For financial services organisations, it was always said that success hinged on two factors: time and money. While they are still vitally important, there’s now a third factor – data – and the need to manage it is firmly taking centre stage, says Gerry Kelliher, General Manager, EMEA Region at Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business.
There’s no avoiding the fact that financial services institutions run on information. Yet, when the flow of data in and out of the organisation doesn’t run smoothly, the result is inefficiency, which in our customer-centric, hyper-competitive world, often makes clients run in a competitor’s direction.
Poor data management – which is commonplace and exacerbated by the scale and geographic spread of today’s financial service providers – makes opening accounts slower, processing loan applications more difficult and providing insurance quotes anything but quick.
Trying to pull vast volumes of unstructured information into existing workflows is burdensome. There’s little visibility into process monitoring, so the path to transparency is far from clear. And efforts to create personal customer interactions can lean closer to awful than attentive.
In addition to negatively impacting sales performance, poor data management hits the bottom line in other ways. According to a survey by Alaris, an organisation with 500 employees could be losing $42,000 each year to wasted paper. Put simply, when financial service providers aren’t equipped with the right tools to capture, access and distribute information, everything becomes more labour intensive.
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The good news
With an increasingly distributed enterprise structure, financial service institutions generate huge volumes of documents at multiple locations every day. For such geographically dispersed organisations, navigating through a sea of content – both paper and digital – can feel like it’s high tide. Thankfully however, there is a lifeboat in the storm – a solution called distributed capture.
Distributed capture allows for information to be captured at the point of origin and the subsequent safe and secure movement of business-critical information to the point of need and beyond. Instantly, businesses gain newfound agility with the ability to respond more rapidly to everything from mortgage, personal loan and credit card applications, to opening new accounts and customer onboarding.
Plus, once the inefficiency of paper is transformed into digital intelligence, decisions that normally take days, weeks or even months, happen in much speedier timeframes.
In a secure distributed capture environment, disorganisation is replaced by efficiency. Manual is phased out by automated. And high tide is overrun by high speed, to keep workflows moving faster.
When all data is properly captured and indexed, it allows branch employees to quickly find additional or specific information, instead of repeatedly asking customers for copies of pay slips, IDs, passports, or other legal documents.
Some of the benefits of distributed capture to financial organisations include:
- Reducing the time it takes employees to capture information
- Speeding up transaction and approval turnaround times
- Mitigating compliance risks
- Capturing and distributing data directly within specific line of business solutions
- The delivery of value, generation of repeat business and enhanced customer loyalty
The foundations of distributed capture
Distributed capture solutions are underpinned by three key areas. The first is powerful scanners– a must-have for connecting multiple bank branches and insurance offices. Organisations should look for simple-to-use scanners that enable easy capture to any device, ones which reduce IT and storage costs, improve security and expedite the customer onboarding process.
Flexible capture software which turns data trapped on a page into intelligent, shareable, instantly accessible information is also an essential must-have. Once paper documents are captured and converted into high quality images, delivering it to databases, applications or employees is effortless.
Finally, it’s important to ensure you partner with a scanning specialist who will help integrate, train and keep the technology up and running – from pre-sales support and installation to maintenance and professional services.
Compliance and customer service
Distributed capture also helps compliance officers maintain control. Regulatory requirements put intense pressures on their departments. The ability to retrieve and digitise documents, while protecting personal data, is the smart way to stay compliant, reduce risks and avoid fines or penalties.
Distributed capture drives efficiency and engagement by capturing data at the source – where customer relationships start. And that can only be a good thing. The right technology will help redefine the flow of information. Once critical data such as documents, reports, receipts and photographs merge with workflows and systems, it’s full steam ahead.