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An accounts payable automation solution is typically made up of a combination of technologies that includes data capture via OCR and an automated workflow of some sort. Some AP automation solutions are integrated with SAP and some are not.

Working in the product management area for Financial Process Automation solutions is a dynamic experience. Every day there are new trends being explored, new players in the market, and new technologies being applied to achieve the benefits promised by leaving manual processes behind and starting an automation journey.

By Ethen Schachle, Product Manager

One of the regular places where one can see this is at the trade events offered like SAP Financials, AP & P2P, and similar conferences. One thing that always strikes me at these events is the word “automation.” It’s a heavily used word. I should know, I use it a lot myself. At the trade shows, you can see this word on many banners and in the titles of the presentations given, but I believe that, at some point, most people start to tune out the word entirely.

What does automation really mean?  What is the substance behind the buzzword? I think it’s a worthwhile question to ask, as the answers can reveal a lot about the goals you want to achieve and what are the most the painful parts of the process you face today. ​

History Matters

From the perspective of the accounts payable department, the automation story started with imaging. Making digital representations of paper for storage was often a way to replace large rooms of filing cabinets. Then came the ability to send those digital images in some form of workflow or communication path to gather info and approvals, rather than using paper or phone calls.  After this came recognition technology, the ability to pull data from the paper image and to know, for example, that a text on the page meant the date the invoice was issued and not some other date like the due date.

This was a big step, making the analog world of meaning enter the digital world in an automated way. And even today, there are many marketing messages out there describing in detail how fantastic this is, and how many ways the technology can more accurately figure out what is what compared to the technology of another company.

Unfortunately, this recognition technology doesn’t get finance managers too excited, as they have bigger problems to solve. Which brings us to back to the question: What does automation mean to you?

P2P Automation

The procure-to-pay or source-to-pay or source-to-settle chain is…huge! And remember those trade shows I mentioned? Most of the signage says, basically, “We have the sweetest smelling P2P automation available.” But is it even possible to claim that?

The P2P space is long and wide and potentially interconnected at almost every point. The quiet secret is that there are no vendors in the marketplace that offer fully integrated P2P automation solution.

Those making such claims should be evaluated to assess if the level of functionality offered is enough to really qualify. And perhaps, equally important, are the features and functionality delivered in such a way that it’s useful for the business system landscape you live in? Does the ERP integration exist in such a way that it delivers real benefit to your core procurement and finance process? How will you report on the processes? What will you have to offer the auditors who wish to review the history?

Automation Basics

So, what should you consider when looking for an automation solution? Naturally the question depends on the type of business you are, what kinds of success you’ve had to date in your business process automation, and what kind of organizational goals you wish to achieve.

These kinds of factors can greatly affect the answer. Yet, there are some fundamentals that are always true.

Intuitive
Solutions should match a best-practice approach to getting the work done. When the technology takes priority over process, you’ll face challenges in the adoption and change management needed for your teams to be successful. A common example from the accounts payable process is bringing finance workers face to face with technical recognition technology. They are not likely to understand how training a computer to recognize the data on a PDF or a paper image is connected to their core tasks. Solutions should be a boost to their core competence.

Open
Solutions that are closed off to other integrations will only increase frustration when trying to achieve end-to-end automation goals. Are your business documents to be scanned and recognized by an outsourced provider? How will this information be integrated with a new solution? Can the solutions you consider take advantage of the data and processes that already work well, like an organizational hierarchy for approval, or receipt of supporting documents, like a goods receipt needed to process an incoming invoice?

Ability to connect the dots
Many solutions excel in specific areas but connecting these pieces together to create a larger process requires time-intensive and costly customization. If a solution can quickly identify a problem with pricing, can it just as easily present this issue in an automated way to the persons or service area that can solve it?  If you have already taken the time and expense to customize how to apply a complicated account coding or other cost objects assignment to an invoice, will you be able to leverage this work as an automation component within a larger process?

The Conductor
The automation concept most people think of today is actually orchestration. The ability to connect both humans and machines together in a defined process. The ability to take the results of individual automation components and hand them off to the next step in the larger process.

As you look to achieve your automation goals, think about if you want a well conducted orchestra or just a talented solo artist. And when you’re ready to discuss, we’d love to help you find your solution.

