The terms Digital / Paperless / Straight thruough processing / seamless customer experience etc have been around for quite sometime. As customers we have begun to assume and expect it now all the time.
Therefore I was quite taken aback by a recent experience with a reputed large global multi national bank with a plush office when I applied for a credit card. After filling up the form ( online ), after a few days I received a letter in the post asking me to
visit the banks branch and submit an address proof and an ID proof. Then when I went into the branch, I was asked to wait for a few minutes before being chaperoned to an officer behind a desk. This officer took my "paper letter" and made a "xerox copy" of
it on paper. Then he took xerox copies of my driving license and passport ( more paper) and attached these to the copy of the paper letter and asked me to leave with no reference number / traceability of this interaction.
Paperless / Digital ? How Should Banking Change...
I am sure this bank invests millions of pounds in "Digital Initiatives" and also has a "Head of Digital" or a "Chief Digital Officer". Anyway, here are my thoughts on how this could have been done better... When I walked into the branch with the letter, using
the reference number on the letter, the bank should have opened the "new credit application screen" and opened my request. Against that he should have clicked on an "operation / button / task" called "Scan original docs" and he should have clicked that and
directly scanned my Passport and Driving License into that. There was no need to create paper Xerox's of my Driving License / PP. Once the DL and Passport were in the system, the system could have automatically checked their validity via API calls and the
transaction could have been completed seemlessly. Using OCR / ICR Techniques they could have extracted key fields from my documents and matched that off against the Credit application.
Ostensibly the first step of sending a letter to my home was needed to verify my address but the rest of the process could have been completely "Digital"....
I keep reading why Fintechs are displacing banks and i was a bit of a doubter...but this personal experience has turned me into a believer...
I actually wrote the above blog on 5th April but never published it...today its 21st April and I again received lots of paper from the bank, but no credit card ! The letters received today again just ask me to visit the branch and give copies of my address
proof and id proof and its 8am and once again they created more paper out of paper
:-) Long Live "Paperless Digital Banking"