Smart capture in the finance industry: Mobile's latest chapter

Mobile technology has given birth to an age where mobility has become the foundation of any successful platform. The finance industry knows this better than any other sector. From a hotel room to the backseat of an Uber, today’s office can be anywhere in the world. It is increasingly clear that organisations able to harness the benefits of mobile are those that are likely to be most successful.

The growth of smart devices and the emergence of adaptable mobile platforms have encouraged businesses to think mobile first. Accenture’s 'Mobility Insights Report 2014' found that 77 per cent of executives consider mobility among their top five business priorities.

That’s because more organisations are realising the importance of meeting customers where they are, on their schedule. With mobile technology, companies can ensure that their customers can self-manage even complex processes from the comfort of their own homes.

The consequence? Financial services organisations that won’t adapt are now under threat from those that will. Why wait weeks for a loan to be approved when, with mobile technology, the decision could be made in seconds? Why visit a branch to deposit a cheque when you could complete the whole transaction from your mobile? Customer expectations are growing and retail banks need to keep pace with this new demand.

Smart capture

And the solution to this is smart capture which ensures highly accurate processing of customers’ documents from paper and electronic sources at the tap of a button – or rather the touch of a screen. With smart capture, customers get more value from their smartphone by eliminating the need to input information manually. Mobile is a different experience and provides financial institutions the arena to develop innovative user experiences that leverage the key attributes of a smartphone – the ability to capture and process from any location among them. Early adopters of such solutions are giving their customer an improved user experience and, in return, receive a competitive advantage in a constantly changing industry.

A smartphone’s camera makes it a step above a traditional desktop PC when it comes to online banking. Mobile devices can simplify tasks, such as signing documents, which would be time-consuming and frustrating on a traditional desktop and can facilitate new approaches to mobile banking. As Forrester’s 'The State of Mobile Banking, 2015' report highlights: 'Shrinking or squeezing an experience designed for the PC onto a small screen fails to take into account the needs of customers on the go'.

By scanning data from a phone’s camera, smart capture enables users to save valuable time. So whether proving their identity or depositing a cheque, data entry is no longer the lengthy manual process it once was. And with increased accuracy, companies can benefit from improved analytics and a better understanding of their customers.

Time to go mobile-first

Forward-looking businesses in the financial services sector are already seeing the benefits of smart capture, from both higher customer satisfaction to greater revenue. By streamlining and automating the data input part of the on-boarding process, banks and insurance companies for example can begin to provide customers with the level of service they demand.

Studies have shown that effective on-boarding in the banking sector has a significant impact on the lifetime value of the customer – with 98 per cent of banks acknowledging that they have lost revenue due to a poor on-boarding experience. Smart capture is an intelligent way to invest in the customer on-boarding process. It saves them time, money and, most importantly, can turn new customers into ambassadors for your business.

And consumers are already getting on board. In 2013, a survey found that 75 per cent of British consumers wanted to deposit cheques by photographing them with their smartphones. And with 48 per cent of customers in 2014 already using their smartphone to access mobile banking, it is safe to say that this figure is likely to have increased over the past year and will do so 2016.

The rise of mobile technology continues to present both opportunities and substantial threats to traditional business models. Retail banks and other financial services organisations are increasingly recognising the need to transform the way they serve customers in the face of competition from digital and online-only players. As customers increasingly expect to be able to do business on the go, smart capture is key to ensuring that financial organisations do not get left behind when it comes to mobile technology.

Owen Kilbane, Kofax from Lexmark

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Oleksiy Mark