Unique Models Associated With Mobile Banking

Since the development of cell phones and wireless technology, the ways in which phones are used has changed dramatically. Today, it is estimated that approximately 15 million people in the United States alone use mobile phones, with numbers expected to hit around 90 in the next five years. Then when looking at the European market, currently some 10 million people use mobile phones with it anticipated numbers to reach 115 million by 2015. Obviously, Europeans are more eager to purchase mobile phones but remember this technology is available around the world, even in remote countries.

Using mobile banking offers a number of incredible and fascinating advantages to conducting banking in other ways. Among the top mobile phone companies, a variety of banking business models now exists. Remember that each of these companies such as Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, Singular, and so on are all vying for your business while trying to keep up with growing demand by the public for more innovative solutions, especially when it comes to finances. Therefore, mobile banking models are quite broad.

For instance, when mobile bank models are developed as a means of attracting low-income populations, which is common in many rural areas, the model would depend heavily on banking agents, such as retail stores, post offices, etc for financial transactions to be processed on behalf of the bank. In this particular case, the banking agent is crucial to the mobile banking model to work. Models such as this are used around the world, with some banking agents being airports, bakeries, pharmacies, grocery stores, and so on.

Another model specific to mobile banking is known as the “bank-focused model”. This particular mobile banking model would be used whenever a conventional brick and mortar bank uses some type of non-conventional and inexpensive delivery channel as a way of providing services to existing bank customers. A perfect example would be mobile banking, although online banking and ATMs are also possibilities for providing customers with banking services. Keep in mind that this model provides only limited services of what the conventional bank would offer.

Next, the bank-led model for mobile banking is an alternative solution from using a traditional bank. Unlike the bank-focused model where services via mobile phone would be limited, with this model the customer would have the same range of services that a brick and mortar bank offers. Because the delivery channel is different, services are more robust. For this model to work a JV would need to be created between the bank and non-bank agent or a correspondent arrangement would need to be established.

When mobile banking is used where a bank has limited involvement in the daily management of accounts, perhaps only being responsible for protecting money with FDIC insurance, the model is called a “non-bank-led model”. Because of these and other models used to make it possible for people to use mobile banking, various services can be enjoyed by customers, some to include:

For instance, customers would enjoy a variety of options for obtaining information about accounts to include mini-statements, checking and savings account history, account activity alerts based on set criteria, deposit monitoring, access to all bank statements, ordering new checks, balancing accounts, transferring money, changing a PIN code, reporting or blocking a lost credit card, and much more.

The different models also make it possible for customers to perform a number of functions through the mobile phone such as handling payments online, making withdrawals and deposits at a banking agent, managing stock portfolios, and more. Of course, along with all this, mobile banking also comes with quality support whenever the service is through a reputable bank.

Arizona DUI Fines

The rising incidences of DUIs (driving under the influence) in Arizona have prompted lawmakers to institute higher fines, making it more difficult for offenders to circumvent the consequences of their actions.

The Arizona DUI fines are now pegged at $1,450 for first-time offenders and $3,400 for second-time offenders. This includes standard fines, surcharges (amounting to 80 percent of the fines), additional $500 fine imposed on first-timers, and $1240 for repeat offenders. These additional fines were imposed in August 2005, to augment the standard fines that only covered expenses for court procedures.

The additional money goes to improvements in highway safety systems and prison housing facilities, according to Arizona lawmakers. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is adding more police \ along highways to help deter and arrest drivers who go on the road while under the influence of alcohol and other substances. The fines also go to “prison construction assessments,” since every DUI offender found guilty needs to serve a mandatory prison sentence.

Note that fines actually vary depending on the gravity of the offense. First-time offenders found to have very high alcohol content in their bloodstream (.15 or more) may be asked to pay as much as $2,700. The fines stated above are the minimum fines, and depending on the judge, an offender may be forced to pay a much higher amount. In addition to the crippling fines, DUI offenders may also lose their driver’s license and are ordered to submit to alcohol screening and drug and alcohol counseling sessions.

If you happen to be charged with DUI and cannot pay the fine upfront, you have the option of paying it over time. Immediately consult with an experienced Arizona DUI attorney to prevent losing your license and to protect yourself from other possible fees. But the best advice is still prevention – don’t drink and drive. This way you stay safe, avoid fines and keep your record clean.

