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Online Bank Zaps Paper Processes

A workflow solution helps AdvanceBank reduce paperwork by digitizing its account opening process.

A workflow solution has helped AdvanceBank, a German online bank and broker for high-net-worth individuals, reduce paperwork by digitizing its account opening process.

Using Panagon, an enterprise content management solution from Costa Mesa, Calif.-based FileNet, AdvanceBank has reduced its account opening time by as much as one-third, according to Holger Eden, manager of customer services at AdvanceBank, an Internet banking subsidiary of Allianz/Dresdner Bank.

"In the past, the average time was 18 to 30 minutes to open one account manually," said Eden, the internal project leader. "With the new system we need six to 10 minutes for one account."

AdvanceBank is using the suite on its consumer portal to allow customers direct access to information and documents, including account-opening forms. The bank plans to use the software internally to optimize business processes.

AdvanceBank identified several benefits to automating the account opening process, according to Eden: providing faster treatment for customers; improving customer service by allowing bank employees to view the status of an account opening process; improving problem resolution via rules-based technology; allowing the bank to handle more work at peak hours using the same number of employees; and reducing errors in the account opening process.

The automated account-opening process is a "significant milestone" for the bank, Eden said. "With long-range activities like automation, we want to equalize load fluctuations."

The technology is being considered for automating other processes besides new account openings.

"In the future we will open current accounts, too," said Eden.

The bank plans to connect to the German check liquidity system and to use the Panagon system for credit card processing, he added.

Installation was swift, requiring only nine months from "concept to rollout" for the initial release, Eden said.

The bank is now focused on finishing "the installation of the current accounts," he added.

Financial institutions are motivated to improve customer service in order to drive the commercial success of their organizations, according to Martyn D. Christian, senior vice president of worldwide corporate marketing at FileNet.

"With FileNet, Advance Bank will be able to deliver on its initiative to provide a customer service portal for its banking clients that will provide quick access to all their personal account information," Christian said.

FileNet's enterprise content management solutions, which integrate with existing legacy systems, provide a 30-to-40-percent improvement in productivity on average, the company said.

The modular, scalable Panagon solution, which includes a Web interface, has the following components: eProcess Services (enables Web-based process management); Web Services (a Web server that integrates Panagon products); Content Services (allows for document creation, secure document delivery, document revision and online publishing); Image Services (manages, stores and retrieves transactional content and objects); and WorkFlow Services (a software engine that allows internal and external users to automate critical business activities); IDM Desktop (a system that allows desktop access to the Panagon suite of products); Report Manager (online statement and print processing software); Capture Desktop (indexing software); eForms (electronic forms that support digital signatures); and Web

Publisher (works with Content Services to provide for Web publishing); and a WebDAV Provider (allows for Web-based access to the Panagon suite).

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