Banking & Finance

Process To Profit

Business process management and automation for financial institutions

by Mark Holenstein

Mr. Holenstein, COO of Signavio has worked in the hi-tech sector for several years, specializing in helping organizations to optimize their Customer Journeys and the underlying operations that deliver them. Signavio is a leading provider of Business Process Management solutions for business in all sectors. For more information please visit

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.

The Systems of Automation

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.

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

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.

Not only can BPM be applied to assist with daily processes at the procedural level, but can also be used to manage all aspects of internal monitoring, especially relevant when dealing with compliance issues. Any financial institution utilizing a process management system in support of their BPM initiative can monitor progress as well as see their organization from an overview perspective. Banks are more equipped to identify competitive advantages, establish internal processes, and deliver results. A banking institution can identify metrics as well as ROI by standardizing and simplifying procedure workflows.

The application of BPM is often considered a critical component of the banking and finance industry not just due to its end to end visibility, but also due to its support of meaningful operational intelligence. Process management systems that deliver real-time, actionable information are now readily available. Because the size and complexity of daily tasks can be too much for one system to run, BPM enables banks to view systems as though they were running seamlessly as a single unit. The discipline of BPM and the use of a process management system can bridge the gap between information technology and business. There is no doubt that automation will play a growing role in business processes in the marketplace for years to come.

In the future, banks and financial institutions will continue to look for ways to automate even more of their processes. It’s important to understand not just how automation happens but to connect it with the manual processes that will still occur. An effective process management system touches all facets of the organization and the technology working behind the scenes. With the right process management solution powering your BPM discipline, the customer has a better overall experience with the brand. ◊