Mistakes happen. It’s a fact of life. We’ve even created language around our ability to own and wave off mistakes like “it happens to the best of us,” “it’s all good,” and “no worries.” But it doesn’t work that way when banks make mistakes. Instead, you get PR disasters and dire news like the following recent headlines:
- “Bank Accidentally Deposits $31,000 in Teens Account”
- “Small Banks Vanish Under Weight of Regulations”
- “Bank X Apologizes for Problem that Emptied Customer Accounts”
Waving off errors is not a banking business strategy. Many banks, however, are taking steps to dramatically decrease the potential for error by adopting innovative, technology-driven workflows (which depend on digital data to make things work).
Digital technology isn’t new, but banks still have many separate processes that include a mix of both digital and manual activities. And when you consider that each of these mixed processes intersects with other banking processes along the line, a huge margin for error remains.
This problem has given rise to a new breed of banking workflows that dynamically prevent errors at every possible pass. Here are just 5 ways these innovative workflows reduce banking process errors and avoid damaging headlines like those above:
- Digitally capturing information when it comes in (through faxes, email and digital signatures, for example) decreases the number of times that information is copied over on a form or entered into the system. This helps reduce errors for several reasons including: First, digital data can be easily corrected and updated across all instances it appears. Second, digital data vs. manually entered data (or processes that include a mix of both) is stable. It’s this kind of stability that is needed to increase the integrity of each interconnected process.
- Automated cross-checks and algorithms are used to verify the accuracy of data, preventing mistakes that can sometimes be keyed into forms before they create a damaging ripple effect of inaccuracies throughout the process – the kind that create headlines, damage reputation and invite regulatory crisis.
- Gated workflows ensure that each process step is followed – no exceptions. Eliminating manual checks like paging through files or checking multiple systems to ensure documentation is complete and approved eliminates instances where errors might be accidentally overlooked, or, in some unfortunate cases – purposely ignored.
- Once cases are complete, they are automatically routed to back-end systems that can securely file the information away or trigger another event like notifying a broker that a deal has been finalized. This kind of “instant understanding” prevents inter-office confusion that can lead to duplicated efforts and anxious scrambling—both which open up additional room for error.
- Automated privacy controls like authenticating who has access to documents and information in queue ensures a decrease in regulatory compliance issues. Digitally converted data and interconnected digital processes also streamlines and adds transparency to the auditing process.
Mistakes in banking – as in life – happen. But savvy banks both large and small have adopted innovative digital processes to minimize the damage mistakes can bring. Think about it. When you wash your whites with something red, the worst that can happen is you’ll have to get used to the color pink. When a clerk error results in a bank accidentally depositing $7 million into an account of a person with exceptionally low integrity? That mistake creates and entirely different story.
Find out how DocuPhase can help you introduce innovative workflows that reduce banking errors.