Robotic Process Automation and Blockchain
We found ten examples of RPA and blockchain applications for the finance industry. The five RPA case studies we found include KPMG's automation of a client's quarterly financial reporting and IBM's automation of bank reconciliation; the blockchain case studies we found include IBM Global Finance's use of blockchain for dispute resolution and some blockchain applications for international trade finance and supply chain operations. Read on for the full rundown of these case studies.
ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION CASE STUDIES
KPMG used RPA in 2017 to automate a client's quarterly financial reporting process. The client was creating these reports manually, which was slow and time-consuming; KPMG "robotized" the process, automating data retrieval, PowerPoint generation, and even emailing the report to stakeholders. The program resulted in a time and cost savings of "up to 70 percent" in addition to higher employee satisfaction and greater audit capabilities.
Infosys used RPA to automate insurance claims processes for a "leader in the financial services industry" in 2017. The company automated both financial and nonfinancial claims processing, letting the client cut its processing workforce in half and reduce manual effort devoted to claims processing by 58%.
In 2017, IBM used RPA and Watson AI services to automate the bank reconciliation processes of a client company. The client's reconciliation process was slow and error-prone; RPA improved accuracy by 80% and reduced the time of the reconciliation cycle by 3 days.
Greysoft used RPA to improve automotive loan credential verification at Vahan in India in 2018. Vahan staff were manually entering and retrieving loan customer data, causing frequent errors. Greysoft's RPA bot automated that data entry and retrieval, reducing loan processing time by 40%.
PWC Belgium used RPA to automate several processes in the finance department of a large hospitality company in Belgium in 2017. PWC's RPA service automated the company's daily revenue data entry and reporting across Excel and other applications, resulting in a "50-60% gain in efficiency."
BLOCKCHAIN CASE STUDIES
IBM Global Finance began using blockchain for financial dispute resolution in 2016. IGF has 125,000 clients around the world, and they handle over 25,000 financial disputes a year with an average disputed amount of $31,000 US. They use blockchain to show all parties the full details of the dispute, solving issues more quickly. Blockchain has reduced IGF's dispute resolution times from more than 40 days to less than 10.
IBM has also used blockchain to enhance Maersk's supply chain; the two companies piloted a blockchain program in 2016 and formally announced a partnership in 2017. Together, they hope to use blockchain to increase transparency along the global supply chain, "reduce fraud and errors, [reduce] time products spend in the transit and shipping process, [improve] inventory management and ultimately [reduce] waste and cost."
In 2016, Barclays used blockchain solutions to support a letter of credit transaction between Ornua and Seychelles Trading Company. Basing the LC transaction on the blockchain eliminated a large amount of physical paperwork; future transactions of this nature could "be hugely beneficial in supporting the supply chain, through reduced costs, error-free documentation, and fast transfer of original documents to our customers worldwide."
In 2017 a Japanese conglomerate used blockchain to facilitate an international finance transaction with an Australian company. The companies carried out the entire trade process on the blockchain, "from issuing a letter of credit to delivering trade documents," increasing the transparency and speed of the trade.
Emirates NBD and ICICI Bank piloted blockchain technology for "trade finance and international remittances" between the UAE and India in 2017. The two banks used blockchain for bank-to-bank transaction initiation, document sharing, and messaging. This improved their transparency, reduced the need for paper in transactions, and enabled the two banks to track and share documents more easily.
This article contains several more use cases for blockchain in finance, including Nasdaq's use for digital share ownership representation, Barclays and other banks' creation of an international forex settlements consortium on the blockchain, and Royal Bank of Canada's use of blockchain for international funds transfer to the US. The article doesn't go into enough detail for these to really be considered case studies, however.
We've assembled a list of five RPA case studies in finance, including PWC Belgium's automation of a hospitality client's revenue reporting processes and Greysoft's use of RPA to automate Indian lender Vahan's client data entry and retrieval processes. We've also assembled five case studies of blockchain applications for finance, including IBM Global Finance's use of blockchain for financial dispute resolution and Emirates NBD's partnership with ICICI Bank to use blockchain for remittance, document sharing, and bank-to-bank messaging.