The post Automating Automation: The Orchestra and the Conductor appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the hottest topics in accounts payable today.

In fact, accounts payable practitioners surveyed in 2018 by the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) cited RPA as one of the most important technologies to the future of their profession.

What has accounts payable practitioners so excited about RPA?

The technology leverages software to perform certain tasks within business processes that are repetitive and typically error-prone for people to perform.

Despite what you may imagine, or have been led to believe by sci-fi movies, RPA is not:

  • A humanoid robot
  • Something that replicates human cognitive thought (yet)
  • Something that can entirely replace humans

But RPA is especially well-suited for rules-based tasks such as processing supplier invoices.

Controllers surveyed by IOFM rank accounts payable as the most labor-intensive finance and administration (F&A) function. And that’s saying something when you consider burdensome F&A functions such as accounts receivable, procurement, tax, and audit and reporting. Accounts payable also is the F&A function that controllers believe would benefit the most from automation.

That’s where RPA comes in. The technology:

  • Performs repetitive tasks such as calculating amounts or populating data in multiple systems
  • Monitors and opens existing queues such as a buyer’s accounts payable portal
  • Reviews fields and extracts data from documents such as invoices
  • Routes documents for approval and exceptions handling based on pre-set rules
  • Requires no programming or modifications to existing systems

RPA observes user activity between applications, and then mimics the activity for multiple users, again and again. This frees staff from the drudgery of transaction processing to focus more time on strategic activities such as data analysis, supplier management, and vendor master database cleanup.

That’s exciting to accounts payable practitioners who spend 84 percent of their day, on average, on repetitive tasks such as invoice data entry and paper shuffling and filing, per IOFM’s research.

Healthcare organizations are successfully using RPA for reporting automation, claims and billing, and payment reconciliation. Banks are using the technology to automate account opening, card activation, and fraud claims. And RPA is helping insurers process claims and enroll customers.

Forty-nine percent of financial shared services organizations surveyed by SharedServicesLink plan to deploy RPA within the next two years—and many of them will use the technology for payables.

If RPA is in your accounts payable department’s plans, Top Image Systems wants to speak with you. Our eFLOW AP solution leverages every opportunity for automation of invoice processing in SAP, and employs machine-learning for continued performance improvement independent of human intervention. The result is a constantly increasing rate of invoices that post automatically to your SAP system.

You can contact us here, or continue reading more about eFLOW AP for SAP—and end-to-end solution that includes invoice capture, comprehensive vendor invoice functions, workflow and exception handling, a supplier communication portal, and secure archival of process data in the cloud.

The post 2019: The Year of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in AP appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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As we face 2019’s adventures with much energy and excitement, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the high points of 2018.

Happy Customers

Of course, positive customer experience is our goal every year, but 2018 was certainly the year for streamlined savings.

In early 2018, we helped one of Asia’s top financial services group expedite the processing of trade finance documents using our eFLOW TradeDocs solution. In their words, the eFLOW solution has now enabled “everyone to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.”

Soon after, we shared the news of another happy customer in Asia, a leading personal care organization, that automated their invoice processing with eFLOW Extract. They went from manually handling over 500 invoices daily to reducing their invoice processing costs by 70%!

Next, we announced the signing of a two-year, multi-million dollar transaction with a multinational energy company to upgrade and modernize its corporate accounts payable operations through the implementation of eFLOW AP for SAP. “Accounts payable has become a strategic investment for our company,” said our CEO Brendan Reidy.

We kicked off fall with the news that Allied Bakeries signed a contract with TIS as a preferred supplier to implement an automated invoice processing solution that is integrated with their SAP system. Allied Bakeries referred to eFLOW AP for SAP as a “comprehensive solution and a perfect fit for all the Allied Bakeries accounts payable requirements.”

Another year of helping customers transform their business processing, with no signs of pause in 2019!

Special Events

While technology has afforded us several ways to interact with potential customers, nothing compares to the experience of a face-to-face conversation.

