The financial sector has discovered robotic process automation

According to a study conducted by zeb, the majority of banks and insurance companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) have recognized the importance of robotic process automation (RPA) for the digitalization of their own business models. RPA software makes it possible to imitate human behavior and automate rule-based business processes. The successful application of RPA can lay the foundation for using other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector.

Around 64% of companies in the sector are actively reviewing this technology, and approximately 53% of banks and insurers in the DACH region have already implemented processes using RPA. The study participants use RPA mainly in pursuit of efficiency and quality objectives such as creating scope for value-adding activities, increasing processing speed or avoiding errors. The main area of application of the technology has so far been the back office, although the authors of the study explain that robotic process automation can also enable efficiency and quality gains in other functional areas such as IT, accounting or sales. For example, 64% of those surveyed are confident that RPA is not a fad, but a long-term future technology whose further implementation is planned within 18 months. The conviction that the use of artificial intelligence will follow as the next stage of technological development and the intention to implement AI in the next year and a half were also shared by 64% of respondents.

Christian Peltzer, Manager at zeb, explains: “Our study shows that robotic process automation is a suitable instrument for automating business processes in the financial sector. The majority of banks and insurers have recognized the potential of RPA, and successful institutions show that efficiency gains can indeed be realized. In our view, however, a widespread lack of appropriate governance prevents the sector from leveraging the full efficiency potential of RPA.”

About zeb’s RPA Study

At the end of 2019, the strategy and management consultancy zeb examined the use of robotic process automation in the financial sector and surveyed 47 executives of European banks and insurance companies, 40% of them from the top operational tier. Three quarters of these companies have their regional focus in the DACH region. In addition to international large-cap and private banks, the survey covered cooperative banks and savings banks, as well as insurers and automotive banks.

Further detailed information on zeb’s RPA Study 2019 “Robotic Process Automation in the Financial Services Industry” can be found here.

About zeb

As a leading strategy and management consultancy, zeb has been offering transformation expertise along the entire value chain in the financial services sector in Europe since 1992. In Germany, we operate offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Münster (HQ). Our international locations are in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Kiev, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Moscow, New York City, Oslo, Stockholm, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich. Our clients include European large-cap and private banks, regional banks, insurers as well as all kinds of financial intermediaries. Several times already, our company has been classed and acknowledged as “best consultancy” for the financial sector in industry rankings.

zeb Contact

Franz-Josef Reuter
Head of Public & International Affairs
Phone +49 251 97128 347


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