Like the large banks, community banks have made investments in going paperless—and often failed.
Until Lake City Federal Bank made the transition, CFO Jeff Coats called the administration of their old system “nightmarish”. They couldn’t capture tickets, perform efficient searches or make consistent updates. Even after updates the system didn’t function well.
Solutions were needed because regulatory compliance is at an epic high and as financial institutions know, keeping improper records and not filing necessary reports can result in:
- Monetary penalties
- Regulatory sanctions
- Damaged reputations
User friendly system integrated solutions are revolutionizing enterprise content management (ECM) and providing seamless immediate access to audits, inquires and compliance information located between new and existing systems. Also, going paperless is more affordable than ever for mid to small size organizations.
“My favorite part of the system is our ability to administer it easily,” says Coats. “We can create new folders and archives on our own much easier than before, and I can give employees specific rights. We have eliminated manual work and are realizing a large savings in employee time.”
According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), a 75 year old product neutral research and information organization, “Forty-five percent of their respondents describe their payback period for their paper free investments to be as soon as 6 months.”
Customer service is improved too.
Here’s one example of how an end-to-end paperless service could look:
- Customer wants to open savings account with phone or tablet.
- Proof of identity is required and supplied by a banking app on their smartphone.
- Photo of license, passport or other document is taken and sent to the banking system.
Compared to a manual system the process is totally electronic, all information enters the process workflow and is reviewed and approved within hours and at the convenience of the customer. As it turns out, smaller financial institutions are finding they have more agility in their operations with ECM implementation than their larger counterparts. Coordinated response is greatly enhanced with the ability to handle inbound, outbound and administrative documents in a single paper-free system.
Most banks are convinced of the value of going paperless—but many customers still need convincing.
Forbes says, “…companies that want to drive digital adoption must understand why customers like paper and then invest in technology that aligns with the customer wants.”
They suggest that innovation must be made simple. Customers still using paper statements are often put out by having to log on to a website and put in a username and password. Add that to the 10 other monthly bills with passwords and usernames and it’s easy to see why some resist detaching from paper.
Easing customers to paperless can be done by:
- Engaging customers on the value of paperless through social networking sites like Facebook.
- Electronic communication is more than digitizing checks. It should be simple, interactive, easy to use and encrypted across a customer’s various devices.
Going paperless can bring new business too. For example, digital electronic bank statements can provide information on new market mortgage offers, college saving plans and more. As Lake City Federal learned, making the change requires the right technology and a trusted partner who understands your business and can answer the preliminary questions to move you along the process. You should be able to rely on their support throughout the transition and beyond.
Paper-free is exciting and revolutionizing banking. Making the internal process changes offer new efficiencies, more options for customer engagement, enhanced regulatory compliance, increased customer satisfaction and happy shareholders.