All businesses — and especially the financial services industry — are faced with an ever-expanding universe of data, along with the push to move to a paperless environment where information can be safely stored and easily retrieved. As a result, digital document and information management has exploded.
“Today’s advanced technologies—accompanied by similar advances in processes for technology development and implementation—are poised to transform the entire financial services industry,” according to Forbes.
Digital document storage and management practices are finally being adopted by the financial services industry in a big way, and the financial technology industry, or fintech, is finding creative solutions for the complex paper trail generated by banks, brokerages, accounting and law firms, among other parties.
Innovations in document storage improve customer service and customer experience, as well as improve efficiency and transparency, says media and technology entrepreneur G Scott Paterson. Paterson serves as chairman and CEO of FutureVault. Launched in Toronto in 2014, FutureVault is a cloud-based document storage platform for important financial, legal and personal documents. Fortified with bank-grade encryption, this digital filing cabinet and safe deposit box lets users easily share documents with trusted people in their network, like a spouse, accountant, financial advisor or attorney.
Another cloud-based service for the financial sector launched in June 2017: Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting’s CCH iFirm Tax is designed for use by accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals. It enables them to work in a secure cloud-based environment and prepare returns faster. “Firms of the future are becoming more digital, embracing the cloud for its flexibility, efficiency and agility, to enable them to better meet their clients’ expectations,” says Frans Klaassen, executive vice-president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting North America, Canada.
Digital document storage systems geared to the financial industry need to perform several functions and they need to do them very well, says FutureVault’s G Scott Paterson. They need to be based in a high security cloud storage environment, as opposed to local storage on a company server, where security and privacy become an issue. They need to be designed with a simple and streamlined interface, so that clients can easily upload or download or email documents and search and share files. And they need to be easily — and securely — accessible from multiple devices, including mobile.
Digital innovation and strategy are high priorities in the financial services industries. Leaders in this business know that they have to move fast or be left behind. Financial services industry executives believe 25 percent of future growth will be driven by digital strategies, according to a recent Forbes Insights report.
We live a world where online banking and bill payments have made checks and paper statements nearly obsolete. The next decade promises to bring even less paper into our daily lives.