Arizona Real Estate Agent Fees

Northern Arizona offers reasonable land prices in the Southwest. It has good weather and nice views of trees and water, offering solitude and accessibility at the same time. You can reach northern Arizona by way of Route 66 and Highway 93.

You may wish to consult with real estate personnel who know the market and can help you find the best value for your money. If you are a home seller, consider consulting a marketing expert to help you find the best deal for your home.

All that is expected from you is to find the Arizona community that is perfect for you and your family and allow these agents to find your dream home that is right for your budget and lifestyle.

Some real estate agents really spend time getting to know the general real estate landscape of each community. If you are relocating to Phoenix from another state or just transferring from a nearby city, a good agent can help you find what you’re looking for. Whether you are looking for a winter get-away place or a second house, real estate agents have the knowledge and experience to aid you in your search.

Whether you are fond of art, sports, shopping or other adventures, Arizona offers all these and more. The agents will find a perfect home to fit your lifestyle and budget. They will also help you determine how much you can spend on your new home and even help you find the best mortgage loan.

After finding the home of your choice, the agents will negotiate a very good price for you. They will not only show you an Arizona home in your price range but will also show you properties that meet both your personal and financial needs.

Some real estate agents offer their services for free since the home sellers are the ones footing the bill. Be sure

Arizona Vacation Rentals

Tourist traveling to Arizona looking for a maximum adventure and plenty of leisure time on a limited budget can rent one of the many homes that are provided by managers and owners throughout the state. Arizona’s terrain is varied and provides a plethora of opportunities for recreation & awe-inspiring vacations. Phoenix and Scottsdale are hot vacation spots with beautiful desert views. An Arizona vacation rental home can be the perfect base to settle into for a week or two and explore the deserts, the mountains, the Grand Canyon, etc. of the beautiful state of Arizona.

There are hundreds of furnished houses, condos and apartments that are available for rent on a temporary basis. This is a great alternative to renting a hotel room. They have kitchens, so you can save big time on meals, and they usually have a garage or parking space for your automobile. The best thing is you’ll save nearly 75% of the money you would have spent staying in a resort or hotel facility.

Some of the major attractions in Arizona that you might want to rent close to are Sonoran Desert Museum, Sabino Canyon Recreational Area, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Rockies Spring Training, Katchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, Pima Air Museum, Biosphere, Kitt Peak Observatory, University of Arizona events, Davis Montham AFB, shopping, Ice Skating, Off-road tours and many golf courses to choose from in Tucson.

If you are interested in renting a home, condo or apartment in Arizona, check with a travel agent or real estate agent in the area you are interested in. They usually have lists of rentals available and they are nice places that have been thoroughly inspected. You can also check the Internet for Arizona rental information. If you do use the Internet, ask for references and make sure you are staying in an area that is close to the attractions you are looking to visit.

10 Hottest Amenities of a Party Bus

Have you heard about the hottest way to travel around San Francisco today? It’s the party bus all the way, with a plethora of amenities combined with extreme comfort and style. Party buses have become the preferred mode of travel in the 21st century, whether you are planning for a night of club hopping or simply need transportation to and from the church on your wedding day. The party bus makes getting to your destination half the fun. Check out many of the hottest amenities you may find on a Bay area party bus.

Lights

Most party buses have invested in first class lighting systems that may include strobes, lasers and disco balls. These systems can provide you with an impressive laser light show or create the perfect ambiance for a night of dancing onboard.

Sound

To complement the fantastic lighting systems, most buses are also equipped with equally impressive sound packages. You can play the tunes on board or plug in your iPod for your own personal mix.

Seating

Leather couches abound in the top line party buses, and most passengers find the accommodations quite comfortable. Some buses also include tables with built in drink holders to keep your beverages safe and sound as your travel along city streets.

Televisions

Plasma TV, anyone? You can use the televisions onboard to watch your favorite movies or catch the nightly game if you are so inclined. These televisions come in particularly handy for tailgating parties, allowing you to check out the pre-game show while warming up for the big game.

