5 questions with … BMO Harris Bank’s Head of Technology Syed Hasan


BMO Harris Bank Head of Technology Syed Hasan is focusing on delivering an omnichannel experience for the bank’s business customers with an eye toward digital technologies in 2023.  

The $167 billion Chicago-based bank began leveraging robot process automation (RPA) this year to drive efficiencies within the business to stay ahead of competitors, according to Hasan. 

Bank Automation News recently caught up with Hasan to discuss what the bank’s developers are working on for 2023. What follows is an edited version of that conversation. 

Bank Automation News: BMO recently deployed RPA in an effort to fight fraud. How else is the bank using RPA? 

Syed Hasan: RPA is part of BMO’s digital-first approach  to drive efficiencies in every part of the business. We recently deployed RPA for our business banking line, booking loans to the mainframe system. This allows for all loans under $100,000 to be booked in near real time. The feedback from our frontline teams has been positive, as it enables us to create capacity to focus on higher-value work. 

BAN: What enhancements are you planning for the business onboarding platform BMO Business Xpress (BBX)?  

Syed Hasan, BMO Harris Bank Head of Technology

SH: Our developers are working on the integration of new products and channels for our BBX platform as well as introducing new functionality to enable an omnichannel experience for our business banking customers. This allows more convenience and flexibility for our customers.  

For example, a client can start a lending application in a branch, and later finish the application online. Our developers are also working on enhancing the technology for loan processing of nonprofit entities and innovating the technology currently used to send targeted promotions to customers.  

BAN: Which technologies are on your radar for 2023? 

SH: We are planning to introduce model-based intelligent testing tools that will significantly enhance our quality assurance process. These tools will allow for auto discovery of defects, generation of tests and the streamlining of the defect resolution process. We are also introducing e-signature and optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities to our BBX platform. 

BAN: Are there any new projects currently in development? 

SH: Our developers are working on enhancing the technology for loan processing of nonprofit entities and innovating the technology currently used to send targeted promotions to customers. 

Additionally, BMO is always looking at our technologies and finding ways to update and incorporate new products and offerings into our BBX platform to improve customer experience. 

BAN: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice? 

SH: It’s one thing to digitize, but it’s even more important to humanize. Focus your technology journey on the people — both the people who build the technology and the people who use the technology — to succeed.