the remote virtual workstation is interrupted, but this can be circumvented if you connect to the robot’s workstation using a shadow connection (Mstsc / shadow command).
It is also planned to robotize processes at the stage of preparing a mortgage transaction and issuing a loan, processing customer requests, etc.
What are the benefits of implementing a robot?
1. The robot works around the clock, removes the routine load from employees and does not make mistakes related to the human factor, while not occupying office space.
2. The work of the robot is completely transparent, all actions are recorded in the logs and can be checked.
3. RPA technologies do not require complex integration into the IT landscape of a financial institution. He uses the existing system as a person would do.
4. The robot can significantly improve the speed of processing banking operations, the efficiency of back-office and front-office processes in the bank, reduce the processing time of client requests, and, therefore, free up the time for front-office employees to better serve customers.
We are not talking about the complete replacement of a person by a robot, since critical processes associated with high risk require the analytical work of a person, but preparatory operations of the same type can be given to the robot.
To answer the question “What processes should be robotic?” you need to understand the following:
1. Is the operation repeated?
2. Is the process the same every time?
3. How laborious is the process?
4. Are resources being spent on it that makes sense to save?
If the answers are positive, then robotization will quickly show its effectiveness. If the introduction of robotization takes more time and resources than saving time and money, then implementing it does not make sense.
One of the difficulties in compiling a program for a robot is that it is necessary to describe obvious things for a person with maximum accuracy, think through all the options to the smallest detail, since in a real environment deviation from a given rule can be critical.
In conclusion: in the banking sector in the face of growing competition, all major players are striving to maximize the opportunities available. RPA has been actively used for many years by many banks. The next step is IPA technology, which will minimize human participation without a serious increase in risks.