In banking and finance sector it is imperative to be able to efficiently and effectively answer customer enquiries and demands as well improve the general levels of customer service. In order to attract new customers, banks and other financial institutions must think of disruptive ways to bring value. The word disruptive signifies the introduction a new and far more unique idea that completely changes the face of customer service in the banking and finance sector.

It may seem that employing disruptive ideas signify wholesale changes to a financial organisation and present huge cost implications. In fact, it is the opposite. A disruptive idea is one that streamlines existing processes whilst achieving savings in a monetary sense but also time wise.

Typical banking processes such as invoice processing and credit card, loan and mortgage application are becoming increasingly paper intensive. In the mortgage industry alone the average file size has increased to over 200 pages. Banks and financial institutions have come to the point whereby such increases in paper have become unsustainable and therefore must look for an alternative solution, namely through electronic means.

Limitations with paper

Paper is labour intensive because it involves huge amounts of manual data entry, which is time consuming. As a result, it causes delays in paying an invoice and increases the turnaround time for an application form. Furthermore, manual entry is error prone thus adds to the cost of exceptions handling. Additional cost implication of paper includes the logistics of shipping the paper and its physical storage.

The knock-on effect is not only felt internally, as mentioned, but also externally to customers. Delays contribute to decreased levels of customer service. If a customer has omitted, forgotten or provided incorrect supporting documentation for a mortgage application, it will take longer for a manual exceptions handling process to recognise and address the issue, whereas an automated data capture and workflow system is capable of speeding up the process.

Benefits of an automated workflow and data capture system

Nearly all banking and finance processes occur at branch level but require integration with head office for processing and approval. An automated system will scan and classify each document, automatically extract all the relevant pieces of information, which are then ingested by a centralised back-end system for processing.

Application forms, their accompanying documents, invoices and so forth are scanned and captured at the point of entry and classified, which greatly reduces time consuming and labour intensive manual data entry. Staff time is freed up to work and focus on other business issues and become more productive.  Additionally, all sources of delays are eliminated thus application turn-around are times are vastly increased, invoices are paid on time and cost of exceptions handling is reduced as data captured is highly accurate.

A practical view

Research stipulates that the application of automated data capture has the potential to reduce labour costs related to manual data entry by 50%. Furthermore, an investment in an automated data capture system has seen many users receive a return on their investment in less than 18 months.

A survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) in 2010 found that 60% receive an ROI within 18 months and 85% within 3 years, respectively.

Overall, an automated system increases visibility of incoming document streams. In the invoice processing landscape, a single company were able to visualise incoming invoices and hence take greater advantage of early pay discounts, previously from 50% to now 98%. This saved the company $9 million in a single year.

Double data entry is a common and manual method employed by organisations to uphold data accuracy. The method revolves around 2 data entry clerks keying in the same data and comparing results. Whilst this may prove effective, it is very time consuming and an inefficient way of processing accurate data. In a U.S. census, the error rate for manual data entry was 1.4%, whilst only 0.4% using an automated method. Although this may seem minimal, it far greatly efficient from a time aspect compared to a double data entry method. Furthermore, an automated system can reconcile errors through methods such as database lookups.

There benefits of an automated system are far and wide. In order to create a competitive advantage an organisation must deliver more value for less. It can only achieve this if internal processes are made to become streamlined, cost efficient and time efficient.

To learn more or request a free demonstration of automated data capture technologies  at your premises, please get in touch and contact us.