DVD/CD Player

Whether you want to pop in your favorite tunes or catch a flick, this device is another fun addition to a San Francisco party bus. Nothing like a little entertainment to get the party in full swing.

Dance Floor

Yes, you heard correctly. Many San Francisco party buses provide a dance floor right in the middle of the bus. Some even include a dance pole for whatever entertainment you might see fit to provide.

Bar

Got to serve the refreshments from somewhere, right? Just make sure your bartending buddy is invited onboard. Bars will usually include coolers and ice buckets for chilling your champagne bottles.

Luggage Space

You may not think you need much cargo room for a night on the town, but storage may be at a premium for tailgating. Sufficient space may mean you can pack in that grill and a few deck chairs for hanging out in the stadium parking lot before the game.

Bathroom

After a long night of partying, you will be more than a little pleased to find your own private bathroom onboard. No need for frequent pit stops as you drive around town.

Bus Driver

Probably the most valuable amenity onboard, your experienced bus driver will keep you safe as you tour the city. He may also be able to tell you the hottest party spots in town and get you in the door without waiting in line. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of service!

Tailgating With a Party Bus

I was born in Jacksonville and have lived here almost my entire life. The best thing about my city is having the Jacksonville Jaguars games so close to home. My sports friends and I make it to as many games as we can. You just cannot compare watching a game on television to watching one live from the stands.

Just recently, my friends and I have started renting a party bus for the games. These buses are amazing and make the tailgating even more enjoyable than it already is. We can easily fit my 5 girlfriends and their significant others comfortably in these buses. It is like having your living room available 20 feet from the tailgate party. If it is too hot out then we can relax in the bus and cool down. I’m sure that someone could even take a nap if they wanted to.

The drivers are awesome too! My friends have always commented on the friendliness and professionalism of the drivers after we get home from a game. It must be an interesting job driving around people like my friends and I all the time. It’s just too bad that the drivers can’t watch the game with us, but we do always offer some tailgate barbecue to them.

Watching the games has become a way of life for my group of friends. The anticipation the day before the game is like Christmas Eve for us. We enjoy getting the food and beverages together that we will have before the game. Everyone brings something of their own so we never can tell exactly what we will be having at our tailgate party each game. The guys are mostly predictable which is nice because it allows the ladies to be creative since we know the staple food will be taken care of.

After the game we load up into the bus and head back towards each person’s home. Even though it takes a few hours to drop everyone off it isn’t boring at all. I think some of the crew like this part of the day the best. The are full of food and sometimes drinks but don’t have to worry about driving. If you haven’t taken a party bus to a Jacksonville Jaguars game before then I highly recommend you try it at least once. Get your friends together to split up the bill and it is very affordable and definitely worth it.

The Advantages of Choosing a Party Bus Over a Limousine or Taxi Service

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about party bus rentals. Perfect for group outings on the town, they’re becoming more and more popular lately. But what makes a party bus preferable to a traditional limo or taxi?

Whether you’re planning your sister’s bachelorette party or a pub crawl with your wide network of friends, you’ll need to find a mode of transportation that keeps everyone safe, comfortable, and entertained. Unless you plan on coordinating a caravan of multiple designated drivers, your transportation options are limited to taxis, limos, and party buses.

When choosing a mode of transport, the number-one priority is making sure it can accommodate everyone. Even the most spacious minivan taxi can only fit up to six passengers, while the average limousine service may only fit between 10 and 20 passengers. On the other hand, most party buses can comfortably seat between 30 and 40 people. This spacious capacity is just one of the many reasons that party bus rentals have become such a popular choice for clients of all ages and backgrounds.

Perfect for on-the-go celebrations, concerts, bachelor or bachelorette parties, and more, these versatile buses are favored over other means of transportation because they have so much more to offer.

