How banks can beat the paper chase

by David Ronald, Marketing Director

how-banks-can-beat-the-paper-chase

Financial institutions deal with everything from mortgage applications to account statements to wire transfer requests to customer checks, many of which live as paper documents. And because banks and credit unions are obligated to keep a large part of their documents for years, it’s not uncommon for paper document volume to increase continuously.

The high cost of paper

But there are costs associated with managing paper. It requires a whole lifecycle of expenditures, including purchase, copying, storage, and destruction.

Banking staff spend a great deal of time sorting and filing those documents. Then they spend a lot of time searching through them to find what they need later.

And all this paper must be stored somewhere. That’s a tall—and expensive—order, especially for larger banks. In fact, one customer reported that the volume of paper documents in just one of their divisions would stretch for over a mile if stacked one atop the other.

Plus, these paper documents can’t be stored just anywhere. They need to be housed somewhere safe. After all, customer information is a form of currency, every bit as valuable as cash in the vault.

With enormous space requirements, cumbersome storage and difficulty accessing files slowing them down, many banks have decided to digitize files and store them electronically.

Digitizing the archive and incoming documents

To tackle both existing and incoming paper documents, smaller banks may be able to convert paper archives using a small team or existing staff and then move to digital going forward. Meanwhile, larger banks may consider having their legacy paper archive scanned by a service provider and processing new incoming files digitally themselves.

Regardless of how they do it, financial institutions like yours stand to gain a variety of benefits from making paper documents digital. Here are just a few.

Make your files smaller

PDF files are much smaller than other formats, which saves you hardware space and makes them easier to send online. And of course, they’re digital so you’re reducing paper.

Make your files searchable

Save your staff time by ending the need to dig through massive numbers of paper documents to find what they need. Easy digital access to documents becomes especially useful and important if you’re dealing with compliance issues or legal requirements.

Standardize document formats across your company

Having documents in different formats slows an organization down. PDF is among the best options for storing digital documents because it’s a standard. You can easily convert documents of various kinds—including Microsoft Word, Excel, and just about any other software format—into standard formats like PDF or PDF/A, which is ideal for archiving digitally. And Foxit technology lets you do it at scale, too.

Retain your documents look

When you convert documents into the PDF/A format, the resulting files retain the look and feel of your original documents. Each page of the original document appears as a single page in the PDF/A file. That makes the PDF/A format a great choice when you need to retain the appearance of the documents, which most financial organizations must do to preserve readability and understandability.

Retain signatures

Most financial institutions need to archive actual signed forms, with signatures included. If you move to using PDF forms, you can ensure that you preserve the digital form with signatures included. That’s important when you’re creating an archive that not only needs to stand the test of time but meet any legal obligations.

Take document security further

Complying with security and industry policies doesn’t end when documents reach end users outside a financial organization. Which is why technologies like Foxit ConnectedPDF lets document authors grant and revoke access remotely using a full suite of security capabilities.

Keep better control of digital documents

ConnectedPDF enables document authors to track their documents and see who opened them and what they did to them. They can also give colleagues automatic notification of file updates so they always have the most up-to-date information.

If you’re looking for a full-function, secure PDF solution to implement paperless office workflows, talk to us.


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