Case Studies

Credit Unions and Banks: 3 Real-world delivered automation programs with ROI of 3-7x

3 Clients: $2b Credit Union, $4b Community Bank and a $20b Regional Bank
North America
$2bil CU OpEx Improvement
$4bil+ Bank Engagement ROI
$20bil Bank Labor Saves
30,000 annual hours

Your benefits case for banking and credit union automation begins right here

It’s one thing to read about the high-level possibilities of robotic process automation or RPA in
financial institutions.

It’s another thing, altogether, to witness this journey through the eyes of peer bank and credit-union executives who have done it.

The individuals described on the following pages took advantage of The Lab’s Knowledge Work Standardization® Platform to deploy proven benefit-generating standardized automations to transform their organizations’ business processes.

In this case study, we’ll share the experiences of three executives, from small community banks and credit unions to mid-sized and large (regional) institutions. You’ll see how they often started prudently, relying on The Lab to first standardize processes to prepare for automation and then “test the waters” with as few as three bots.

You’ll also see a common theme: As the ROI increased, so did the momentum of their automation initiatives. It’s hard to argue, after all, with three-year payback on the order of 3x to 7x, not to mention the additional benefits of process resilience, speeded transactions, reduced risk from staff turnover, improved compliance, and heightened customer (or member) experience.

The other common theme is these executives’ partner on their roadmap journeys: The Lab. For three decades, we’ve been helping bank and credit-union executives like them—and you—with our patented approach to process improvement, standardization, automation, advanced analytics, and AI.

We believe you’ll find the following stories enlightening, if not motivating. We hope you enjoy them.

3 Different Engagements: client Summary
  • Industries: Credit Unions and Banks
  • Employee range: 200-3000+
  • Assets: $2-20b+
  • Sponsors: CEO, COO, Head of Internal Improvement 


200-Employee Credit Union Nets $1.1M in OpEx Improvement for 3-Year ROI of 3.4x

Bank and credit-union executives charged with an automation imperative have two basic ways to proceed with The Lab:
You can go big and process-map your organization to discover and quantify the entire universe of automation candidates to pick from. Or you can start modestly by selecting use cases from The Lab’s Knowledge Work Standardization® (KWS) Platform to build your own “Bot 3-Pack” to spread automation, like Johnny Appleseed, across different departments—which is the route this credit union took to generate maximum buy-in throughout the organization.

Wave 1: Build automation capabilities

The first wave of this initiative was intended to:

  • Provide a low-risk proof-of-concept
  • Improve payment operations where turnover in wires was a problem
  • Implement infrastructure and change-management for automation
  • Install the first allotment of high-value bots, familiarizing the credit union with robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities

The “Bot 3-Pack” approach spread this across various business areas and the following Wave 1 bots:

  • Outbound Wires
  • STAR Network Reconciliation
  • Mobile Deposit Reconciliation

The first “bite-size” implementation wave alone—completed in just six months— yielded 4.9k in saved annual labor hours, worth $200k+ per year, or $600k over three years.

Wave 2: Expand OpEx savings and process resiliency

Building on their experience from Wave 1, the credit union was now poised to generate and manage a bigger RPA bot pipeline. With structured automation use-case discovery anchored by IP from The Lab’s KWS Platform, the client was able align the next round of six bots with executive leadership’s strategic objectives.

Wave 2 bots included:

  • Card Fraud
  • Account Closing
  • Mortgage Payment Reconciliations
  • NCR ITM Daily Posting
  • Mortgage Data Transfer
  • ACH Exception Reversals

Waves 3+: Lather, rinse, repeat to realize end-to-end strategic automation

Now that the entire organization had fully bought into the capabilities of robotic process automation, the business units were constantly asking for more bots on their own. The credit union accelerated RPA across big-bang use-cases like “Right to Offset” and “Member Cross-Selling”. 

Client: Credit union
  • Employees: 200+
  • Assets: $2+ billion
  • Sponsor: Head of Internal Improvement
Project Objectives
  • Build automation capabilities
  • Improve payment operations
  • Spread automation in various business areas
  • Improve OpEx
  • End-to-end strategic automation
Benefits Summary
  • $1.1M in OpEx Improvement
  • 3-Year ROI of 3.4x


Community Bank Nets Labor Savings of 3x ROI+… while gaining 15 basis points in commercial loan margins

Unlike the executive in Automation Program Benefits Story 1, this CEO took a slightly more aggressive approach to his automation roadmap, starting with end-to-end process mapping to discover a first tranche of eight bots to deliver rapid-payback labor-cost savings and ROI.

The benefits are far more than financial:

  • Risk/compliance benefits include audit-compliant sampling, superior reporting capabilities, and prepopulated, error-free metadata.
  • Customer-experience benefits include faster processing of transactions and loans, fewer errors, reduced avoidable follow-ups, and proactive status updates and notifications.

