Mobile devices have revolutionized how consumers and businesses interact with financial products. But of equal importance is how they have transformed day-to-day bank operations, offering innovative ways to streamline back-office workflows while further enhancing the customer experience.
To achieve a competitive advantage in today’s digital age, banks and credit unions must not only embrace a “mobile first” strategy through the delivery of customer-facing mobile applications, but also extend that approach to their internal workforce to enhance overall productivity, workflow and compliance.
Banks are already migrating towards automation and paper-less processes. Through the deployment of enterprise information management (EIM) solutions, banks can easily manage, find and track documents and other information across the organization. In the simplest of terms, EIM organizes both structured data (information residing in customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and other database applications) and unstructured content (PDFs, Microsoft Office files, images and videos). This information often resides within multiple and disconnected platforms, applications, locations and devices, and with different user interfaces with varying levels of complexity.
For banks that offer a comprehensive suite of services – from banking and investment to mortgage lending and payment services – EIM makes it easier for employees to locate and access the information required to do their jobs, improving productivity across all lines of business. The benefits of extending EIM to employees’ mobile devices include:
Compliant-proof processes. Mobile EIM provides a secure system for managing and tracking quality- and compliance-related information and processes, ensuring company-wide adherence to mandatory policies and procedures. With the ability to dynamically establish, edit and/or share access permissions to sensitive content, mobile EIM helps banks ensure that confidential information is protected from individuals who do not have access rights. These permission controls, coupled with time-stamped event logs, allow banks to instantly generate trusted audit trails to verify compliance while enabling their workforce with the speed and efficiency afforded by mobile access to company data.
Reduce transaction costs with eSignatures. According to the latest research from the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), delays on average of three days and up to one week are added to most processes when attempting to collect physical signatures. As a result, banks are increasingly using electronic signatures to reduce transaction costs and the time to close business.
Mobile EIM provides real-time access to any document, from anywhere (remote account service team members, loan officers, etc.) including contracts, form changes or any document that requires approvals. Bank employees can facilitate document signings and authorize contract changes from a company- or employee-owned mobile device. Electronic signatures not only offer a seamless experience for mobile users on both sides of the transaction but also serve to improve workflow efficiencies while fulfilling the most rigorous regulatory compliance requirements.
Optimize productivity and workflow. Because of its ability to organize and classify data based on its attributes, by using metadata tags, EIM is critical to any industry that is migrating from paper-based to electronic-based processes.
Through process automation, banks can increase reliability and repeatability while eliminating errors, delays and duplicates. With a mobile-enabled workforce, documents are securely accessible from anywhere and at anytime. As a result, version creep and the possibility for data duplication are eliminated and the accuracy and integrity of financial data is maintained and protected.
Improved data security. Security concerns represent the greatest obstacle to back-office mobile-enablement across the banking sector, where the interest in protecting the confidentiality of sensitive information is business-critical. Mobile EIM is flexible, allowing banks to establish and enforce proprietary authentication processes to ensure maximum overall information security. This may include password policies as well as multi-factor authentication mechanisms, such as SMS tokens or some other additional layer of security.
Mobile EIM offers banks a simple, device-independent and secure way to enable their employees to access repositories (be they cloud- or on-premises-based) via their smart phones and tablets. Native to the mobile EIM solution are pre-shared keys, which offer an additional authentication layer to the login process that enables secure remote access connections without the deployment of a VPN. Encrypting data, both in transit and at rest, should also be considered a basic requirement when allowing mobile access to corporate information.
The most advanced systems also enable users or administrators to define which information assets are accessible via mobile applications and which document types can only be accessed via the local area network. With some solutions, you can even revoke access to a document or require the recipient to download the new version of it, even if the document was originally sent as a standard attachment file.
Enforceable audit trails. With the ability to record all financial business processes, from simple approvals to sophisticated, multi-step workflows with multiple stakeholders, assignments, notifications and electronic signatures, mobile EIM creates audit-ready records that are compliant with financial regulations. And because information is maintained in the centralized corporate repository, chain of command is never lost and trusted audit trails are never broken.
Mr. Javanainen is senior director of Product Management at Dallas, Tex.-based M-Files Corp. He can be reached at email@example.com.