Style. When clients want to arrive at their destination in style, they choose a sleek party bus. With chic leather seats, funky interior lighting, and a smart finish on the exterior, passengers are able to travel like Hollywood A-listers for the night. And with plenty of space for leg room, the plush, cushioned seating becomes all the more comfortable.
Entertainment. Outfitted with premium mobile electronics, party buses offer unbeatable entertainment value while en route. Passengers are able to fill the background with flashy music videos on the mobile video screens while listening to their favorite music through top-quality speakers, amps, and subwoofers. One thing is for certain: a ride on a party bus will never get dull.
Safety. Virtually all transportation services have to be licensed, bonded, and insured to secure the utmost protection for their passengers. If genuine safety is your topmost priority, try to find a company that utilizes a fleet with only QVM-certified vehicles. These vehicles will be structurally sound and 100% reliable at all times.
Convenience. Having a party bus drive you to and from an event is not only safe, but convenient. Your driver will drop you off at your destination and wait outside until the time of departure. If you’re able to find one with all-inclusive pricing – that is, without wait fees, gas surcharges, or extra cleaning costs – all the better! Party buses prevent you from having to hail a taxi, pay for parking, or cram into a crowded limousine. In addition, most models are equipped with coolers, cup holders, and champagne glasses, so you don’t have to lug any extra items.

With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that more and more people are opting for bus rentals when organizing large social outings. Equipped with superb mobile audio and entertainment features, competent drivers, and everything you need for an amazing time, bus rental is a no-brainer.

A “Less Narrow” Narrow Banking

Ultimately the “correct solution” to the US’s banking troubles are not going to come from a simple return to narrow banking or a switch to macro-prudential banking either. While macro-prudential banking looks in its early stages to be working in Columbia and Spain, it has no proven success in an advanced economy to this point, and its reliance on data and data analysis is fairly dangerous. While of course new is not always “bad,” when dealing with the American economy I think it is essential to start off with a system that has been proven to work soundly, and then implement smaller reforms on this system to make the system work even better. Research has shown that macro-prudential analyses were unable to detect the subprime crisis because it was not the “common bank crisis”. Additionally, there is always a tendency for the authorities and those conducting the analyses to get caught up in the same sort of optimism as the private sector, and this could be especially prevalent in a society as driven by wealth as the US’s. On the other hand, simply narrow banking (completely separating commercial and investment banks) has been shown to be restrictive on both the commercial and investment sector and would thus lower potential economic growth. The “too big to fail” proposal, while it has many positive aspects, really seems like an answer to only part of the problem.

The top solution I believe will take aspects from all three, and the banking solution I propose does this to some degree. Narrow banking- when done correctly- has worked very well in the past for the American economy: From post-WWII up through the late 90’s, the US was essentially void of any long (1+ year) recessions, outside of those due to extreme jumps in oil prices (rise in OPEC oil prices in 1973 along with Vietnam spending and also 1981 with jump in oil prices due to the Iranian Revolution). This was while following a strict narrow banking strategy as imposed by the Glass Steagall Act. As a reference, prior to the implementation of narrow banking there were over 10 recessions of 1+ year in the US in the previous 100 years (including a number that lasted over 2 years). With less enforcement of the act in the 1990s and finally the repeal of it in 1999, investment banks quickly began playing the role of commercial banks and taking on deposits, and commercial banks began selling off their deposits as investments. Quickly this led to the worst financial crisis in the US since the Great Depression. However, it is important to remember that while the financial crisis did emerge from the mixing of banking roles, extreme economic growth occurred initially. The best solution should seek to embrace this economic growth while preventing large financial crises that can stagnate it. My proposal plans to follow a “less narrow” form of narrow banking that will be less restrictive on banks while keeping a closer eye on their actions, less reliant on data analysis, but prevent the devaluing of assets from bringing down the entire financial institution, thus keeping the number of 1+ year recessions at a minimum.

– The first reform to implement is a simple restriction on the size financial institutions are allowed to grow to relative to the whole system. When one bank gets too intertwined in the affairs of all other banks and is essentially “too large to fail,” this can be a huge problem and have market-wide implications. Restrictions on the percentage of market assets held by any one financial institution need to be implemented to prevent the dependency of an entire economy on this single institution. Banks will still be able to continue growing, just not at a significantly faster rate than the rest, and this will essentially eliminate any sort of monopolization inside the banking sector. While this can eliminate the possibility for economies of scale, it will also prevent them from making risky decisions, knowing that the government will be forced to bail them out if they do indeed fail.

