How WorkFusion helped digitize Africa’s largest bank with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Standard Bank has been in business for more than 150 years and, currently, has more than 1,200 branches and 100,000 employees around Africa. It has lived through and evolved with several waves and advancements in technology, yet remained relevant on the continent.

One of the reasons for this is the bank’s willingness to embrace tools that help improve customers’ experience and subsequently boost its bottom line.

To this effect, and in a bid to add value to customers by cutting down time spent on manual-intensive processes, Standard Bank partnered with WorkFusion to integrate WorkFusion’s robotic process automation. One of the results of this partnership was that, in 3 months, Standard Bank’s customer onboarding time fell by over 6,600%.

According to Ian Weir, Standard Bank’s Head of Business Performance Improvement, what the bank was looking for was a complete enterprise software package to help improve customer experience exponentially. “I didn’t want multiple products,” he said, “I certainly wanted the software to do big things as well as small things.”

Using WorkFusion’s intelligence automation software, the bank has been able to cut down its customer onboarding process to the point where customers can open online accounts with an overdraft within 5 minutes; a process that would normally take as much as 23 days.

The customer onboarding process is critical. It is the period when a potential customer comes in contact with your product, and when they first use or pay for it. It is the experience and utility derived from this first trial that determines whether or not the customer will come back to your product or service again, and possibly become an evangelist for your brand. If your onboarding process is slow and clunky, the customer will simply look for other solutions. So, the key is to make your process as painless and quick as possible.

African banks like Standard Bank now find themselves in an age where competition is more intense than ever. There are more customer-facing financial technology platforms today than there were two years ago and all of these platforms offer somewhat similar solutions to banks. Sometimes, even better.

In the digital age in which we find ourselves, customers no longer have to hold cash or go to banking halls or websites to transfer and receive cash. Investment and saving opportunities are no longer exclusive to the banking industry. So, for the industry to remain strong, it needs to evolve and keep up with the times. African banks must find ways to improve customer experiences while keeping an eye on growth and reducing operational costs.

Customers now expect every bank, regardless of geographical location or its country’s GDP levels, to provide smooth and nonstop financial solutions. The only way for the banks to keep up with this expectations is by automating their processes so that intelligence machines and software are working round the clock.

Apart from keeping up with customer expectations, intelligent automation relieves bank employees of mundane and sometimes mind-numbing tasks. These tasks, such as invoicing, claims processing, and customer onboarding, are fed into WorkFusion’s SPA software and the machine learning algorithms do the rest. This way, employees are given more room to work strategically and creatively and focus on the bigger picture.

To add to all these, it is also important to note that intelligent automation helps banks keep operational costs low, as less money is spent on overhead, and money is better invested in affordable software.

Software solutions like WorkFusion have all the features that banks need, saving them the stress of using multiple software applications for multiple processes.

About the author
Kelechi is an Accra-based Nigerian tech entrepreneur and freelance communications consultant. She works with brands and thought leaders on content creation, management and communications, and helps newbie freelancers get a foot in the global gig economy.

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