3 benefits of digitizing customer data intake processes in banking
In a world where most things—think shopping or sending a text—are fast and seamless, banking is often an outlier. Strict regulation in banking means that banks need to collect a lot of information from customers every time they conduct activity in the bank, whether it’s opening an account or making a simple transfer. Banks also have to be vigilant about fraud and money laundering. Therefore, when customers are onboarded, they are required to conduct Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence to maintain compliance.
All this data collection can cause friction with customers. Most people aren’t accustomed to filling out long forms, whether printed or in PDF, and often balk when asked to do so. However, banks can’t ignore regulations or compromise on the data that they need to prevent fraud and other criminal activity.
Banks need a better way to collect the necessary data, one that won’t create friction with customers. Luckily, that’s exactly what digital data intake does. Digital data intake is a key part of digital transformation in banking, and it provides numerous benefits to banks. Let’s look at some of the main benefits banks enjoy when they adopt digital data intake.
Benefits of digital data intake in banking
1. Improved Customer Service
In the past, most people did business with the bank closest to their place of residence, regardless of the level of service. Today, banking is no longer tethered by location, and banks can no longer expect that customers will stay with them by default. That’s why customer service has become one of the most important metrics for banks today—75% of customers say that positive experiences influence their purchasing decisions in banking.
[.figure]75% of customers[.figure]
[.emph]of customers say that positive experiences influence their purchasing decisions in banking.[.emph]
And if there’s one thing customers don’t appreciate in a service experience, it’s having to provide the same information every time they interact with their bank. Not only do they find it annoying and a waste of time, but it can also erode their trust in the bank. It makes sense—if a bank can’t keep track of their personal data, how can they trust the bank to keep track of their money?
The challenge is that a customer often interacts with multiple departments and business units in a bank, and provides data in each of those interactions. In traditional data collection processes, that data is often siloed and isn’t always accessible to employees in other parts of the bank.
Digitizing the data intake process makes it easier for banks to get a single customer view by standardizing and consolidating data from all organizational sources and making it accessible to all departments and units. Since digital data is standardized, it can be integrated with various bank systems, and all bank employees can access customer information quickly and easily, eliminating the need to collect the same data repeatedly.
With a full view of the customer, the bank can personalize service and offers to meet their customers' specific needs and preferences. For example, instead of bombarding customers with all the offers and promotions the bank has to offer, banks can make sure that customers only see the offers that are most relevant to them.
The benefits to customer service don’t end there. Digital data intake processes are designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. They include clear instructions and short, simple steps, preventing the frustration and confusion customers often experience with long manual forms.
Furthermore, with digital data intake, customers can provide data on their own devices and schedule, with no need to rush or wait for an agent to become available. And that’s important since 67% of customers prefer to use self-service instead of working through an agent. And even if they do need support from an agent at some point, the agent will have instant access to the data they have already provided for seamless integration.
2. Increased Efficiency
Manual processes are never very efficient, and data intake is no exception. First of all, human beings make mistakes, there’s no way to prevent them entirely. That’s why when data intake processes have manual touchpoints, errors are inevitable. Forms then have to be reviewed manually to catch the mistakes, often creating a backlog and sapping valuable organizational resources. And when a mistake has been identified, more resources are needed to track down the customer and fix the mistake.
In addition, in many cases, data collected on paper forms and PDFs has to be manually entered into organizational platforms, a process that requires significant amounts of time and costly human resources. Even when banks use technology like optical character recognition (OCR) to convert a scanned document or PDF into a machine-readable text format, the data isn’t always compatible with other platforms and technologies used in bank workflows. The data still needs to be converted and standardized before it can be used, a process that often requires significant expertise and a highly skilled workforce.
Digital customer intake, on the other hand, collects data in a way that is compatible with all organizational systems as is—there is no need for investment of additional organizational resources.
Digitizing data entry can also help reduce processing time. Instead of waiting for a manual review, data can be verified at the point of entry, without additional processing. Real-time verification also improves accuracy and eliminates the need to chase after customers to update forms.
3. Reduced Costs
When efficiency improves, it’s easier for banks to reduce costs. As mentioned above, when data is collected manually, it needs to be converted into a standardized format before it can be used. That means that someone, somewhere down the line, is going to have to invest in converting the data, whether that’s through data entry or programming. And that person has to be paid.
Additional human resources go to verifying the data, and updating it as it changes. For example, if a customer changes his or her phone number or address, that change must be manually updated in the system, which means more delays, inaccuracies, and errors.
Human resources are expensive, and should always be used in areas where they drive the most value, not in tedious, repetitive tasks like data entry. Digital data intake frees staff up to focus on work that drives more business value. In addition, it makes it easier to share information with regulators, reducing auditing and compliance costs that can place a hefty burden on banks.
Moving to digital data intake in banking
Not only does digital data intake provide the benefits detailed above, but it is also easier than ever to implement. No-code platforms like EasySend enable banks to set up and launch digital data intake processes quickly, without technical expertise or the need to make changes to legacy systems. When the benefits are so clear and the barriers have been eliminated, the path is clear for banks to make the transition to digital data intake.