– A clear distinction must be made between investment banking and commercial banking, just as with the Glass Steagall Act. Investment banks must be in no case allowed to take on deposits of their own. Commercial banks must be restricted from selling off their deposits as assets, outside of Prime, low risk mortgages. Requiring commercial banks to hold onto all but the most risk-free mortgages will as an incentive for them to not let the mortgages default. They will only give out mortgages to credit-worthy customers if they must bear the burden of a default. In my proposed strategy, all assets would fall under 3 “tiers” according to their riskiness. Tier 1 would include low risk highly liquid assets, tier 2 less liquid and more risky assets, and tier 3 the highest risk and least liquid assets. The basics of each tier are outlined in the table below:

Tier 1 MMMFs, Treasury Bills, Certificates of Deposit, Gov’t Bonds, Euro debt securities

Tier 2 Corporate Bonds, Preference shares

Tier 3 Debentures, Corporate stocks, credit card debt, derivitives, triple A securities (rated by Fed)

– In this proposed model, investment banks would be allowed to invest in all 3 tiers. During times of market efficiency/stability, commercial banks would be limited to investing in tier 1 assets. Close regulation of the financial system (as in macro-prudential banking), would be put into place by the Fed to closely monitor market-wide risk, and based on this risk commercial banks would be permitted to invest in Medium risk (tier 2) assets depending on the financial conditions- during times of recession tier 2 assets will become available for commercial investment, and during booms the availability of investment in these assets would close off. But because in this model investment banking and commercial banking will be largely separate, a failure of the Fed to correctly predict the risk in the market will not result in a possible crisis as in pure macro-prudential economy.

– Because commercial banks and mortgage companies will have to hold onto their mortgages and other loans, they will continue to only give loans to credit-worthy borrowers since they themselves will face the problems of creditworthiness rather than the investment banks and other customers of MBS’s. In any recessions the Fed will advise banks to lower their credit standards to help jump-start the economy- during booms the opposite will occur and the Fed will advise banks to tighten their lending standards. The model will require the Fed to closely monitor that banks are not selling off these loans, but aside from that their will be no incentive for banks to raise/lower standards against the success of the economy since they alone will feel the effects of a loan defaults.

How Banking Systems Originally Started

What is a banking system? It seems like a simple question. However, depending on where you sit and your personal perspective there can be several different answers.

When I pose this question to participants on my courses I invariably get an answer that deals exclusively with a computerized process. In today’s jargon the word “system” seems to automatically refer to a computer and a computer only.

However a “system” is bigger than just a computer. A “system” is a grouping or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole. An easily understood example is the postal system which includes things like letters, stamps, parcels, letter boxes, post offices, sorting offices, computers, clerks, mailmen, delivery vans, airlines; just to mention a few of its components. It is how all this is organised and made to work that makes it worthy of the title “postal system”. So, when we speak of a system, we speak of something much larger and more complex than the computerized part of that system.

The same logic relates to any other “system” and “banking systems” are no different.

The cheque clearing system (or check clearing system to our American cousins) can probably lay claim to the honour of being the oldest banking system in the world. This system, with variations, is used to this very day in all countries where the cheque still forms a part of the national payment system.

Today in the twenty first century, in most countries where the cheque is still in use, the cheque clearing system is a highly sophisticated process using state of the art technology, readers, sorters, scanners, coded cheques, electronic images and lots and lots of computing power.

The cheque is basically a humble piece of paper, an instruction to a bank to make a payment. The story of the cheque clearing system is a story that is worth telling. It is that story of a banking system that is now in its third century of operation. It is the story of a banking system that has evolved and changed and been improved through countless innovations and changes. It is a story of the key payment instrument that has helped grease the wheels of commerce and industry.

How did the cheque begin? Most probably in ancient times. There is talk of cheque-like instruments from the Roman empire, from India and Persia, dating back two millennia or more.

The cheque is a written order addressed by an account holder, the “drawer”, to his or her bank, to pay a specific amount to the payee (also known as the “drawee”). The cheque is a payment instrument, meaning that it is the actual vehicle by which a payment can be taken from one account and transferred to another account. A cheque has a legal personality – it is a negotiable instrument governed in most countries by law.

