Financial services: the transformation of the mail room
Financial services is one of the economy’s most important and influential sectors, encompassing many essential functions. Unsurprisingly, therefore, there is a continuous drive to ensure operation expenditure is reduced and value for money is maximised, while at the same time not losing sight of the fundamental need to provide leading customer service.
One such cost saving drive across the financial services market is reducing manual and cumbersome processes. The handling of extensive amounts of incoming mail and cherished documents, in both print and digital formats, often relies on large numbers of employees having to manually sort and categorise received mail in order to pass to the appropriate department to respond.
Here, Jamie Higgins, Site Director at Leicester & Lancing, Paragon Customer Communications (Paragon), , discusses the intuitive Omnichannel Inbound Systems helping financial institutions seamlessly handle inbound mail from every channel, drive greater efficiencies, reduce the reliance on people, enhance security and make significant cost savings.
FinTech is increasingly disrupting the role, structure, and competitive environment for financial institutions and the markets and societies in which they operate. Yet, while this growing shift towards digitisation – fuelled largely by digital disruptors – has gathered pace in many areas, whether via mobile banking and payment apps or blockchain solutions, it is yet to fully penetrate others, particularly the management of inbound and outbound mail.
While the anticipated shift in customer bases as the millennial generation enters the market has thrust digital servicing firmly into the spotlight, customer demographics mean certain clients still prefer printed mail. This has presented something of a dilemma for the modern financial service provider: how to efficiently and cost-effectively handle extensive amounts of mail from every channel.
Add to this the fact that many of these documents, such as bank statements and birth, marriage and death certificates, are considered sensitive in nature, which makes security critical, and the need to ditch inefficient manual processes becomes even more apparent.
A hybrid solution
As financial institutions move to support more automation protocols to create efficiencies in handling client requests, technology has become a true enabler for delivering enhancements in the management of incoming mail.
The integration of innovative machine learning is used to intelligently interpret and categorise documents. Whether the documents are physical or digital, the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology automatically interprets, scans and indexes key information. Any printed mail is digitised so that it can be electronically edited, searched, stored more compactly and accessed via an online centralised system.
To ensure maximum control, documents categorised by the Omnichannel Inbound platform can then be approved by a nominated individual or team to guarantee they have been correctly indexed, giving the best of both human and digital worlds.
This conversion of traditionally manual processes – where a physical mailroom is necessary to handle all mail – into a digital hybrid solution, gives financial institutions the control, speed and security they need while maximising their budgets.
A valued partner
By not only handling secure files on behalf of clients, but also processing payments, Paragon can help simplify the secure storage and retrieval of key documents, in turn reducing costs via a streamlined process for document scanning and information flows.
Indeed, Paragon not only manages incoming mail and cherished documents for financial services clients, but also handles and banks approximately £7.5 billion for clients every year, securely processing cheques and payments.
Such an integrated service allows us to support clients in the provision of an enhanced, frictionless customer experience and faster service delivery. For example, by receiving customer applications and the supporting cherished documents, we can quickly alert customers to any discrepancies in their applications via email and SMS, saving valuable time and improving the overall CX.
An experienced and knowledgeable partner with an ecosystem of innovative technologies at their disposal, Paragon have been supporting the financial services sector with leading-edge strategies for many years.