In 2018, we sponsored and attended a number of events that allowed us to speak with the customers and industries that we serve in person. At SAP Financials2018, SAPinsider interviewed our SAP experts to learn what makes our accounts payable automation solution that sits inside SAP so special. We posted the Q&A videos from that interview on our YouTube channel. We also showcased eFLOW AP for SAP at the DSAG Theme Day: Electronic Invoice Processing for SAP in Germany later in the year.

If you think our SAP experts had all the fun–think again! Our banking process automation experts met with many industry professionals at a range of events in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Australasian Shared Services and Outsourcing Week in Melbourne, RPA Digital World in Tokyo, CFO Innovation Thailand Forum in Bangkok, CFO Innovation Hong Kong Forum, AutoID & Communication Expo in Tokyo, and FIT Japan in Tokyo.

We met a collection of people ready to rethink the way they do business. We’d love to meet you at our next event. Follow our events page to see when we’ll be near you!

Noteworthy Blogs

At TIS, our goal is to keep you informed about topics that affect your business goals and productivity.

With GDPR regulations looming in the second quarter of 2018, every global organization sought information, tools, and expectations for data rights in a new age. We explored salient topics in data privacy on the TIS blog with Data Privacy Expert Andrew Pery, who wrote about The Intersection of Privacy Law and Technology and The First Step Toward a GDPR-Compliant Operation. In May, he hosted the webinar GDPR Preparedness from a Data Privacy Expert.

The TIS Blog was also frequented by Guest Blogger Mark Brousseau, our banking industry blogging expert, who talked about 4 Ways Banks Use Intelligent Data Capture to Enhance Customer Experience, How Banks Can Beat Fintechs at Their Own Game, how to Boost Customer Confidence in Your Bank with Signature Verification, and most timely—3 Trends That Will Define the Banking Industry in 2019.

Subscribe to our blog to get notified every time we post a blog. (There’s one coming soon you don’t want to miss!)

So, What’s Next?

2019 is all about productivity. And as usual, we plan to find businesses ready to transform their manually-operated business into a Digital Business. Ready to make the move?

Reach out now to find out how.

The post 2018 Year-In-Review appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Mark Brousseau, Guest Blogger
President, Brousseau & Associates

Is your bank keeping up?

As the underpinnings of the banking industry shift, banks must become more digital, data-driven and customer-centric.

Fortunately, emerging technologies will make it easier for banks to address these trends in 2019.

Here are three trends that will define the banking industry in 2019 and how banks can prepare:

1. Heightened customer service demands: Banks will face unrelenting pressure in 2019 to deliver personalized, on-demand services that look and feel more like the latest smartphone application and less like the clunky online banking services of yesteryear. Banks that don’t focus on strategies for improving customer experience and trust in 2019 will find themselves at risk of losing market share to bank and non-bank competitors alike.  This will especially be true when it comes to the sought-after and tech-savvy millennial generation.

Only half of banking customers surveyed by Forrester Research are willing to keep their business at banks that don’t get the customer experience right.  Intelligent data capture, online image and data archives and mobile applications are tools that banks can use to leverage the vast amount of customer data that has traditionally been trapped in silos.  Unlocking customer data – an approach that is successfully being used in other industries – will enable banks to offer their customers more personalized services and instant access to data where and how they need it.

2. Expansion of the bank lockbox to include integrated receivables: Accounts receivable processing is the lifeblood of any business. But stubbornly long and extremely costly cycles to process, match and apply payments and remittance data suggest that there is lots of room for improvement in accounts receivable.  Thirteen percent of the typical accounts receivable practitioner’s time is spent on activities that are wasteful or could be automated, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) finance benchmark data.  The combination of new payment types, more payment channels, skyrocketing data requirements, and increased regulatory requirements is putting even greater pressure on businesses to rethink the way they manage their receivables.

That’s why more banks will extend their lockbox offerings in 2019 to include integrated receivables services that aggregate payments and their remittance details, automatically capture remittance data in paper and electronic format, facilitate intra-day exceptions resolution, and provide consolidated reporting and accounts receivable feeds.  Integrated receivables solutions eliminate friction in cash application in ways that traditional lockbox services never could.  By offering integrated receivables services, banks can create new revenue streams, strengthen existing customer relationships, penetrate new market segments with complex accounts receivable processing needs, and bridge the check-centric receivables environment and the emerging electronic trade and commerce marketplace.