To illustrate let us use an example. Your Aunt Sally gives you a present for your birthday. A cheque for one hundred pounds. To get a hold of your real present (the cash that is) you have two options. You can take yourself off to Aunt Sally’s bank and claim payment in cash by presenting the cheque there yourself, or you could give the cheque to your own bank and ask them to collect the amount on your behalf.

Collecting your present in person can be a real bind, especially if Aunt Sally lives in another town, miles away from where you live. So you deposit your cheque with your bank.

Cheque clearing is the process (or system) that is used to get the cheque that Aunt Sally gave you for your birthday, from your bank branch, where you deposited it, to Aunt Sally’s bank branch and to get settlement for the amount due back to your own branch. Given that on any one day millions and millions of cheques are processed, sorted, processed, transported; getting payment for and keeping tabs on all of these items is no easy feat.

A year or two back the annual number of cheques processed in the United Kingdom was just over five million. Not per year but PER DAY!

However, we are digressing. We need to get back to our story, now unfolding almost two and a half centuries ago. Until about 1770 the collection of cheques in London, which by then had already become the world’s premier banking centre, was pretty much an informal, tedious affair. Each afternoon clerks from each of the dozens of London banks would set out with a leather bag tucked under their arms. In the bags were the cheques that had been deposited with their banks drawn on all the other London banks.

They would trudge from one bank to another, through rain and through mud, in summer and winter. At each bank they would present the cheques that had been deposited with them for collection and would receive in exchange cash payment for the items presented. When necessary they would also take delivery of cheques drawn on themselves and deposited at these other banks, keeping a tally of balances between them and the other bank until they settled with each other. This dreary exhausting trudge from one bank to another would often take the best part of each afternoon. On their return the cash received in payment of those cheques would be balanced up. Life was indeed hard.

And then it happened! A spark of innovation flashed across the mind of one of those weary clerks. Who it was, is not known, but he had a real brainwave, probably driven by thoughts of how to boost his leisure time or settle his nerves with that extra pint of ale.

The logic was simple. If the clerks could all meet at a set time at a single place, they could transact their business, each with the other in a fraction of the time and without the need to walk miles and miles to dozens of banks. They started doing this by arranging to meet daily at the Five Bells, a tavern in Lombard Street in the City of London, to exchange all their cheques in one place and settle the balances in cash. In the spirit of the efficiency gained they could maximise their leisure and drinking time – which they promptly did, much to the satisfaction of the local publican. An added benefit was that all this now happened out of the cold and the wet and the gloom.

The cheque clearing system had been born.

There were other benefits to be gained from this new system too. By having all the banks present at a single exchange session permitted interbank obligations to be settled on a multilateral net basis. This provided a huge savings in the amount of cash that each of the clerks had to carry to settle his banks obligations.

Pretty soon the next innovation kicked in when the banks dispensed with settling in cash. This was replaced when the banks set up a process of exchanging IOUs drawn on their respective accounts at the Bank of England, for the net amounts payable or due. The IOU was called… you guessed it; a clearance voucher.

In the next two hundred years the process or system was replicated around the world as the only method for the collection and settlement of cheques, which at that time was the only domestic payment instrument.

Different countries adapted the system with minor variations. However the principal remained the same. While the various systems operated beautifully in terms of operational and technical efficiency, the legal risk in the netting process was neatly ignored. This lacuna was only corrected in the 1990s with the realization of the systemic risk that this gap had created.

The nineteenth century saw the previously handwritten cheques being replaced by printed forms issued by banks to their clients, often embodying some form of security feature to hamper attempts at forgery.

Nothing much changed until the 1960s and 1970s when automation was introduced into the cheque clearing system. Growing volumes of cheques around the world necessitated new ways to process the flood of new payments being made. During this period we saw a proliferation of automated clearing houses in which machine-readable cheques were processed, sorted, batched, cleared and settled. The method used for this was the code-line printed on the cheque, either in magnetic ink (MICR -Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) or using a special font (OCR – Optical Character Recognition).

Subsequent innovations have seen this data being transmitted electronically from bank to clearing house and then to the bank again. Images of the cheques are now also regularly transmitted between banks. In many jurisdictions the digitized image of the cheque has become the legal replacement of the original paper cheque allowing the paper instrument to be truncated at source.

