No More Wait at the Bank

By Joe Budelli posted 09-15-2010 12:57


Appling for a loan, requesting credit, and buying a home may be the most stressful transactions that consumers make.  In the best case scenario, there are a plethora of forms to fill out, secondary documentation to provide, and days of processing time required.

Banks, credit unions and other financial services institutions lag well behind other industries in taking steps to improve efficiency, decrease wait times and generally speed up processing times. Think about all the paperwork and forms involved in any financial institution: contracts, payment documents, credit card applications, mortgage papers, loan documents, and other financial statements.

Data entry from these forms is a time consuming process and labor intensive endeavor, and one that very few financial institutions have taken steps to automate.  It begs the question of “why?”

With OCR, these different documents can be processed efficiently, quickly and accurately, and easily saved into the correct database files. With data capture technology, financial institutions can implement solutions that can streamline processes and minimize the costs associated with processing. This ups customer satisfaction, and ultimately restores investor confidence and drives profitability.

With the current scrutiny of financial services, I am surprised that the industry hasn’t taken more technological steps to help operational efficiency, and that the media hasn’t more frequently covered how OCR can fundamentally change the banking experience. Sure, some banks do use available technology for forms processing, but they are in the minority.  The use of data capture technology has yet to become a mainstream facet of financial services.

Of course, there are always exceptions and it has to be said that there have been advancements that many banks have implemented into everyday processes. Have you seen the new mobile application that Chase offers to its checking account customers? The QuickDeposit application allows customers to deposit checks using their camera phone. Additionally, although not mobile, Bank of America and Wells Fargo both use automatic check depositing at their ATM’s, so there is no need for a check deposit form, envelope, or slip. (Take a look at this article to learn more about the automated deposit feature.)

But why are these process improvements still the minority?  What do you think it would take for financial service institutions to jump on the OCR bandwagon?

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