Why Are Banks Assembling Innovation Teams?

Joe Pitzo July 24th, 2017
Treasury Management

New bank innovation teams tend to favor a certain process improvement initiative.

Bank innovation teams are fairly new trend. They are often assembled from a diverse mix of external consultants and internal employees across the departmental lines to focus on just about any sort of initiative, such as identifying internal silos hindering collaboration or improving day-to-day operations. Sometimes an innovation team can have synonymous overlap with another recent bank industry trend of user experience design teams, which focus on enhancing a bank’s online and mobile service offerings

Innovation teams often hunt for manual processes to identify opportunities for digitalization, and for good reasons. Paper forms won’t flow if someone doesn’t push it along. An email will never announce that it’s missing an important PDF attachment — someone has to notice and then get the sender to act. If they are away on business or vacation, progress can be delayed until their return. Many, if not all, departments within a bank could still stand to cut some degree of manual processes in favor of digital automation.

Many innovation teams are taking a closer look at onboarding

Onboarding is important because it shows a new corporate client how their bank works and it sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. A great customer experience is just a claim until demonstrated in action. Eighty percent of corporations surveyed by Novantas said the onboarding process is a critical factor in their purchasing, and more than half reported dissatisfaction with their bank’s onboarding process. Some banks may worry that their clients aren’t ready for digital onboarding but in fact, it is just the opposite. Seventy-five percent of corporations surveyed indicated they prefer electronic documents. In short, corporate clients have given bank innovation teams the green light to leverage technologies to eliminate any and all manual processes from onboarding.

But when so much change is overdue, where should banks begin?

The treasury department is arguably the most important starting point, as it’s the most complex operation within any institution. Today, some bank sales representatives are still heading out the door to a corporate client’s office with stacks of paper forms —sometimes over 20 – that require signatures to initiate the onboarding process.

Bank innovation teams have been eyeing up treasury management onboarding solutions for their capabilities to automate onboarding through a variety of essential tools for comprehensive management of the most complex, painful parts of the onboarding process. For instance, electronic signatures can be captured using iPads or other tablets as well as online for remote signing. Amendments and other changes can be made on-site immediately, eliminating the need for multiple visits. Auto-fill functions can avoid rekeying and reduces time and error rates. Other features include

  • Automated notifications & reporting
  • Capture treasury services setup information
  • Generate new master agreements & addendums
  • Point & click configurable to meet specific process and product requirements without development
  • Brandable for FI and client self-service portal

This video gives a great before and after scenario of how automated onboarding eliminates these pain points, leading to an acceleration in time-to-revenue, improved customer satisfaction, meet compliance requirements, and eliminate manual processes, sometimes by 20%. Bank innovation teams that focus on implementing technologies to streamline onboarding have the opportunity to improve overall staff productivity.

The extra value of efficiency

As an added bonus, banks that present new corporate clients with range of advantages of digitally driven onboarding stand to make a strong, lasting first impression. The contract information can flow easily to every party that needs to see or approve it; automated reminders can be sent for approvals or signatures, as required. A dashboard can show progress and identify bottlenecks, spot missing signatures or redirect a form mistakenly sent to a manager who just retired. Clients are no longer aren’t wasting time providing the same information over and over again, or signing additional documents that went missing. When clients are pleased, their relationship with the bank is likely to last longer and may expand into other products and services.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.