Why digital document processes have become mission-critical for financial services

By Natalie Myshkina

Posted on 10-16-2020

Firms throughout the financial services industry have had to make a hard pivot over the past several months. From well-established banking firms to small insurance companies, financial organizations have been forced to adapt to support new ways of working, banking, sharing documents, and collaborating on workflows.

Financial organizations are facing particularly stringent challenges, due to the highly regulated nature of their industry. Add to that the acceleration of brick-and-mortar establishments closing across the country, leading thousands of customers to seek self-serve digital solutions to serve their banking and insurance needs, and it’s plain to see that virtual interactions and digital exchanges have become far more than simply high-priority agenda items. They’re now mission-critical imperatives for banks and insurance providers that aim to survive this new reality.

A number of common themes resonate throughout every financial services organization: How can firms keep employees productive and engaged in a world where remote work has become the norm? How can they attract new customers when most traditional touchpoints have evaporated overnight? And how can they streamline the onboarding process for new customers — or for existing customers who may be in need of additional services?

To discover the answers to these questions, Adobe commissioned Forrester Consulting to investigate how financial services organizations are approaching the digitization of their document processes in 2020 and beyond. Here’s what we learned.

Deployment of digital document processes is accelerating and unlocking new opportunities

The Forrester study Digital Document Processes In 2020: A Spotlight On Financial Services surveyed 90 senior IT and business decision makers around the globe, and highlights four key findings.

First, the study demonstrated that digital document processes — particularly e-signatures — have shifted from an operational action item to a key strategic initiative almost overnight. A full 72 percent of respondents from financial services firms now consider digital document processes essential to the running of their business, while 59 percent plan to increase their spend on digitizing more processes within the coming year. This shift in emphasis applies equally to back office and to customer-facing processes.

Second, financial services organizations have found that digital document processes are more than operational tools: They also improve customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). In fact, 37 percent of respondents linked increased customer satisfaction to digital document processes, while 40 percent consider them critical to increasing employee productivity.

Third, financial services organizations are finding that digitalizing document processes can unlock new revenue opportunities, by enabling customers to more quickly take advantage of services related to those they already utilize. Among financial firms, 34 percent agree that digital document processes enable them to pursue new opportunities and customers in this uncertain time.

And finally, financial organizations find that the advanced features of digital document processes provide new business intelligence capabilities and customer insights, driving significant added value. In fact, 77 percent of respondents say they plan to use analytics features to further advance their organizations’ business intelligence capabilities and generate novel customer insights.

Forrester’s study holds several crucial implications for financial companies

The most urgent implication of Forrester’s findings is that financial firms must seize the opportunity to identify key use cases in which paper-based steps slow or delay business value. By applying digital document solutions to these processes, FSI organizations will enable collaboration, sharing, e-signing, tracking, and secure archiving — delivering immediate benefits.

In today’s hybrid document environments, virtual delivery and interactions have become more critical than ever — heightening the pressure on FSI business and technology leaders to future-proof their organizations by introducing agile, flexible digital document processes. As a result, digital document processes provide essential underpinning for business resilience, and serve as milestones toward full digital maturity.

For these reasons and many others, digital document processing solutions are sound investments both in the immediate term, and in the long term. By taking a human-centric approach to ramping up digital workplace skills through innovative rollout and training programs, business and technology leaders have an opportunity to support change management, helping their workforce easily adopt and take advantage of the digital document processing technologies that will yield immediate benefit.

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Throughout every phase of the financial services workflow, Adobe delivers a fully digital, secure and legally binding solution. To learn more, check out our financial services resource hub — or simply get started using Adobe Sign for free, right now.

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And to get the full story on Forrester’s findings, you can download the report.

Topics: Information Technology, Trends & Research, Future of Work, Productivity, Financial Services, Document Cloud,

Products: Document Cloud, Sign,