3. Greater focus on risk mitigation: With the rise of identity theft, multi-channel attacks and check schemes, risk mitigation will remain a top priority for banks and their leadership in 2019. Fraud against bank deposit accounts cost the industry an eye-popping $2.2 billion a year, the ABA reports.  But with the right approach, banks can simultaneously mitigate their risks, prepare for and respond to new threats, and assure customers that they are doing all they can to right fraud.  Signature verification solutions provide an excellent way for banks to mitigate their risks.  The technology automatically extracts and verifies the signature that appears on the image of a check or other financial document.  Banks can use the technology at a branch office or in an operations center.

Signature verification solutions also can be used for multiple signatures against one ID, to search for a signature within an image or a file, and to handle high volumes of signatures.  Compared to the manual signature verification process traditionally used by banks, signature verification solutions save a significant amount of staff time and eliminate the chance of human errors during the signature verification process.  It is for these reasons that more banks will implement signature verification solutions in 2019.

Addressing these trends is no small task for banks. But over-analyzing and waiting are not options.

With the right technologies, banks can stay ahead of the curve and achieve significant value.

Top Image Systems offers a range of solutions that enable banks to keep up with the pace of business in the digital economy, from receivables automation to mobile bill pay, automated signature verification and trade finance document processing. For more information, get in touch with TIS today.

The post 3 Trends That Will Define the Banking Industry In 2019 [Guest Post] appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Mark Brousseau, Guest Blogger
President, Brousseau & Associates

Anyone who keeps up with the news is likely aware of the heavy toll that fraud takes on the banking industry. But what most people do not know is that signature verification and other prevention measures by banks stops another $17 billion in fraudulent transactions each year, according to the ABA.

Clearly, banks have an opportunity to educate their customers on what they are doing to better protect customers’ financial transactions and information privacy.

Fraud against bank deposit accounts cost the industry an eye-popping $2.2 billion in losses in 2016, according to the 2017 ABA Deposit Account Fraud Survey, which examines the leading threats against deposit accounts, current and projected fraud losses, and other fraud-related topics. Check fraud accounted for 35 percent of the industry losses, ABA reports. While check volumes are steadily declining, the threat of check fraud and other crimes against consumer data is unrelenting.

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes. Americans lose a staggering $24.7 billion annually to identify theft. Incredibly, 85 percent of these incidents involve the fraudulent use of an existing account such as a bank deposit accounts, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

And fraud perpetrators are becoming more sophisticated. Organized crime is now involved in bank fraud. Crooks are deploying multi-channel attacks on consumer accounts (via check, debit card, Automated Clearing House, automated teller machine, pre-authorized drafts). And more crooks are exploiting their knowledge of how banks monitor transaction activity to circumvent detection.

It’s for these reasons that banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are investing millions of dollars annually in new technology to better protect consumers from fraud.

Software that automatically verifies the signature on checks and other financial documents is one area where financial institutions are investing.

Signatures are a unique biometric that belong to an individual. That’s why signatures remain the basis for proof of identity in financial services and a common method of authorizing banking transactions. Signature verification software extracts and verifies the signature that appears on the image of a check or other financial document. Banks can use the technology at a branch office or in an operations center. Signature verification also can be used for multiple signatures against one ID, to search for a signature within an image or a file, and to handle high volumes of signatures.

Compared to the manual signature verification process traditionally used by financial institutions, automated signature verification software saves a lot of staff time and eliminates the chance of human errors during the verification process. The software generates a confidence score against the signature to be verified; the lower the confidence score, the more likely that the signature is fake.

Importantly, signature verification is a valuable tool in mitigating check fraud.

This is music to consumers’ ears.

Consumers already trust financial institutions more than anyone else in the payment ecosystem to develop technologies to protect their financial data, studies show. In fact, four times as many consumers trust financial institutions over retailers to develop more secure payment technologies.

