Six reasons why financial institutions are digitizing paper documents (Part 2)

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In last week’s blog post we looked at the growing trend toward document digitization in North American financial institutions.

The digitization initiatives include all kinds of documents, from client loan files to corporate HR records. Some banks are focused on imaging their legacy collections and others are focused on scanning their newly created documents.

Digitization – A strong business case
The case for digitizing paper documents is getting stronger all the time. In last week’s blog post we pointed to rising real estate costs and rising costs of document management as two factors. Digitization also helps improve customer service levels. Here are three more factors behind the digitization trend:

4. Risk management
One of our banking colleagues remarked that many loan vaults they visited looked “terrible” and disorganized. This highlights a potential issue with paper – that unless it is carefully managed, it increases various kinds of risk. In particular, lost and misplaced files can result in compliance issues, fines, customer service delays, and ultimately, lost business. Digitizing can reduce instances of lost or misplaced files, allowing you to work with electronic copies when possible. It also leaves you with less paper to potentially mismanage.

5. Process improvement
In an effort to stay competitive, many financial institutions are engaged in corporate-wide efforts to improve processes and productivity. As they dive into individual business processes, it becomes clear that paper-based processes could be vastly more efficient when converted to digital files and electronic workflows.

6. Improved scanning technologies
In recent years, the technologies available for digitizing paper documents have improved dramatically. Scanning speeds and capacities get better with each new equipment release. At the same time, these advancements continually improve the math when making the business case for digitization – allowing you to scan more documents, more quickly.

In most cases, financial institutions are choosing to digitize their records for several of these reasons. Together these factors make a compelling case to re-think paper-based processes and look at digitization. If you haven’t explored the business case for digitization recently, it may be time to come back to it. The numbers are looking better all the time.

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