Going paperless boosts the bottom line
Suncorp Group - a provider of insurance, banking and wealth management - made the decision in early 2011 to improve its content capture capability. “We had an incumbent technology and team that weren’t delivering the quality of service that our customers wanted,” said Glenn Mead, team leader, enterprise content capture team. After conducting a review, “We ended up making a recommendation to move company-wide towards using Kofax.”
Suncorp had a number of paper-intensive processes such as processing insurance claims, mortgage applications, customer onboarding and account maintenance. Handling all the paperwork required a small army of employees.
As well, the company sent tens of thousands of files every year to a storage provider, a cost that could be eliminated by converting to digital files. And storing documents off-site also made it difficult to retrieve information quickly.
For its first Kofax project, Suncorp chose mortgage application processing. The company knew that this would set a high standard and “put us in good stead for less complex transactions to follow,” said Stuart Nielsen, executive manager, mortgage services. It took about four months to go paperless for mortgage applications and from start to finish the team deployed the full solution in less than 12 months.
Loan applications, insurance claims and related documents such as bank and credit card statements, tax returns and paystubs are captured as faxes, email attachments or scans. The documents are imaged, categorised using OCR and validated with Kofax technology, and can be processed and validated from anywhere in the world, at any time.
Kofax’s foldering and batching capabilities improved efficiencies too. “You might have an envelope from a customer with three different documents in it. That would equate to three separate batches,” said Stephen Vickers, technical lead, enterprise content capture team. Each of these documents could go down its own processing path and each would need to be indexed separately. But now, he said, “If we have three documents coming in the door for a particular person, we only have to index them once at the folder level and effectively index all three documents at the same time.”
Monitoring and reporting were also important considerations. “The team now has a solid monitoring capability, finding and resolving most production issues before there is a business impact,” Mead said.
For legal reasons, the company redacts tax file numbers. “In the past, scanner operators would get ‘liquid paper’ or ‘white out’ and go through every single document looking for tax file numbers,” Vickers recalls. So he and his team introduced a ‘format locator’ to find sensitive information and automatically remove it. They also employ keywords to reduce false positives. “Our hit rate is over 95%,” he said.
One of the biggest benefits of using Kofax is its ability to scale. Suncorp processes 40,000 to 60,000 mortgage applications every year. With the new paperless system, “We’re able to process more loans with the same fixed cost,” Nielsen said. “We’re processing mortgages faster - in many cases faster than our competitors.”
Scanning times in three mailrooms have been cut in half; for customer onboarding, the signature capture process has reduced wasted paper by 100,000 pages per year; and insurance claims have much higher pass-through rates with fewer manual exceptions. Suncorp expects to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in paper, printers and toners.
The new system has also improved the company’s fraud detection and responsiveness. “No longer do we have to order files back from a physical storage facility,” said Nielsen. “They are now instantly available online, with a full user audit trail, adding to the security of the transaction.”
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