Financial institutions can build on their standing as the first line of defense against criminals by investing in automated signature verification. These investments will give consumers greater confidence that their financial institution is making every effort to prevent fraud and identity theft, even in the face of shifting technologies and increasingly sophisticated criminals. That’s not to say that every signature verification solution delivers the same fraud-busting results. There are six critical capabilities that financial institutions should look for in a signature verification solution:

  1. Multiple verification methods: Comparing all data extracted from a signature image—including the gravity grid, skyline, bottom-line, enclosed areas, shadow areas, and intersections—against an image on file ensures the highest verification accuracy.
  2. Multiple reference images: Using multiple references enable the technology to differentiate between natural deviations that are typical of a genuine signature, and digressions that indicate fraud.
  3. Confidence levels: Configurable confidence levels with thresholds that consider false-positives and false-negatives help financial institutions more quickly identity fraud.
  4. Automatic signature location: Advanced signature verification solutions can automatically locate one or more signatures on check images and documents for verification and matching.
  5. Removal of backgrounds and noise: Removing lines, pre-printed text, intrusions from other fields, stamps, and other undesired elements surrounding a signature ensures a clean image and the most accurate reading possible.
  6. Scalability: Some financial institutions must verify millions of signatures each day. Advanced signature verification solutions accelerate response times by only storing key features of a signature, rather than the entire image of a signature.

about how automated signature verification technology from Top Image Systems can help improve your financial institution’s standing with its consumer customers.

The post Boost Consumer Confidence in Your Bank with Signature Verification [Guest Post] appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Only with an accounts payable automation solution that sits inside SAP can you have full transparency of all information, including workflow status, exceptions, escalations and approvals.

Why is visibility critical?
The need for this type of transparency goes beyond just identifying areas of friction in your AP processes.

Annie Bleecker

With live transactional data, you have immediate visual feedback on performance, and you can more easily and accurately troubleshoot, tweak processes, and report on performance.  ​

Once you’ve automated business processes, visibility becomes important because staff won’t necessarily know how the automated processes are performing. Ideally, you’d have full transparency through a single point of processing with a comprehensive dashboard overview of your company’s financial processes. In this scenario, you have all the information you may need, accessible to you at any time.​

This kind of visibility is only possible with an AP automation solution that sits inside of SAP but remember that sitting inside SAP alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee these advantages. The specific benefits depend on how your software vendor has leveraged the “inside SAP” access.

We built eFLOW AP for SAP to offer the advantages above, as well as:  

  • Maximum visibility: Account for incoming invoices at the earliest point possible. As soon as an invoice arrives, regardless of how it arrives, it is automatically registered, giving you the most comprehensive audit trail possible.
  • Greatly expanded search capability: Draw from the complete pool of invoices, no matter where they are in the process. ​
  • AP gets full process transparency from within SAP, and processors can easily drill down into individual source documents or check out the current workflow status from their single point of processing. ​

​Don’t settle for an AP automation solution without the flexibility that sitting inside SAP affords—it’s a non-negotiable if you want to reap the full benefit of your investment.​ 

Learn more
This is the third post in a series on the benefits of an accounts payable automation solution that sits inside SAP. Read the prior two posts on this topic, or watch our experts discuss process transparency and more in short video interviews with SAPinsider:

Blog Post: Maximum Process Automation in SAP
Blog Post: Streamlined Exception Handling in SAP
Videos: SAPinsider Interviews

The post Full Process Transparency within SAP – Part 3 of 3 appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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In an earlier post, I explained how having an accounts payable automation solution that sits inside SAP is key to achieving maximum process automation. Now I’d like to explore a second benefit: enhanced user experience. How does a solution that sits inside SAP make invoice exception handling less of a pain? Ultimately, you automate AP processes for speed of processing, so every aspect of the user experience should be geared toward making the tasks that require human intervention quick and painless. ​

Annie Bleecker

Fits and starts, a.k.a. typical exception handling in SAP
If you’re an AP processor working in SAP, you know you must resolve invoice exceptions before the invoice data is available in SAP. That’s why, for SAP organizations, exceptions are essentially the “Do Not Pass Go” cards of automated invoice processing as they interrupt the process flow (more on this in an earlier post).

