“Trick Out” Your Core Financial Services Systems With Document Management

Leave it to the smart folks at Cornerstone Advisors. They’ve effectively used pop culture to urge financial institutions to make over their core software systems in the new “Pimp My Core” GonzoBanker article. (For those of you who aren’t MTV regulars, “Pimp My Ride” is a show where a beater car is restored, customized, and as they say on the show, “tricked out.”)

The author, Eric Weikart, writes: “Clearly, there is much that can be done to enhance the core system. Most of the time, this involves going out and selecting ancillary solutions.”

Wait a minute! Does that mean that the core software systems can’t do it all? That’s right, folks. Eric said it, and I agree: while the core is great, banks and credit unions can take their operations to the next level by integrating with other financial services software, such as document management.

So what exactly is that next level? There are countless situations in which the core and document management can be combined to make things easier on employees and members. (Not to mention making them more efficient and effective, too; that, however, is a post for another day.) But in the interest of not putting you to sleep, here’s just one: check signature verification.

It seems simple enough, right? Members come in to cash a check, and tellers, well, they cash it. But there’s a verification element to it, too – the signature on the check must match the one on the signature card.

Here’s where it gets complicated: if the credit union has multiple branches, signature cards are likely stored at the main office. Therefore, the teller has to call the main office, have an employee from that office go to the vault, find the signature card, make a copy of it then fax it. That’s time consuming, both for staff and members.

Now, here’s what happens when document management and core systems are properly integrated. Signature cards get scanned and the images stored in the document management software. Because it’s integrated, those images can be pulled directly from the core system. Members get what they need faster and the process is more secure. Talk about a tricked out financial software system.

Let’s go back to the car analogy. If the core system is the car’s body and engine, document management is the oil filter, windshield wipers and power steering. In other words, you could just run on the core, and do so successfully for some time. But if you want to give members service that isn’t doomed to an eventual breakdown, make sure those “ancillary” components become much more of a must-have in your IT plan.

By Suzana