Alliance & Leicester implements Digital Vision automated account switching

Source: Alliance & Leicester

Alliance & Leicester, one of the UK’s leading financial and banking services groups, has deployed an advanced automated account switching solution which has dramatically improved efficiency and boosted customer service levels.

In a project designed and implemented by data capture specialist Digital Vision, Alliance & Leicester has succeeded in creating a fully automated, end-to-end account switching solution, which has helped them to more than double the number of customers switching their current accounts to them and also achieve operational cost savings of 66%.

Digital Vision deployed a customised data capture and workflow solution with a Kofax front-end to scan, index and release Authority to Transfer (ATT) forms, to fully automate the process of setting up current accounts for new customers and transferring direct debits and standing orders.

As a result, some customer accounts can now be switched within a week, where before, even the simplest switch could take around four weeks. This ensures customers switching accounts to Alliance & Leicester get a rapid and hassle-free service.

The decision to automate the account switching process was originally internally-focused, aimed at harnessing IT to boost operational efficiency, minimise paper trails and manual processing, and reduce costs within the organisation.

The move also tied in with Alliance and Leicester's plans for growth within the retail current account sector, and the launch of its premier accounts. With the expected growth in new customer current accounts, the bank needed a more efficient and robust account switching system in place to ensure it could cope internally with increased processing demands, and to ensure the customer's initial experience of their banking services was a positive one.

Alliance & Leicester's previous paper-based system was extremely labour-intensive, with more than 20 staff dedicated to the data capture and account switching process, a team which would have needed to more than double, in order to handle the increased customer business.

Instead, the bank opted for a customised data capture and workflow solution, which scans the request form to create a useable electronic version, and then automatically generates an electronic ToDDaSO XML feed or letter to go out to the customer's old bank the same day, in order to obtain the relevant direct debit and standing order details. The XML feed or letter content is also dynamically generated to match the preferences indicated by the customer on the original ATT form.

Digital Vision further customised the solution to include exception handling for responses from other banks. With the majority of customers not indicating any changes to payment instructions, the system removes the requirement for confirmation form to be sent back, simplifying and improving the customer experience and reducing the amount of manual processing required.

The solution also automates the process of switching salary payments, ensuring a timely transfer, and also the process of closing down the old account, minimising the effort required by the customer and making their experience as hassle-free and as quick as possible.

Mary Monkhouse of Alliance & Leicester said: "Over the past 12 months, the Kofax solution has really begun to pay dividends for us. What started off as an operational efficiency drive has now become a real customer draw."

"We've not only made impressive cost and efficiency savings through automating the handling and letter generation process, we also have a powerful sales and marketing tool. By guaranteeing a fast and hassle-free switching process, we've succeeded in doubling the number of current accounts switching to us."

The project has proved so successful within the retail banking department that there is now interest from other Alliance and Leicester departments for further roll-out.

Digital Vision installed a Kofax based data capture system and customised customer care workflows to enable the bank to make more effective use of the data captured. Managers can see who they are winning customers from, and in which regions, helping them to refine and optimise marketing strategy.

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