Wave 1: Map business processes and realize rapid payback automation benefits

The initial eight bots for this bank included:

  • Online Account Opening Application Processing & Fraud Removal
  • ITM/ATM Reconciliations
  • BSA/AML Data Gathering and SAR Creation
  • ACH Non-Posted Transaction Reconciliation
  • ACH Return Duplicate Insufficient Funds Fees Removal
  • Adverse Action Letters
  • Commercial Pricing and ROE
  • Monthly Mortgage Review

These initial bots alone delivered over 11,000 hours of annual capacity savings.

Wave 2: Implementing more bots and developing their own internal RPA team

With another five bots already in the queue and getting developed (including “User Provisioning for All IT Systems,” “VA Mortgage Appraisals Logging,” “ACH Stop Pay Processing,” and more), this bank was now focused on standing up its own RPA capability to maintain bots built by The Lab and start to develop their own simpler automations.

While helping to support the scaling of the client’s own Automation Center of Excellence and driving toward self-sustainability, The Lab worked with the CEO to target strategic gains and end-to-end processes.

Client: Community Bank
  • Employees: 600+
  • Assets: $4+ billion
  • Sponsor: CEO
Project Objectives
  • Define automation roadmap
  • Map all business processes
  • Large scale transformation
  • End-to-end strategic automation
  • Self-sustain automations
Benefits Summary
  • 15 basis point gain in commercial loan margins
  • 3x ROI


Regional Bank Nets 30k+ Hours in Recurring Annual Labor Savings… while solving urgent business problems

To put it simply, the bigger the bank, the bigger the benefits of automation. What started as small, de-risked “bite-sized chunks” of automation have grown, over time, to an enterprise-wide RPA strategic imperative, helping this super-regional bank outpace its peers and become an industry-leading best-in-class innovator. This client not only automated the mundane—but rapidly solved urgent emerging business issues with its newfound automation capabilities.

Waves 1 – 4: Benefits-first focus and a “crawl, walk, run” approach to scaling automation

The bank executive leading the charge of this important initiative desired a project approach that the business could keep pace with. Going too big out the gate and pushing too hard had previously failed the bank—and they had learned from the past. An organization-focused “crawl, walk, run” approach, supported with patience and perseverance of the steering committee, was the key to success.

Regardless of bank or credit union size, Wave 1 is always the most difficult and can have challenges.
At The Lab, we always tell our clients that “the first bots are always the hardest to implement.” This client’s grit overcame a slow first year with hard-won victories that set the framework for a massively successful future result.

The Wave 1 automation project began with familiarizing the organization with RPA, “crawling” by setting up the infrastructure, a change-management methodology (the challenges stemmed here), and deploying the initial “pilot” bots —one a time—at a pace the organization could handle. Their first wave implemented two bots over six months which delivered 2k hours of annual labor savings.

With infrastructure and change-challenges overcome, Waves 2 and 3 were faster—but still “walking.” They centered around picking up development pace to two bots at a time, sourcing more high-value use-cases, and scaling up of additional back-office banking automations, while expanding RPA into more departments—all while delivering ROI. By the end of Wave 3, this bank had almost 20 bots in production, delivering 22k+ hours of annual labor savings.

Wave 4, for this bank, was all about speed: It was time to “run.” The client was now developing and implementing four bots in parallel and solving urgent business problems with automation. Check fraud was at an all-time high, and the bank was put in a position to hire five FTEs to handle the workload. However, they now had the automation capability and opted to implement bots to tackle the urgent business need with their mature automation capability. By the end of Wave 4, this bank had 31 intelligent automations in production, delivering 30k+ hours of annual labor savings.

Client: Super Regional Bank
  • Employees: 3,000+
  • Assets: $20+ billion
  • Sponsor: COO
  • High scalability with existing resources
  • Fewer human labor business-process dependencies
  • Accelerated processing, cycle times
  • Increased audit, regulatory compliance
  • Faster processing (loans, transactions)
  • Fewer errors, avoidable follow-ups
  • Proactive status updates, notifications
Benefits Summary
  • 30k annual recurring labor hours savings
  • 30+ intelligent automations implemented


Begin—or accelerate—your banking strategic automation roadmap today

Join the bank and credit-union executives who have surpassed their peers with The Lab’s
turnkey approach to strategic automation.

We invite you to schedule a screen-sharing demo with us. You’ll see real RPA banking bots in action. You’ll learn how we do all this from our U.S. offices in Houston, using the world’s best project leaders and bot-development teams, with absolutely nothing outsourced or offshored. And you’ll get all your questions answered by our friendly experts.

Hedge your bank or credit union against employee turnover. Eliminate errors. Increase compliance. And put your organization on a roadmap to accelerate your automation and AI initiatives.


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