Digital Transformation – Re-imagination of Wire Transfer in 3 Days

Sheila Shaffie Blog

Over time we learn to accept things, our baselines shift.  That also holds true for the performance of business transactions from the very simple to the very complex.  And there are 100s of transactions in organizations.  This is the story of a common one – wire transfers.  The acceptance of a process’s performance, allows for inefficiency to persist, draining an organization’s resources.  But through the documentation of a process, analysis of operational data and benchmarking of technology we were able to turn this into a good story.

Our client was experiencing continued growth.  We were given three days to solve for three challenges: re-imagine the transactions to ensure scalability, leverage available technology to ensure efficiency, and enhance client experience.  To get to the desired outcome we started the journey by understanding the current state; Interviewed SMEs, collected relevant operational and financial data, and mapped out the detailed steps of the transaction.

Here is what we discovered:

  • Actual cost of wire transfer was nearly 3X the fees invoiced to the customer
  • 10 systems were updated nearly 40 times to complete the transaction
  • 150 steps and 3 departments are required to complete the transaction
  • 90% of the transactions require client re-contact or rework
  • 20% of the customers contact the financial institution to ensure the request was received

So why is such a common and high volume transaction riddled with risk and inefficiency – PROCESS.

  1. Systems are not well integrated – this in turn puts the pressure on processors to manually transfer data, and control the quality of information
  2. Historical hiccups result in complexity – with every historical issue or loss the company had responded by adding additional steps and layers to the process, not all effectively addressing the issue
  3. Not looking at the process like an engineer – To uncover issues there are protocols to follow and data to be analyzed; without that only incremental improvements are identified

The ramifications of this – or the question of who cares if the process is inefficient?

Inefficiency – large number of process steps, manual process control, forms, emails, calls….all result in the creation of white noise in the process.  And white noise increases risk and cost. It takes the attention of your processors away from doing the real value creation work.

The Attainable Solution

Simplification, automation, and scalability.  Three words used to describe the reimagined future state for the Wire Transfer transaction.  To get there we leveraged RPA, Workflow and Smart Business Rule engines.  The goal was to allow for time and focus for the department’s sole value creation step – gauging and mitigating risk.  As part of the redesign we introduced a smart form at the point of request initiation that would validate and compile all required data prior to submission to operations.  The introduction of a workflow system with Robotic Process Automation and supportive business rules will eliminate hidden costs and multiple touchpoints while continuing to provide visibility of high-risk requests.

The targeted results of the re-imagined process are:

  • 90% reduction in cost of transaction
  • 85% reduction in number of processing steps
  • Elimination of client re-contact for clarification or missing information
  • 90% reduction in processing cycle time

Through a review of everyday organizational activities, simplification can foster a more automated and streamlined approach.  Taking time to assess often overlooked transactions, processes, and activities provides substantial opportunities for promoting internal efficiencies, increased return on investments, expanded capacity, and an improved customer experience.  What processes within your organization require a closer look to promote greater efficacy?