There are two less-than-optimal actions required if you need to make a change to an invoice once it’s entered a process flow. With an e-invoice, you have to ask the supplier to re-send the invoice. With a paper invoice, you have to find the original invoice and re-scan it. ​

Expand your capacity to resolve invoice exceptions in SAP
When a solution sits inside SAP, it can accept all invoice data so that you can handle the resolution inside of SAP, and the flow of invoices continues uninterrupted. This gives you much-needed flexibility: the ability to move backward and forward in a designed invoice processing flow without issue. ​

​Don’t settle for an AP automation solution without the flexibility that sitting inside SAP affords—it’s a non-negotiable if you want to reap the full benefit of your investment.​ 

It’s important to remember, however, that sitting inside SAP alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee the advantages we’ve gone over today. The specific benefits depend on how your software vendor has leveraged the “inside SAP” access.​

We had the opportunity to be interviewed by SAPinsider on this topic and more at SAP Financials 2018. Click here for our YouTube page, where you’ll find clips from the interview.

The post Streamlined Exception Handling in SAP – Part 2 of 3 appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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An accounts payable automation solution is typically made up of a combination of technologies that includes data capture via OCR and an automated workflow of some sort. Some AP automation solutions are integrated with SAP and some are not.

A solution that actually sits inside SAP is a step beyond integration and carries considerable advantages. Here is the first of the three I will cover in subsequent posts:

Annie Bleecker

Maximum process automation
Straight-through processing of invoices is the #1 goal of automating your invoice processing. But the AP&P2P Network found that less than 5% of organizations can process even half of their invoices without human intervention.

Why is the goal of straight-through processing so far from being met?

One reason is the number of ‘touch points’ required in the processing of an invoice. Picture invoice processing as a slalom ski race: each touch point is a gate you must ski around, slowing your time and increasing the possibility for error. The more your AP staff have to ‘touch’ an invoice during processing, the slower the process and greater the opportunity for errors. ​

Even when working only inside SAP, there’s a lot of toggling between screens and pop-ups to get what you need. ​Add to that an AP automation solution that requires you to first validate captured data in one UI, and then go into a separate UI inside SAP or some other workflow tool to manage your invoices. This bobbing and weaving between separate processes and UIs makes for a slower, disjointed, and error-prone process. ​

Again, achieving a fully automatic process that requires zero human intervention should be the end-goal of every accounts payable automation solution. ​When your AP automation solution sits inside SAP, you have the access to take advantage of every possible opportunity for automation. 

Why is maximum process automation critical?

The #1 concern among AP leaders is speed of processing. But it’s not just about how fast, but how efficient. How can you answer the call to do more with less? This is why invoices per full-time employee (FTE) is the most important benchmark of AP performance.  ​

IOFM found that with significant automation (in which at least 70% of your invoices are received electronically, enabling workflow automation), a single professional can process almost 23,000 invoices annually. That’s 17 times more than the FTE working with low levels of automation can process. 

The more transactional work of AP you’re able to automate, the more you can do with the people you have; for example, revenue-generating tasks like checking whether terms and conditions are complied with, negotiating better terms, or taking advantage of early payment discounts and more advanced dynamic discounting opportunities.

Process automation is the key to doing more with less, in this case: extending the reach of the staff you already have in place, rather than hiring and training more​. An AP automation solution that sits inside of SAP (like our eFLOW AP for SAP) is what will allow you to take advantage of every possible opportunity for automation. ​

Learn more
We had the opportunity to be interviewed by SAPinsider on this topic and more at SAP Financials 2018. Click here for our YouTube page, where you’ll find clips from the interview.

The post How to Maximize Process Automation Inside SAP – Part 1 of 3 appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Mark Brousseau, Guest Blogger
President, Brousseau & Associates

When it comes to delivering an exceptional customer experience—the interactions between a company and its customers—banks are not just competing with one another. Consumers are measuring the customer experience delivered by their bank against leading firms in other industries.

Think Google, Amazon, and Apple.

And think simple, personalized, and digital.

As daunting as it may be for banks to meet the customer experience standards set by leading fintechs, the stakes for delivering an exceptional customer experience have never been higher for banks.

For customers who opened or closed accounts or services in the past year, the single most common reason was their experience with their financial services providers, Ernst & Young notes.

What’s more, a great customer experience can significantly impact bank revenues. A one-point improvement in customer experience translates into a $59 million impact for banks, Forrester finds.

In a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 61 percent of bank executives said a customer-centric business model is “very important.” Seventy-five percent of banks are making investments in this area.

