How Workflow Automation Is Changing Fintech

by / ⠀Startup Advice / December 16, 2020

In financial services, convenience and security are tough to have in tandem. The fintech sector delivers them both through technology, resulting in rapid adoption by consumers and institutions. 

Fintech’s latest darling? Automation. With workflow automation technologies like iPaaS and RPA, fintech companies are able to expand quickly and provide a stellar customer experience. These seven fintech functions are hotspots for automation:

1. Billing and Invoicing

Customers who rely on fintech services typically sign up for a subscription with the company. Recurring payments keep the service running for them as long as they have an active account. 

Payment automation is more efficient on the provider and consumer sides of the equation. Paper invoices are as tough for consumers to manage as sporadic purchases are for providers. With automation, accounts stay current with little human supervision.

Internally, workflow automation can track hours and pay employees more efficiently than the HR team. Paying salaries promptly keeps employees happy and helps employers stay on top of their finances.

2. Accounting

Fintech companies have to set the example by making sure their own books are perfectly balanced. Although workflow automations can’t replace accountants, they can take a load off their shoulders.

A good example is expense tracking. Tools like Expensify can scan receipts and input payment details into software like Quickbooks. Another is cash flow forecasting: KPIs like cash flow and profitability can be calculated automatically by programs like Fathom and Fluidly.

3. Data Security

Fintech companies handle a lot of sensitive information, including customers’ bank account details. No one wants to work with a breach-prone fintech company, which is why security is such a high priority for these companies. Workflow automation helps them keep a tight system.

A lot of digital security is about stopping threats before they start. Automation tools like email filters and firewalls block malware before it’s downloaded. SIEM systems offer a top-down view of security events, enabling data security experts to react quickly. Meanwhile, SOAR can automate actions like network disablement, containing threats that do get in.

4. Lending

Getting a loan isn’t easy. Providing proof of income and working out a payment plan can be frustrating for both the consumer and the lender. Automation can drastically simplify the process.

AI excels at rules-based decisions like credit approval. In fact, the right system can guide customers through the process almost entirely on their own. A few income and expense figures are all it takes to determine someone’s ability to pay. 

Fintech companies can also set up triggers for human review. Someone seeking a $1,000 loan with a $1 million annual income almost certainly qualifies, for instance, but the situation doesn’t pass the sniff test. Values that differ from what’s expected are easy for algorithms to spot.

5. Data Analysis

Data helps fintech companies make better business decisions. Workflow automations can make it easier to identify trends, diagnose operations issues, and more.

Using workflows, you can set parameters that gather the data you need for easy retrieval and analysis. For example, you could set up a workflow automation to input each credit card applicant’s demographic and income data into a spreadsheet. 

Your marketers could use that data to identify new audiences and guide their targeting tactics. On your product design team, that data could inform new credit products.

6. Hiring and Recruiting

Finance and technology are two of the most expensive sectors to recruit and retain talent in. Workflow automation tools can help managers identify and support star players.

Workflow automation can help human resource teams sift through resumes. Engagement systems like 15Five can help managers give and receive feedback. Neither can take the place of a human manager, but they can sure make the job easier.

7. Customer Service

How many times have you lost a credit card? Forgotten a bank account password?

Those things happen more often than consumers would like to admit. Rather than call customer service, automation tools can enable users to tackle run-of-the-mill needs themselves.

A good solution to the former issue is an app-based on-off switch. A customer who’s lost their card can disable it until they’ve found it or requested a replacement. For the latter, the answer is an “I can’t remember my password” button: An auto-generated email can confirm the user is, indeed, the account owner and prompt them to create a new password. 

Many fintech companies base their value proposition on workflow automation. Develop the next money- or time-saving tech hack, and you just might knock the big banks down a peg or two.

About The Author

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Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.

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