Blue Prism Survey Reveals Untapped Opportunities Of RPA Adoption Rates In Financial Services Industry In APAC

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 23 February 2022


Blue Prism, the global leader in enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation, today released findings from its survey report titled “RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector”.

Blue Prism, a global leader in intelligent automation, today released findings from its survey report titled “RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector.” While there is growing momentum in automation efforts by organisations across Asia Pacific (APAC), the report reveals significant disparity of robotic process automation (RPA)1 adoption within Asia Pacific’s financial services industry. While Australia leads the way with 78 percent of organisations currently using RPA solutions and technologies, India is second with 49 percent, followed by Hong Kong (47 percent), Malaysia (44 percent) and Singapore (28 percent).

With only 34 percent in Singapore and 50 percent in Malaysia of respondents indicating familiarity with RPA, there is potential for better comprehension and perception around this technology. This is in comparison to 85 percent in Australia, 82 percent in Hong Kong and 75 percent in India.

Robert Dewar, Vice President, Financial Services, APAC, Blue Prism, said: “While RPA adoption across global industries grew at tremendous speed, this report revealed the disparity of RPA adoption within the APAC financial services industry, indicating a long roadmap before the region reaches RPA and Intelligent Automation maturity. Presently, the use of RPA adoption remains largely a tool to improve efficiency and cut costs, rather than a catalyst to accelerate digital transformation. As markets look to scale up enterprise RPA and Intelligent Automation deployments, our aim is to empower companies to fulfil their vision for strategic business automation and achieve faster, better organisational outcomes.”

Almost all of the organisations (95 percent) surveyed felt that the adoption of RPA has improved overall business operations, which includes error and cost reduction (7 percent each), empowering the workforce to concentrate on higher value tasks (24 percent) and increasing efficiencies and speed within the organisation (61 percent).

The report also revealed that across Australia, India, Singapore and Malaysia, the top two areas that companies leverage RPA are the finance and IT departments. This differs slightly in Hong Kong, where the top two areas are finance (79 percent) and customer service (71 percent) departments. Within the next two to three years, companies in Australia and India expect to continue leveraging RPA the most in the finance and IT departments, while Hong Kong companies expect the same in the finance and customer service departments. In Malaysia, besides the finance department (61 percent), companies are prioritising RPA programmes in sales and marketing (73 percent) in the next two to three years. Interestingly, the finance department was not included in the top three areas that Singapore companies will be leveraging RPA in the near term, with companies ranking IT departments (61 percent) as the top priority for RPA adoption, followed by sales and marketing (54 percent) and customer service (50 percent).


Other key findings for each respective market are as follows:

Australia Key Findings

  • 99 percent of organisations believed that RPA has improved overall business operations, including cost and time savings (88 percent) and increased accuracy and quality of output (76 percent).
  • Organisations ranked top considerations when drawing RPA budgets to implementation costs (77 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (70 percent) and ancillary costs (67 percent)
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (22 percent), 8 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 4 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • Almost nine in 10 (89 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Hong Kong Key Findings

  • 96 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with significant benefits in cost and time savings (69 percent) as well as increased accuracy and quality of output (69 percent).
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (65 percent) as the most important factor, followed by ancillary costs (60 percent) and maintenance costs (59 percent)
  • 52 percent of organisations are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies; 31 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 8 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • 85 percent of organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

India Key Findings

  • 95 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operationscost and time savings (83 percent) as the most significant benefit associated with RPA adoption, and RPA as a catalyst for driving digital transformation (76 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (75 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62 percent) and ancillary costs (44 percent)
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (50 percent), 27 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 11 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • More than nine in 10 (93 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Singapore Key Findings

  • Among the five markets, Singapore holds the highest percentage of financial institutions (19 percent) that do not use any of the five disruptive technologies (artificial intelligence, business process management, machine learning, deep learning and predictive analytics)
  • Almost eight in 10 (79 percent) organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with a reduction in manpower or burden of administrative personnel (68 percent) as the most significant benefit, and RPA as a catalyst for driving digital transformation (68 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked maintenance costs (88 percent) as the most important factor, followed by implementation costs (59 percent) and ancillary costs (59 percent)
  • Of the organisations that implemented RPA solutions and technologies during the pandemic, most ranked the increased cost and time savings (75 percent) as well as the reduction in manpower or burden of administrative personnel (75 percent) as the most important factors
  • 71 percent of organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Malaysia Key Findings

  • 93 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with increasing efficiencies and speed within the organisation as the most main driver of RPA adoption (86 percent), followed by allowing workers to concentrate on higher value tasks (70 percent) and reducing errors (68 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (69 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62 percent), ancillary costs (49 percent) and business process value (49 percent)
  • Within the next two to three years, 41 percent of organisations expect to invest approximately up to 50 percent of their total automation budget in RPA, and 36 percent organisations expect to invest approximately up to 75 percent of their total automation budget in RPA
  • Of the 56 percent of organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies, 13 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 16 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • More than eight in 10 (84 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

About the report:
The research was commissioned by Blue Prism. Respondents include 802 global business leaders in Australia (200), Hong Kong (201), India (201), Malaysia (100) and Singapore (100). All respondents have worked in financial services for 10 years or more and are in companies with more than 10 employees. All interviews were conducted online from September to October 2021.