Banking Innovation of the month: Akbank’s Robotic Process Automation

Innovation of the month

15 May 2019

Efma Accenture’s Banking Innovation of the Month award for May goes to Akbank for its Robotic Process Automation program.


Akbank is using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools to automate repetitive and rule-based business processes as part of a far-reaching digital transformation program.

The bank developed RPA in response to the fast-changing business environment and shortening product life cycles that are pushing banks to renovate value propositions, digitize back-office processes and interact more with their customers. Heavy reliance on manual effort makes monitoring and managing the huge volume of daily transactions repetitive, error-prone and slow, significantly impacting the customer and employee experience. RPA technology provides a rapidly deployed, flexible and low-cost tool for agile automation of front- and back-office business processes while leveraging multiple systems, users and platforms.

Since July 2018, the Akbank Robotics Team has deployed 14 automations (30 sub-processes) in various lines of business and applications, without changing the IT environment. These ‘co-bots’ are viewed as colleagues, with employee ID just like Akbank’s 14,000 human employees. Rather than working autonomously, they are designed to work with and assist humans by completing tasks triggered by employees or by triggering a process themselves and completing it after human involvement.

Akbank’s RPA has achieved time savings of 513 hours per day, giving employees more time to focus on more complex and value-added services and customer interactions. It has enabled more strategic workforce management, better compliance with rigorous legal and regulatory requirements, operational excellence and an improved customer experience – all while avoiding costly IT projects.

The technology’s ease of use and no-code development environment mean that employees from different departments and backgrounds can easily engage in Akbank’s overall digitization strategy and expand awareness. The core Robotics Team coordinates idea generation sessions where business units, branch employees and IT product owners can learn about the technology and evaluate RPA-feasible banking processes. RPA champions, who are trained to automate their own work and maintain and manage their own banking robots, proactively identify RPA potential within their business units and help build the RPA pipeline. To increase the number of RPA champions/developers, the Robotics Team has also designed e-learning and on-the-job training, and RPA knowledge is integrated into Akbank Academy curriculum.

Akbank’s RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) operation model defines the RPA governance structure, creating a framework for applying best practices at each stage of automation technology.

Continuous improvement of automated processes and exploration of new RPA opportunities is ongoing, and Akbank is investing in the deployment of intelligent automation which uses a combination of RPA, optical character recognition, chatbot and machine learning technology.

Akbank RPA will be automatically selected as a nominee for the Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards 2019. Submit your innovations on the Efma Distribution & Marketing Innovation portal. Participation is free of charge and open to all banking institutions.

Keywords : AI/Robotics , Transformation , Operations/New processes

Geography : Turkey