Paperless banking encompasses the entire banking institution, from online banking to account management, including account opening. Financial institutions are always looking for new ways to make transactions easier. Paperless banking, until recently, has only been associated with paperless statements produced by a bank, and this is right to some degree, but it’s only a small part of a much larger equation.
When we say ‘paperless banking’, we are talking about all the practices we can automate and make available online to create more productive, environment- friendly and user-friendly service interactions and transactions. Customers are happier because there are less forms to fill, an improved sense of security and services are delivered in a much faster time frame.
The new digital feature set will increasingly progress towards a much richer set of banking offerings for the end customer, going beyond technology, security and infrastructure capabilities – opening up new business models (that at times include the adoption of Fin Tech), propositions, redefining customer experience and enabling new potential from employees and business networks.
‘Presence-less’ and ‘Paper-less’ banking as against ‘Brick and mortar’ banking has taken a significant stride in the last four years, especially post December 2016, particularly in Metro and Urban areas. Settlement of transactions through mode other than cash has increased many folds during this period – a welcome feature of the Indian economy. However, a lot has to be done more to take the country at par with developed ones where people make insignificant number of transactions through cash mode.
Paperless banking allows for a seamless and efficient user experience that can reduce the time of a transaction ten-folds as we will see in the next section. This easy functionality of service needs to translate seamlessly from desktops to cellphones to tablets as well as to the communication channels, which will need to be multi-channeled as some customers still have a requirement to interact on the phone, email, paper, through social media and at times in person.
Digital technology and good data work flows allow institutions to share and update information on customers and support cases on all of these channels and have them update quickly enough for it to be visible to all relevant employees. Ensuring that the case is handled at the same speed on all channels is also vital to making sure customers are satisfied.
I feel that vigorous campaign is to be made by the government and banks for augmenting “Financial Inclusion” and spread “Financial Literacy” in semi-urban and rural areas. We wish to usher in an era where you need not visit a bank at all, rather the bank makes its presence to you, in your laptop, in your tab, in your desktop, in your mobile app and that too with just a click of the mouse.
Let 2019 be a leap forward in this direction!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)