120,000 loans

processed in 3 months

Fast response

2 minutes to process a loan and provide emergency funds

80% debt recovery

Thanks to fast response by digital workers

Santander Funds Loans for Needy Businesses in Two Minutes with Intelligent Automation

We emerged with a great reputation because we were the only bank in Argentina able to process a loan and provide funds in just two minutes.
Silvina Montemartini Head of RPA

Santander provides banking services for 3.7 million customers and is a leading financial services company in Argentina. In 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis, the Argentinian government made emergency funding available. To access it, people had to apply through a bank; a process the banks were told about only 48 hours beforehand. How did Santander handle the expected avalanche of applications with only two days’ notice? They turned to their Blue Prism digital workforce.


COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to economies around the globe, and Argentina’s was no exception. In response, the Argentinian government moved quickly to provide emergency funding to small businesses. To access the money, businesses had to apply through a bank, and the funds were made available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Given this approach, the banks realized that they were about to be inundated with applications. And because of the urgency of the situation, the government gave the banks only 48 hours’ notice of this new arrangement.

Another challenge came two months after the loans were due to be repaid, when some of the applicants were not paying the bank back in a timely manner. Fogar, a third party, had guaranteed each of the loans and would allow Santander to transfer the debt to them. But to transfer the debt, the bank had to complete a time-consuming and highly detailed transfer process, which was virtually impossible to do within the timeframe required.


Santander simply didn’t have the time to add enough human workers to handle all the applications it knew it was about to receive. So, they used a resource they already had in place, a Blue Prism digital workforce. Because digital workers were active at the bank and because Santander maintains a library of 500 reusable objects, they were able to deploy a solution in two days.

In an average year, Santander received and processed around 3,000 loan applications in Argentina. Once people started applying for COVID-19 relief, the bank had to process 120,000 applications over the course of three months. With intelligent automation, they were able to fund each loan with ease in just two minutes.

Digital workers were also standing by to assist Santander when businesses defaulted on their loans. Given the tight timeframe to transfer the debt, digital workers were perfectly positioned to compete all paperwork rapidly and accurately. Intelligent automation helped Santander transfer up to 80% of the bad debts it would have otherwise had to absorb. They were only bank in Argentina that was able to respond on time and transfer all their bad debt giving them a competitive edge.

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