Business dynamics have changed significantly over the last decade, most of which can be attributed to the advancements in technology. Be it finance, medical or HR industry, all have benefited from this change. However, a new kind of change is currently underway. With more reliable, mass access to the internet, businesses are now adapting to a kind of digitization that integrates the customer into their core business processes. This means, customers can now complete most of the banking and financial transactions online, without getting into any of the paper-based workflows. Understandably, paperless transactions are fast and more efficient and provides more accountability to the process.
The banking sector, in particular, had been treading cautiously with online processes because of the security concerns; any untoward online security breach can prove devastating for the bank as well as the customers. However, recent developments in cyber security software have rendered new hopes for the banking sector. Security software offering multiple levels of protection has given enough confidence to the banks and non-banking financial organizations to deliver online services to their customers. Right from opening a bank account to applying for a two-wheeler loan, today, everything can be accomplished with a mere click of few buttons. The process avoids cumbersome paper trails and associated delays. And as it becomes simpler than before, banks and lenders are encouraging customers to complete all the processes online rather than following paper-based applications.
The ease of completing applications from the comfort of one’s own home, rather than waiting in long queues at banks has attracted a large number of customers to the paperless, online application process. Even the reports suggest that the digitization in the banking sector has been quite successful in making the front-end processes more efficient. Advantages of paperless transactions are aplenty, which has given much needed fillip to the customer experience as well. Additionally, paperless processes have resulted in higher revenues, prudent cost savings and strengthening of security and compliance for the banks.
Home loan application has always been a tedious process. But that's no more true. Now with online banking, much of the banking interactions have moved to the internet. From opening a fixed deposit to applying for a credit card or home loan, the process has become easier than ever. Financial service providers have made home loan, car insurance, credit card applications accessible to all in a well-defined online workflow.
Unlike in the past—when the applicant had to visit all the banks to figure out the best deals, now with all the information available online, a customer can complete the entire loan application process sitting comfortably at home. Normally, a home loan application requires multiple documents. The paperless application process obviates the burden of carrying all the documents to the bank. The loan applicant can apply for a loan by simply submitting the scanned copies of the documents after filling up the online form. Furthermore, online processes are designed to be error free and ensure faster processing of the applications.
Banking transactions involving personal signatures are—at times—marred with frauds and impersonations. There have been several occasions when signatures were forged and important documents like birth certificate, passport, etc., were doctored. Digitization of the banking processes takes care of this menace as online transactions authenticated by signed digital keys—known as e-Signature—forbade signature forgery to a large extent. Today, e-signature has become the most important security measure to ensure hassle-free online banking. Electronic signatures are impossible to replicate, and therefore using e-Signature, individuals can protect their financial documents and ensure secure payments over the internet.
eKYC is yet another important evolution in paperless transactions. KYC—which stands for 'Know Your Customer'—is an essential process wherein financial institutions are mandated to verify and keep updated records of their customers. Based on Aadhaar number, eKYC is authenticated by the Unique Identification Authority of India. eKYC is entirely paperless and reinforces government’s recent move to link Aadhaar card to all financial transactions. eKYC verification also helps the banks during loan approvals. eKYC has been mandated for all types of investments, loan, credit cards, bank accounts, and insurances.
eKYC collects all the important documents from an existing customer and maintains the current status for references. This drastically reduces the application processing time. What's more, an approved eKYC obviates the need to carry multiple print-outs of important documents during loan applications. eKYC, therefore, reduces paper wastage and supports the “Go Green” initiative. In fact, eKYC has also reduced signature forgeries and banking frauds to a large extent. Registering for eKYC is easy, and you should avail its benefits while applying for a credit card or home loan.
The Government's recent push for Aadhaar linkage with mobile numbers and all other financial documents further bolsters paperless transactions. Aadhar is a vital document that contains essential details such as name, gender, address, biometric details, parent’s details and fingerprint. Online Aadhaar verification makes it easy for banks and financial organizations to facilitate paperless application process and enable online user authentication. Recently, the government has come up with a mobile app—mAadhaar–for Aadhaar-based authentication. This app helps customers submit Aadhaar based credentials easily, without the need to carry paper documents every time. You just need to carry your companion i.e. your mobile phone and download the mAadhaar app on it to avail wide range of Aadhaar-based authentication services.
A higher credit score is important when you apply for credit card, home loan, or personal loan. Credit score offered by CIBIL is important in most of the loan applications. In addition to CIBIL, many other credit reporting agencies offer credit score for free, so that customers can keep track of their credit score. In fact, the credit score report offered by CIBIL and other agencies are entirely paperless, which further expedites loan approval process.
Credit score normally ranges between 350 and 900; and having a credit score less than 550 puts you at a grave risk of rejection of your loan application. Ensure that you maintain a healthy credit score of 700 or above all throughout. Credit score is a mirror of your credit history, and a lower credit score implies you have poor credit utilization, pending debts and possible defaults on previous borrowings.
Generating a credit score report is simple. Customers who want to calculate their credit score for free, can just visit the website of the provider, key-in details like age, name, gender and few other minor details. Based on all the information collected, the app calculates and sends an email with detailed credit score report. This helps an enthusiastic applicant get clarity on his credit score before applying for a loan or credit card.
As we can see, the framework for paperless transactions is already in place, and many are benefiting from this new mode of transaction. It is believed that this trend is going to further pick up in the coming days. Many banking and financial organizations have already moved to paperless transactions, and they are going to provide the much needed impetus for others to follow. Financial organizations must also understand that paperless transaction is no more a fancy but a demand from the customers as well. They should align with the growing market demands so as to stay relevant and make the transition easy. “Go paperless” trend is surely going to prevail as far as we can see in the future.