As each day unfolds, technology takes a new turn to improve the living standards of the human race. Presently, banking in Africa is becoming easier, faster and flexible as bankers are employing a new form of technology called Robotics Process Automation (RPA).     

Technology is here to stay, no doubt. If one is to compare the services that banks provided 15 to 20 years ago with the present day offerings, one will be amazed by the changing landscape in the financial services environment.

Robotics Process Automation

Robotics Process Automation is a technology application aimed at automating business processes. RPA tools can enable a company to configure software or robot and interpret applications for processing transactions. Also, it enables the manipulation of data, triggering response and communicating with other digital systems.

Juniper Research estimates that banking RPA software and services revenue will reach close to $900 million in 2022. Juniper, however, expects the market value, estimated at $214 million in 2018, to grow over four times in 2022.

Formally, Robotics Process Automation only replicates simple or repetitive tasks that require high accuracy such as data entry. But the market currently represents a perfect storm created by the convergence of chatbots, AI-driven RPA software and banks’ digital transformation strategies, according to Juniper.

How are Banks in Africa handling this new change?

From industrial robots to self-driving cars, robotic technology is becoming more cognitive-enabled that replicates humans’ skills and intelligence. In this era of growing technology, banks in Africa have, however, seen reasons to apply Robotics Process Automation into their systems.

As banks drift away from their traditional ways of operating and meeting customers’ demand, banks like Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Banks in South Africa have integrated the robotics process automation in their banking system. Union Bank of Nigeria has recently joined the trend and this might just act as an inspiration to other banks in Africa.

Not a tech for banks alone

Just as banks need technology to improve their servicing systems, every other business also needs same to facilitate its system.

In essence, robotics process automation software can automatically route transactions, work with data and collaborate with other systems when required.

Taking into consideration the robotics process automation functions, an alternative to performing high-volume IT support, workflow and the back-office process is high. Therefore, financial institutions, accounting supply chain management, customer service, and human resources related processes can also make use of RPA.

However, Robotics Process Automation has given banks and financial institutions the opportunities to meet their customers’ demands. It is now creating room for these businesses to achieve their goals in real-time.


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