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From back-office automation to digital client service: A wealth manager’s guide to going paperless

By Chiara Gelmini, Senior Marketing Manager, Appway

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by Appway
| 14/05/2020 12:00:00

How can wealth managers adopt a zero-paper advisory practice?

Mandates, credit facility agreements, proofs of residence, declarations of beneficial ownership, e-banking contracts – how much customer documentation does your bank process during a typical week? How quickly do your back-office operations turn into a bottleneck when processing things manually?

We have been working with several customers that had once been inundated by manual documentation practices. They all had a central desk that collected, reviewed, and dispatched documents internally; from there, these documents went through a variety of workflows before the front office – and finally the client – received an update.

Any manual approach comes with high operating costs, reduced traceability, and – perhaps most saliently – long waiting times for your customers. In the age of Amazon and Google, however, customers expect service in real time. Long turnaround times will make them walk away, straight to another firm offering better service.

Imagine if an external asset manager (EAM) called the week after submitting a power of attorney form for one of their customers, and your front desk was unable to provide the EAM with the status of their request. This would not only frustrate the end customer whom the EAM serves, but also put your relationship with the EAM at risk.

Creating value with a central document handling unit
The crux with most back-office or client service processes is that documents often wait to be handled, and then pass through several hands before any value-adding action is taken. Once a document arrives at the competent desk, no one else in the organization knows what exactly will happen to it from there on out.

Together with our customers, we implemented a solution that provided enhanced client service at a fraction of their previous cost.

At the center of this solution sits the Appway Digital Binder that connects your back-office or client service team with all stakeholders concerned. It supports all potential users across the organization in sharing, reviewing, and processing content, thereby enabling collaborative workflows. The Digital Binder can be integrated with customer communication channels, such as postal delivery, fax machines, and inbound e-mails for data that is received digitally. It can orchestrate all activities, making them more efficient and fully traceable.

Three key principles apply:

  • First, incoming paper is scanned as soon as it is received to initiate the digital workflow. No more paper processing.

  • Second, as the person scanning assigns the document to a responsible office, a digital dossier is automatically created in Appway. No more paper waiting to be manually reviewed, classified, and scanned.

  • Third, involved individuals collaborate on each document adding comments, enriching data, applying automated business rules, and approving as required. No offline, untraceable, or inefficient work.

As soon as the processing is completed, the interested individual – such as the relationship manager – will be notified.

The receiving end, e.g. the front office, can access the documentation conveniently, at any time and place, to know the status of the request and when they can expect it to be completed. In addition, Management has full visibility on possible inefficiencies. These can be corrected by reviewing processes and organization, with full traceability of each request ensuring transparency and compliance.

The solution helps you digitize paper the smart way. But more than that, it helps you change your work dynamics: Your back-office or client service team can now drive the document handling process with a clear focus, adding value from reception (ensuring its classification, storage, and intelligent processing) to request completion, while ensuring your SLAs are met.

Extending the digital reach to your customers
The same digital dossier can be accessed in a secure and controlled way within your client portal. Fancy your customers submitting a power of attorney form or a mandate using digital signature and receiving an answer within minutes. Sounds like less of a hassle than physically signing a paper document and sending it via post…

Clearly, by giving direct access to your clients for specific and controlled use cases, you can further extend your digital reach and empower them to get real-time servicing at their fingertips, while eliminating paper at the source and reducing your own costs.

With Appway, your team’s work will start to flow rather than stop and go – for both you and for your customers.

Learn more about back-office automation

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