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Document Collection for Commercial Lenders: Which Tools Improve the Customer Experience?
Document collection tools can do more than just collect documents and data - commercial lenders can use them to actually improve their loan processes.
Rapid digital transformation over the last two years has radically changed the way customers choose businesses and the standards of service they expect from them.
In the last year alone, 49% of consumers reported leaving a business or a brand due to just one subpar customer experience. For most products and services, 74% of customers now make their decisions regarding continued business based on their satisfaction with experiences alone.
While banking institutions - be they commercial lenders, mortgage lenders or credit unions - have traditionally enjoyed some insulation from trends in general commerce, client expectations for seamless digital service have begun to affect how loan applicants choose lending partners. As downtime in the document collection phase now accounts for as much as 40% of the commercial lending sales cycle, commercial lenders should evaluate their collection methods and seek to adopt technologies that improve client experience in this critical phase.
Document Collection Methods for Loan Applications
In the era of digital transformation, banking institutions have several options for collecting documents electronically from clients. While clients and lending staff may prefer the channels they are accustomed to by default — most likely email attachments — lenders need to consider other factors when designing document collection workflows. Security, overall efficiency, and the potential to improve client experience should all factor into this process.
At first glance, collecting loan application documents via email makes quite a bit of sense. As more than half the world’s population already uses email regularly, asking clients to submit documents that way saddles them with no additional burden of dealing with unfamiliar technology. The same is true for lending staff, with email continuing to be the primary collaboration channel for 92% of office workers.
While email may be convenient, it isn’t very efficient. Lending staff need to monitor their accounts tirelessly to catch incoming documentation. When client documentation is late or incorrect, loan officers must remember to continue to contact clients themselves.
Nevertheless, these inefficiencies may be the least of a lender’s concerns when exchanging personally identifiable financial information (PIFI) via email. Document collaboration via email is on the rise — for 94% of businesses — in the era of the distributed workforce. In the last 12 months, 93% of organizations report experiencing at least one email data breach. Studies indicate that few organizations have the tools to prevent these occurrences going forward, as:
- Employees sharing data in error causes 24% of email data breach incidents
- Existing data loss prevention (DLP) tools can’t detect 42% of breach vectors
- Of the 79% of IT leaders who have deployed static email DLP solutions, most report technical challenges that outweigh the benefits
2. Cloud Storage Services
Cloud storage services such as DropBox and GoogleDrive significantly improve on some of the inefficiencies and infosec vulnerabilities of collecting documents via email. Data stored in the cloud is typically encrypted and persisted in multiple locations to eliminate the chance of catastrophic data loss through the destruction of hardware or natural disasters. Additionally, cloud storage services are familiar to most professionals, with 94% of companies already using at least one service.
However, cloud security isn’t as simple as it may seem. Most cloud storage services are highly configurable and overall security hardness depends on managing various complex configurations. On the whole, most companies fare poorly in this regard, with 79% having experienced a cloud data breach due to misconfiguration in the last 18 months.
As for customer experience, cloud storage does allow clients to see everything they’ve uploaded in one place, rather than searching through multiple sent emails. On the other hand, these services do nothing to solve the problem of loan officers needing to monitor files manually to ensure timely collection.
3. Automated Document Collection Platform
To make the most of the current cutting edge of technology for both security and improved client experience, banking institutions can adopt an automated document collection platform for managing workflows in the commercial lending process. Like cloud storage services, data collection platforms allow users to upload all documentation via a single secure client portal and see all application files in one place.
Where collection platforms truly excel over cloud storage services is in their potential trustworthiness as service providers and the use of automated notifications to improve client experience.
In the first case, document collection services can maintain Service Organization Control (SOC) credentials to alleviate concerns about internal data handling and management. Secondly, loan officers can set automated notifications for both themselves — when document submissions are late — and for clients through email and text reminders.
Secure Document Collection with FileInvite
FileInvite’s SOC 2 Type 2 compliant document collection platform can cut turnaround times on the document collection phase of commercial loan applications by up to 80%. With FileInvite, you can give your clients the ease of a single portal service alloyed by the confidence of bank-grade security for their PIFI.