Bankers are feeling like their revenues are caught in a vice grip. Historically low interest rates combined with recent federal regulations taking aim at credit card fees and overdraft charges have left bankers scrambling to maintain—much less grow—their non-interest income. But, doing it on the backs of consumers can be a dicey proposition, as illustrated by one bank’s publicly lambasted plan to institute debit card fees. The public backlash forced the bank to abandon the idea.
Now, banks are wisely focusing their attention on growing revenues from treasury clients. This is a win-win proposition for banks and their treasury clients. Clients benefit from value-added service and banks deepen their relationships with their commercial customers.
The breadth of treasury products now available at most banks, including remote deposit capture, integrated receivables processing, and electronic invoice presentment and payment, appeal greatly to businesses desperate to find ways to “do more with less.” And, the market is surprisingly untapped. For instance, mid-tier banks have sold online cash management into less than seven percent of their commercial checking accounts, according to a report by Cornerstone.
But, if banks want to increase income from their treasury clients, they not only should consider what they sell to these clients, but how they sell it. Commercial clients expect instant access to information, self-service, and mobile convenience. That starts with a paperless environment.
Paper, Paper Everywhere
Treasury management is one of the most complex operations in any bank, requiring several approval layers, lots of documentation, and detailed onboarding procedures involving multiple stakeholders. There are five key challenges to the treasury fulfillment process at most banks, including:
- Treasury fulfillment tasks remain paper-driven. Salespeople and operations resources must manually complete service agreements and setup forms for each treasury product that they sell.
- With individual agreements for each product, it’s not uncommon for clients to have to sign dozens of pages in order to implement multiple services.
- Having individual agreements and setup forms for each service requires salespeople to manually enter the same data multiple times, which provides more opportunity for error, rather than automatically populating the fields with stored information.
- It’s hard to control and track numerous documents that are distributed through email or as paper documents and most banks require an extensive checklist for routing paperwork. These checklists and reports create unnecessary effort to collect information that is instantly out of date.
- Paper processes make it difficult for stakeholders to collaborate on agreements and track the status of an implementation, meaning sales officers and their customers typically get little warning that the bank won’t meet an agreed-upon start-date.
The bottom line is that paper-driven onboarding processes for treasury services are far too dependent on manual processes to be effective or efficient. To maximize their revenues from treasury clients, banks should consider a paperless treasury environment. Combining self-service capabilities, electronic document origination, electronic document signing/capture and rules based workflow technology; a paperless treasury solution is proven to help banks reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and free sales teams to spend more time improving the customer experience.
Best of all, deploying a paperless solution doesn’t require banks to turn their business upside down. They can keep their existing processes and forms, while becoming more productive and efficient. Here’s how a paperless solution helps banks solve the key treasury fulfillment challenges:
- It enables sales teams to focus less on mundane tasks, such as completing paperwork and tracking an implementation, and more on improving the customer experience.
- Salespeople can bring the agreements with them to customer meetings on an iPad or laptop or provide them online for execution.
- With a paperless treasury solution, multiple signatures can be applied to an agreement electronically using mobile device, signature pad, or online singing.
- Once documents are executed, they automatically enter a workflow where they are electronically routed for approvals and implementation.
- Replacing manual processes with the electronic routing of service agreements and related documents speeds order fulfillment, and, in turn, accelerates time-to-revenue.
- Salespeople can receive updates via email when client services are approved and implemented.
- A paperless treasury environment virtually eliminates the chances of lost of misfiled documents, abolishes the need for physical document storage, and improves access to archived documents.
- Digital documentation and electronic signature capture increases customer privacy and security, guarantees document authenticity, and increases compliance with government standards and audit practices.
- A paperless treasury solution can be used to create an Internet-based, self-service enrollment platform for commercial banking services, such as mobile remote deposit capture.
The Bottom Line
Treasury services offer banks an opportunity to grow non-interest income.
But, onboarding treasury clients is still one of the most paper-intensive processes in any bank. According to a recent survey by Novantas, ninety percent of banks believe that reducing the treasury onboarding cycle would accelerate revenue. What’s more, 70 percent of banks say that streamlining the treasury onboarding process also would free up their sales force to generate more sales.
A paperless solution solves the key challenges with treasury fulfillment, while providing additional value to commercial clients, and strengthening a bank’s relationship with its customers. At a time when banks are eager for ways to grow income, a paperless treasury solution can be just what they need.