Banks and financial institutions of all sizes are jumping on the digitization wave after witnessing the value that digital solutions provide. When it comes to trade finance, we have seen several steps taken into the early stages of digitization, but many institutions would be surprised to hear that they’re only at the tip of the iceberg.
The finance industry, banks in particular, have primarily focused on bringing tech to the front office. This makes sense when you consider that this is the customer-facing side of business. Self service stations, easy to use apps, and branch bankers offering digital channel walkthroughs have become commonplace in today’s market. But these changes are only half of the transformation.
The back office requires a full digital overhaul just as much as the front and middle offices. While the customer-facing aspects bring new customers in, it’s the customer service and streamlined processes that keep them.
Why Your Back Office Needs to Evolve
The back office has always been a process-heavy and inefficient corner of most organizations. While the front has speed, convenience, and colorful, new technology on their side, a considerable amount of the work done in the back is still paper-based and manual. Banks and non-bank funders in trade finance have viewed it as a black hole for years, but some are now starting to see the value in acting on leveraging new tech tools, like those offered by LiquidX.
And like the tip of the iceberg, legacy fintechs have attempted to solve the back office problem by offering solutions that only automate the management of a transaction, never focusing on the overall business.
Digitizing the entire business means faster processing and servicing, which means fewer hours that your team dedicates to invoicing and payments. Entire finance teams would be freed up to spend more time on higher value-add functions. In fact, over half of finance professionals have said that shifting from working on transactional processes to playing a role that is more strategic will be important to the future success of their organization.
Companies will also have an easier time keeping up with their competitors. Many finance organizations are in need of the same capabilities as their competition, but must find cost effective means of getting there.
Automation isn’t meant to replace or eliminate jobs, but act as a time and money saver, allowing teams to spend more time on improving customer service and experience. This can be done by digitizing every major touchpoint, from check processing to virtual customer service. Leaving mundane work to automation can be the beginning of launching your organization to an entirely new level.
Investing in Operational Efficiency Should Be a Priority
When assessing your back office strategy, you should consider a few things:
- Are your back office operations (i.e. asset management, service lifecycle management, etc) fully automated and digitized?
- Are your business functions unified on a single platform?
- Are your functions allowing your employees to be efficient and timely?
- Are your back and front office customer experience goals aligned?
- Can your back office generate insights that can improve the customer experience?
- Is your back office operating innovatively in a way that has strategic importance to your organization?
If these questions can’t be answered affirmatively, then your back office is probably in need of a full digitization overhaul in order for your business to thrive. Fortunately, nowadays, you don’t have to commit your own staff, time, and resources to doing so yourself. The same way that most banks and trade finance organizations outsource to low cost centers for other functions, you can work with an experienced partner to bring digitization and efficiency to your business.
When it comes to bringing finance institutions up to speed, one experienced partner has become a true partner with banks over the years, optimizing efficiencies and costs across the industry: Broadridge. Leveraging their investment in trade finance fintech LiquidX, Broadridge has the opportunity to do the same for bank trade finance and commercial banking businesses.
With several years of experience and many successes in automating the banking industry, you can trust that the Broadridge team knows exactly what they’re doing. Digitizing back offices is not a new venture for them and they have proven their value many times over. Working with an experienced partner like Broadridge opens up time for you to work on differentiating yourself and innovating, much in the same way that automation frees up valuable time for your staff.
Most organizations will attest to digitization being a valuable function, but the true value is knowing how to invest in it. Allowing digitization experts like LiquidX and Broadridge to move you forward on your digital agenda can put you at the forefront of the new wave of finance.