From online banking platforms to mobile wallet solutions, banks haven’t been shy about adopting innovative digital solutions that can improve frontend, customer-facing operations. Most of America’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, offer consumers the ability to conveniently manage their bank accounts from a desktop or mobile device. Like last year’s Citi Pay launch, for instance, who showcased yet another example of how banks are taking the necessary steps to improve the overall customer experience.
Although much progress has been made to improve frontend banking operations, IT solutions can make just as much of an impact on the backend. From increased employee satisfaction to faster processing, banks stand to see big benefits from IT-driven solutions that are integrated in back-end operations.
"From increased employee satisfaction to faster processing, banks stand to see big benefits from IT-driven solutions that are integrated in back-end operations"
Check out how these five solutions can erase the hassle of back-office procedures—saving banks both time and money, streamlining procedures and improving overall corporate operations.
Shared Online Portal
Siloed banks have long struggled to pass along important customer data, such as transaction history or account information, between different branches. This absence of clear and consistent communication has brought about reduced efficiency as well as higher operating costs. So how can banks avoid such setbacks? A shared online portal may be the answer.
By enabling each branch across the larger system to monitor transactions for each customer, shared online portals open the door for a more consistent customer service experience than ever before—streamlining both frontend and backend operations. A single customer portal that features services offered across several different branches could also improve the success of cross selling efforts, especially considering the cost and complexity of banking.
Outsourced Data Processing
It’s no wonder more banks are turning toward outsourced data processing. From server upgrades to storage expansion, outsourcing enables banks to sidestep periodic expenses totaling hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars. Better yet, doing away with in-house processing, frees up time for more important initiatives. Employees once bogged down by an in-house data processing system would have the luxury of using their time and talents to improve other areas of the business.
But while outsourcing can certainly eliminate costs banks may not have budgeted for, and enable IT workers to address more pressing matters, it also threatens to increase the amount banks pay each month for data processing. Weighing both the pros and cons of outsourced data processing should give banks a better idea of whether it’s right for their business.
Manual processing is alive and well–at least in the banking industry. For years, banks have made use of paper-based applications that require dozens of reviews before completion. Not only are such processes costly, but they also often lead to errors. By embracing and integrating automated reports, accounts and transactions, banks can do away with many of the shortcomings that have plagued their industry for years. Those that usher in digital processing platforms and solutions can increase the accuracy of their reports, leading to valuable savings later down the line. Meanwhile for employees, automated reports would bring about the opportunity to ditch menial back-end tasks in favor of more fulfilling and important matters such as the customer experience.
When it comes to back-end filing as well as major reports and transactions, many banks still prefer old fashioned pen and paper. But while this system has withstood the test of time, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient option out there. Electronic imaging and tablet interfaces can go a long way toward creating a unified digital system that limits work on both the frontend and backend.
By making client information readily available in just a few clicks, electronic imaging can help cut costs associated with lengthy in-person client visits. On a similar note, digital documents can provide clients with up-to-the-minute personal financial information they simply can’t get from paper statements. This technology also enables on-the-go clients to sign important documents from just about anywhere, making for a quick and convenient customer experience.
Banks often strive to provide consumers with a convenient user experience on the frontend. However, digital credentials can offer many of the same benefits to employees. Rather than lugging around an outdated, plastic ID card, employees would have the luxury of storing any and all of their credentials securely on their mobile device. Say, for example, avoiding an instance of an employee leaving behind his or her ID at home, or losing it on the way to work.
Since employees would be able to verify themselves at clock-in using nothing more than their phone, issues of security and accessibility to proper employee credentialing would become a thing of the past.
Perhaps even more importantly, digital credentials also do a better job of protecting employees’ identities than plastic ID cards. A number of security measures, including a 4 to 6 digit PIN and biometric authentication on iOS and Android devices, work together to ensure fraudsters can’t access a customer’s personal and financial information even if they get their hands on an employee’s smartphone. Unlike plastic ID cards, which could potentially be used to compromise a client’s account, digital credentials remain safe and secure at all times.
Banks have been quick to adopt digital solutions capable of improving their frontend operations. Doing the same on the backend will allow these technology advocates to yield similar results on the other side of the table. These five digital solutions— shared online portals, outsourced data processing, automation, operations-wide digitization, and the integration of digital credentials—can help ramp up processing efficiency and increase employee satisfaction, saving banks both time and money along the way. Careful consideration of each solution will put banks well on their way toward integrating IT advancements that can enhance not only the frontend, but also backend operations.