Despite the growing popularity of pure electronic payments in many parts of the world, the use of the cheque still remains popular in the United States. Perhaps the ultimate accolade to the durability of the cheque and the cheque clearing system is the fact that many American banks today allow their customers to photograph their cheques, using a bank developed app, for deposit via their smartphone. The cheque image, both front and back, is transmitted to their bank for credit of their account.

This original banking system has certainly come a long way in two and a quarter centuries since the first cheque clearing house began its operations in a room at the Five Bells Tavern in the City of London, as a smart idea to give a bunch of young bank clerks more drinking and leisure time, out of the cold and the damp.

Loan Files – Automation Through Digitization at Banks

With recent technological advancements in the financial industry, banks throughout the United States (and the rest of the world) continue to search for tools to optimize traditionally manual processes. With administrative costs comprising such a large portion of a bank’s annual expenses, banking software systems that provide effective automation will continue to experience solid growth for decades to come. A major trend among banks is the automation of loan files. As any banker knows, a single file can represent mountains of paperwork and possibly years of work. This article takes a look at the ways banks are using bank imaging technology to streamline the management of loan and credit files.

Questions For Consideration

Before considering your options for loan file automation, it is wise to first review some basic questions about your bank’s current situation. By thinking critically about your bank workflow as it stands today, your financial institution can maximize return on investment. The following questions may be helpful when starting the process of optimization.

How efficient / effective is your current paper loan file system?
How much money does your financial institution spend each year creating and organizing physical files?
How frequently do physical files have to be transferred from one branch to another?
Things to consider: courier costs – routing for credit analysis, approval officer review, etc
Has your bank every misplaced, damaged, or completely lost a loan file, creating mountains of duplicate administrative work to restore the original files?
Have customers or lending officers ever complained about the length of time it takes to approve or update loan files at your bank?

Loan Approval Process: A Very Good Place to Start

Once you have identified the need to automate your loan process, a wise place to begin is at the very start of the application process. By implementing a banking software system that can manage your loan files from start to finish, your organization will yield the greatest ROI from such a platform. When evaluating the offerings from different banking software companies, it is a good idea to find a system that will integrate with your existing applications, underwriting software, credit analysis platform, and documentation. It is also important to find a system that will provide up to the minute loan status information, electronic routing, and multi-party document viewing rights. Through automated updates to the assigned user, loan status, and approval status, your bank will experience formerly unrealized economies of scale.

Optimizing Your Bank’s Loan Pipeline

With the volume of loans being processed each day in a single bank branch, keeping up with the status of each paper loan file has historically been a challenge for institutions of all sizes. When implementing bank loan software to centralize such activity, it is crucial that your bank select a banking software company that offers a loan pipeline management and reporting tool. Such tools typically offer a customizable dashboard for instant analysis of a bank’s existing loan pipeline. In addition, such platforms should provide a wide variety of reporting options, allowing users to subscribe to email alerts for specified pipeline activity. Also, reports should have the ability to be easily exported to the standard formats, such as.pdf and.csv, allowing deeper analysis by management.

Customize Loan Files for Your Bank Workflow Needs

Perhaps the greatest benefit of automating loan files via bank management software, is the ability to quickly glance at the entire documentation workflow and instantly understand which documents are still missing. As documents are routed from user to user through your bank workflow, users can be automatically notified via email that their action is required. When choosing a banking document management system to streamline your loan filing, it is vital that you go with a vendor that allows you set up unlimited workflow actions in your system. By customizing every workflow action to your bank’s needs, you can ensure that your system will reflect the operational goals of your institution. Such elements to consider in your workflow automation include: managing exceptions, defining user groups, email notification recipients, setting lending limits, etc.

Closing Thoughts – Loan File Digitization

By automating the approval and life cycle of a loan file, your bank can reap significant benefits. Studies have shown that many financial institutions are able to recoup their investment in loan portfolio management software within a twelve to eighteen period. By digitally capturing every action associated with a loan file, banks have been known to save money in the areas of administrative costs, courier / overnight shipping expenses, storage space, and overall productivity.