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Overcoming Paper-Based Processes in Financial Services

Jon Dedman |

The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK recently published a statement on how financial institutions should plan to meet their requirements for handling document and paper-based processes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCA states that there is an expectation that no client of a firm will be disadvantaged due to the restrictions on face-to-face contact and delays with processes that still involve paper.

Firms are required to demonstrate that they have mitigated the impact of delays, particularly for processing funds or transactions, and maintained good communication with customers, especially the vulnerable or those shielding themselves due to medical conditions.

Examples of moving away from paper-based processes

In a recent webinar, we discussed a number of use cases of how our clients have pivoted to support their client needs with minor changes to existing business processes.

One example was in replacing a paper-based statement delivery process on pre-printed stationery, the customer is now using DataStore to create electronic copies of statements with appropriate overlays before emailing them to clients.

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Another example ? How a client is starting to store documents in an electronic format as early as possible in a given process. This, then, enables staff to work strictly with electronic documents during a task or project, rather than relying on paper.

FinServ firms are asking new questions

This leads on to a number of questions that many financial services businesses – as well as other companies – are asking themselves:

  • With many solutions not being used to their fullest, are we making the best use of the tools that are in place? Are there capabilities that we can extend into other processes or departments to ease pressures in those areas?
  • How many legacy processes and technologies do we have that worked well when all participants were office-based, but have proven difficult or even broken when participants are working from home?
  • What happens when the pandemic restrictions are eased and staffers begin to return to the office? How will our processes work when some staff are in the office yet others are still working from home? That may increase the strain on our resources and processes could become even more arduous to carry out.

While COVID-19 imposes a number of business challenges, particular in financial services, it might also be seen as a force for positive change. It can drive the migration from manual, paper-based processes to more automated solutions, in turn leading to more efficient processes and better service for your clients.

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