“Robots Should Take over Wholesale Payments” is a catchy headline appearing in Payments Source and was posted by the CEO of an Australia-based fintech called Troovo, which specializes in payments solutions using RPA.
Since many readers hear lots of terms like AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation, they are different things, although can be sort of fit under the umbrella of intelligent automation, with different software for various use cases. RPA is software that is specifically designed to automate repeatable reprocesses that are normally handled by humans:
‘In 2019, it is rare to find a business category that is still inundated with manual and/or paper-based processes. But so goes the $115 billion wholesale payments space, with approximately 30% of transactions still being handled today by paper checks….And despite some automation advancements, enterprise payments still involve a complex litany of disparate processes that are burdened by fraud, extraordinary and unnecessary labor costs and substantial errors.’
Members of the CEP advisory service will be familiar with automation in B2B use cases, and the increasing use of RPA and other technology in corporate financial process. We most recently covered this in a report titled Receivables Management: Back on the Radar. We have been covering the growing use of advanced technology now for several years and find that familiarity and adoption among banks is growing, but mostly driven by fintech startup investment and collaboration.
In this case, the author mentions a company named ConsenSys, a blockchain solutions provider that has adopted RPA within their employee expense management processes. As with everything else, there is a transition underway with widely varying timelines, but spreading across the enterprise space at some level:
‘After having proven itself worthy in these categories, today’s forward-thinking companies are looking to RPA for enterprise payments. This application enables them to integrate their disconnected vendor payment systems, expense management platforms, paper-based payment processes and accounting platforms, to name a few. What was once a byzantine system of human-centric and static batch-file processes can now be fully automated and scalable in real-time, enabling seamless processing across any ERP platform, bank, credit card or currency.’
We’ll continue to keep an eye on things.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group