These jobs at major banks and financial firms in South Africa are now automated

A growing number of large banking and financial firms in South Africa are turning to automation to reduce the mundane tasks of human workers, says Greg Newton, country manager of Blue Prism.

Blue Prism is a robotic process automation (RPA) whose primary customers include large financial services organizations such as Old Mutual, Nedbank and First Rand, as well as a range of large enterprise customers across multiple industry sectors.

Newton says the technology effectively combines the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver digital workers who remove the mundane tasks that human workers are overloaded by allowing them to focus on important money-making endeavors.

“Before RPA, at every stage of a business process where one system had to communicate with another, if the systems weren’t integrated, you’d need a human to manually bridge the gap and generally enter information into several systems.

“This need is repeated throughout the organization, because each process involves several systems. RPA can automate many of these manual tasks. »

This includes tasks such as:

  • Back-office tasks dealing with locked accounts or password resets;
  • Manage the integration of new employees or departures in HR;
  • Automate large parts of applications such as loans, mortgages and credit cards;
  • Security and compliance controls;
  • Automation can also improve the accuracy of this work and speed up decision and execution times.

This will enhance the customer experience and significantly improve productivity and increase revenue, Newton said. “For example, a bank was able to process 30% more loans per month, which added millions to the bottom line.”

Looking forward

Newton said there are a number of other industries and jobs that should see more automation in the future.

“The service industry is where major automation opportunities exist. This industry will undergo the same level of transformation as the automotive industry did in the last century, although this time it will be software robots as opposed to physical robots.

“In the future, digital workers and human workers will work together to create much more efficient and productive business operations. This means that many dull and boring jobs such as data entry will disappear because a robot can do it much faster and with 100% accuracy.

“However, improving business results will create many more jobs focused on humanistic behaviors – empathy, sensing, perceptions and emotions.”


Newton noted that the initial reaction is generally negative as people believe jobs will be lost due to automation.

“The reality is that many more jobs are being created in the economy. Take Amazon as an example – they have completely automated the retail purchase process. This has consequently bankrupted some businesses with old business models – Catalog retail stores are a type of store that has become redundant.

“However, Amazon has built thousands of warehouses to meet inventory needs, which has provided business for architects, builders, plumbers, and more. They have also purchased thousands of delivery vehicles, increasing business for manufacturers and other companies that are part of this supply chain. They have also recruited delivery drivers.

“We cannot stop natural evolution as technology develops. If we work with it and don’t fight to keep things the way they always have been, there will always be the potential to improve opportunities for everyone.

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