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Transforming Mortgage Lending with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

By: James Jacobs

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The RPA Opportunity in Mortgage Banking

Automation has become a hot topic in business. While nearly every tool that businesses have used since the start of the Industrial Revolution falls under the umbrella of process automation, the heights to which business automation has reached over the last 20 years are astounding. And technologies that enable automation continue to advance apace.

RPA is the Next Big Step for Business Process Automation

Once again, we find ourselves on the cusp of another major revolution in the automation of business processes. The technology at the leading edge of this sea change is referred to as robotic process automation, which is abbreviated as RPA.

Previous waves of business automation involved first the invention of machines that enabled workers to realize huge efficiency gains and then software that ran within some of those machines, particularly the mainframe computer and, later, the personal computer and computer networks. Robotic process automation takes the next step, emulating actual humans by directly interacting with computer resources at the user-interface level.

In short, robotic process automation is software that performs in much the same way as industrial robots in sectors like auto manufacturing: completely replacing humans where repetitive and dull tasks are required so that those employees can be freed up to concentrate on more value-additive aspects of the business.

Uipath robotics process automation (RPA) is an industry-leading platform for the automation of nearly any business process at the level of the graphical user interface. It is able to perform tasks in ways that are almost identical to a human. For example, the robotic agent can interact with programs like Microsoft Excel or email clients like Outlook, scraping data from reports or other documents and automatically entering that data into a spreadsheet. Alternately, RPA agents can be tasked with automatic email notifications for a practically infinite scope of events, potentially eliminating the need for employees to concentrate on this repetitive but crucial area of customer service.

What is Robotic Process Automation in Banking?

The financial services industry, particularly banking, is an ideal area for the rollout of RPA systems. Banks feature the need for vast numbers of repetitive tasks, with a mind-boggling volume of documents, forms and compliance directives that need to be accurately handled.

Yet, banking also requires intensive knowledge-based work on the part of expert human employees. This means that the banking industry as a whole stands to greatly benefit from business process automation BPA by massively reducing the workload of employees while freeing them up to use their knowledge, skills and expertise to better serve customers and ensure that intelligence-intensive work is being performed to the highest standard.

Mortgage Process Automation Has a Number of Key Benefits for Banks

Banking and mortgage lending involve many complex processes and the constant need for compliance. One of the strongest benefits of RPA in mortgage processing is that it helps to systematize, standardize and rigorously define all processes within a lender's operations.

1- Defining tasks and freeing up manpower

Whenever there is a process that is repeated many times in a given period of time, a mortgage lender stands to benefit from boosted efficiency and productivity by clearly and precisely defining each step in the process. Many banks have processes that are poorly enough defined that if 10 employees were asked to recite the steps for handling that task, the questioner would likely hear 10 different answers.

This sort of haphazard approach to business-critical tasks can make interdepartmental and even employee-to-employee coordination difficult and is a leading cause of errors. An inherent part of integrating an RPA system is always going to be precisely defining those tasks and then fully automating them, completely eliminating both inefficiency and error while freeing up manpower to work on things where brainpower is better deployed.

2- RPA in loan processing greatly speeds up the customer-facing loan application process

When it comes to RPA's benefits in loan processing, the most salient is measured in customers' time that is saved.

Once opportunities for the deployment of RPA agents have been identified, a process that is frequently referred to as creating an RPA roadmap, the agent will be able to perform all aspects of those tasks or processes with an even higher level of precision and efficiency than human employees. But they will also be able to perform at speeds that are dramatically faster than humans could ever hope to achieve.

This can easily translate to areas like loan-application processing seeing drops in customer wait times of 90 percent or more. Ultimately, speed increases of this magnitude directly promote far higher customer satisfaction.

Another area in which RPA in banking industry can enormously benefit lenders is through the creation of RPA-driven customer portals, including the transition to online-based electronic forms rather than paper documents. Because RPA solutions' native environment is the electronic realm, adopting these systems often strongly incentivizes institutions to begin moving all of their customers towards online portals and other computer-based resources. These are not just beneficial for the bank and its automation: Routing customer interactions through web resources can make things like the loan application process vastly less time consuming and much easier for the customers.

The end result of all of these improvements is happier customers and far more efficient operations.

3- RPA solutions can replace human drudge work with little disruption to existing systems

Whether it's a common spreadsheet application or sophisticated bespoke enterprise software, RPA agents can interact with existing systems and software in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from humans. And this means that existing systems and processes do not have to be disrupted by the replacement of old platforms with new ones.

As you branch out into other parts of the automation world, you can use the RPA in many different ways. You simply need to figure out what your best option is. If you do not know what the best option is, you need to start asking questions about how you handle claims. Do you need to send people to the carrier website? Can you take the claims yourself, or do you need to find someone who can provide emergency care? The same is true of people who work in home or auto insurance because your clients need to know that they can go on your site and get instant service.

RPA can take structured or semi-structured data, parse it and then determine where it should be entered in another program. It can handle document routing, data entry, customer notifications and even risk-management tasks.

Most importantly, RPA solutions can be deployed directly on top of existing systems, with no changes required to the ways in which the firm currently operates.

Conclusion

RPA solutions allow for not just a simulacrum of employee actions but also a vast improvement over humans where tasks are amenable to automation.

When seeking out the best RPA system, vendor experience is paramount. Chetu is a Certified Gold Partner with UiPath, an industry leading RPA software, and has helped many companies reach their automation goals. Chetu can help your company create an automation roadmap, defining and automating the processes that bog your employees down so that they can refocus their talents where they are needed most.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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