Banks’ processes: From ATMs to block chain, where will they go next?

Over the past several years we have seen a plethora of organizations adopt approaches to improving the quality and efficiency of their output. Some of these have included: Business Process Re-engineering, Lean, Six Sigma, Business Process Management, Business Performance Improvement, and many more. Every one of these methodologies focus on one thing: PROCESS! This focus on process level improvement is about improving the way that businesses create and deliver value to the customer. Although the focus is on the process, the goal is to try to change the way that people within a company work and behave.

Organization is a good way to execute processes well. The best BPM enabler is metrics from process and workflow (i.e. asking “how well are we doing”, “are we meeting our goals”, “are our customers happy”, “is there any need of improvement”). If a need for process change is found, it is then important to find out if the organization can effectively implement the necessary change. It would be important to establish simple processes that can be documented, enabled through tools, and communicated to include everyone.

Let’s look at the simple task, the workflow of getting money from an ATM machine:

Step 1: Insert card

Step 2: Enter Pin

Step 3: Select account and amount to be withdrawn

Step 4: Collect money

Step 5: Remove card

5 simple steps (“processes in the workflow”) need to be complete but there is a big problem: Users constantly collect their money without taking their card!

So, the problem has been identified and a solution can be put in place. Instead of removing the card last, the process can be changed to have the card removed before the money is able to be collected:

Step 1: Insert card

Step 2: Enter Pin

Step 3: Select account and amount to be withdrawn

Step 4: Remove card

Step 5: Collect money

This simple change has solved the problem of users forgetting their ATM card. The need for improvement was identified and was able to be quickly and effectively implemented in the bank’s current infrastructure.

Banks were obviously able to quickly find the root cause to the problem of people forgetting to remove their card in this rather simple process, but how are they discovering their processes with 15 or 20 or more events? How do they analyze every one of these highly sophisticated, complex, and high impact processes end-to-end? Is hiring consultants for thousands of dollars to walk around with a clipboard and stop watch really the best approach?

With so much happening in the financial services industry, it’s a good idea for organizations to be continually improving to stay relevant and to continue to provide quality customer service that tops competitors.

Financial services businesses can improve their processes and customer satisfaction by elevating their quality of service, reducing cycle times, improving productivity, reducing waste and eliminating rework.

I’m okay with a “robo-advisor” are you?

I expect my robo-advisor will set strict rules and follow them consistently with very little to no imperfections and know the market better than any human could.

Does this mean more automated tellers? More sophisticated process management? How will we audit the blockchain? Will robots be working the teller windows and lobbies of our local bank branches?


If a financial institution wants to improve processes, find the root cause to process problems, uncover repeated tasks, or find the best candidates for RPA then they need to look into TimelinePI:

TimelinePI can assist in discovering, analyzing, and monitoring process improvement projects in Financial Services and Banking in some of these following area:

    • Implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA)
    • Increasing straight-through processing (STP) rate in transactions
    • Reducing the lead time for approval of applications
    • Eliminating wasteful activities and avoided repeated tasks
    • Reducing payment processing and settlement cycle time
    • Reducing check issuance and reconciliation
    • Reducing policy renewal lead time
    • Improving collection and recovery process
    • Reducing cost of inquiry
    • AND MORE!

About the author

Ryan Raiker is an accomplished business consultant with experience working with small and medium enterprises. Ryan has worked in project management in State, and Local government. He studied Business Analytics and later earned his MBA from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. Currently Ryan is focusing on Brand Management and Product Development for TimelinePI.

January 26, 2018