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Report: Many Mid-Tier Banks Not Investing Enough in Document Imaging

An FIS survey conducted midyear find that banks between $1 billion and $50 billion in asset size are not doing enough in their imaging efforts.

In the financial services industry, there is still a reluctance to move towards digitizing files, especially among mid-tier banks, according to a survey conducted by FIS Consulting Services.

FIS surveyed a cross-section of banks of asset size between $1 billion and $50 billion about their use and expectations of current and future investment in image technology for enterprise content management (ECM).

A key finding from the survey was when banks were asked at what point they began the imaging process, according to Dan Shannon, SVP at FIS Consulting Services.

"Many do the imaging at a centralized location, instead of when a document is at the very first point of entry into the bank," he said. In contrast, Shannon said FIS has found that banks that capture an image at first point of entry into a bank realize the greatest savings and efficiencies within their imaging efforts.

Shannon said many of the banks don't do that for a variety of reasons, including not fully trusting employees to properly image the document.

Shannon said the banks surveyed also grossly underestimated how much cost savings would entail from going completely paperless. He said 85 percent of banks surveyed expected they would see $500,000 or less in annual savings by investing in imaging technology. Shannon reported that the actual savings could be much higher, and noted that FIS recently worked with a $5 billion financial institution on an initiative to upgrade its ECM, and those efforts are expected to net $6 million in projected annual savings.

In addition to security and cost concerns, Shannon said the biggest hurdle for mid-tier banks as to why they haven't moved more towards a paperless operation is the lack of an overall enterprise strategy. He noted only 13 percent of those surveyed reported having greater than 75 percent of their total documents imaged.

So while Shannon said there is much efficiency and cost savings to be had by banks' going paperless, "it's still probably a ways away."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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