The implication for banks is clear: if banks want to maintain the loyalty of their customers, while preserving and growing their revenue streams, they must deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Ernst & Young says there are six things that banks need to do to win at customer experience:

1. Make offers and communication simple
2. Deliver an omni-channel experience
3. Provide more and better advice
4. Make greater use of data
5. Empower customers with digital channels
6. Enhance problem resolution

More banks are meeting these customer experience challenges with mobile solutions.

Mobile solutions deliver convenience, ease-of-use, and multifunction capabilities by enabling customers to bank when and where they want, complete transactions seamlessly, and instantly access product and service information, transaction history, and advice—all with just a few taps or strokes.

With mobile solutions, banks can further secure customer loyalty and wallet, while moving routine transactions out of the back-office and expensive bank call centers. In fact, consumers young and old increasingly prefer using mobile applications for their routine banking transactions, studies show.

How One Bank Improved Its Customer Experience

As an example of how banks can use mobile solutions to improve their customer experience, consider the case of a top-five Italian bank that offers its customers a mobile bill payment service.

The bank’s mobile bill pay solution provides customers with the ability to pay one of the most used Italian bill payment documents, F24 semplificato, by simply taking a photo of it.  Within seconds, the customer can complete the payment, without having to manually input all of the details of the transaction. The bank’s solution automatically captures a photo of the documents and uses OCR technology to read the information.

The bank uses the mobiFLOW technology from Top Image Systems.

The mobile bill pay solution has proven so effective in helping the bank’s customers simplify an otherwise complex operation that the solution earned first prize earlier this year in the “Innovation across banking channels” category at the prestigious 2018 Italian Fintech Awards (ABI Innovazione).

Top Image Systems can help your bank improve its customer experience. Read more about our banking process automation solutions or contact us now.

The post How Banks Can Beat Fintechs at Their Own Game [Guest Post] appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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Mark Brousseau, Guest Blogger
President, Brousseau & Associates

Whether you’re an executive at a call center, a loan officer, or a branch manager, data accessibility has become essential to your job in banking. Customer engagement, retention, and profitability in banking hinge on customer experiences that are fast, convenient, transparent, reliable, and controlled by the customer.

Yet, many banks still manage their customer information in a manner where:

  • Key information is not captured
  • Captured information is not accurate
  • Data is not timely
  • Systems and processes are fragmented
  • Decision-makers do not have access to key variables

As a result, information accessibility and quality at most banks is hit or miss, at best. To compensate, bank personnel spend massive amounts of time managing, manipulating, or manually tracking down, exporting, or importing structured and unstructured customer data. While the retail banking industry has a great deal of work to do in the area of customer experience, some leaders have already begun to make progress across their digital and branch banking channels. Leading banks are enhancing their customer experience with intelligent data capture technology.

1. A single platform for all customer content: Intelligent data capture technology consolidates structured and unstructured data from any source (such as mail, fax, e-mail, web form, remote office), in any format, eliminating fragmented systems and processes, improving the accuracy of data, and accelerating the delivery of information downstream.

2. Document classification: Banks manage a wide range of customer documents. Intelligent data capture solutions automatically identify any document type based on characteristics such as a logo or the description of a field (e.g., “loan number”). Banks can configure business rules for managing each document type, including the data fields that must be extracted.

3. Data extraction: Banks will never achieve optimal customer experience without capturing the key data points that drive their business processes. Intelligent data capture technology automatically extracts critical data points from anywhere on a paper or electronic document.

4. Seamless integration: Intelligent data capture systems seamlessly integrate with downstream banking systems and processes—ERP, CRM, ECM, or loan systems—to route documents and data to the right people, at the right time. Merging data with an intelligent data capture system enables banks to eliminate information gaps, streamline operations across all functions, and provide new and innovative ways of utilizing customer information.

Delivering exceptional customer experience requires banks to rethink the way they manage customer information. Intelligent data capture systems help banks accomplish this.

Want to learn how your bank can benefit from intelligent data capture? Read more about Digital Mailroom Automation for Banks, or contact us at any time.

The post 4 Ways Banks Use Intelligent Data Capture to Enhance Customer Experience [Guest Post] appeared first on Top Image Systems.

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