Lettergen – end of the paper chase – Magali Biron

There appears to be a sense of unanimous agreement among today's financial institutions: paperless banking is here to stay. Through the increased automation of statements, letters and bills, players can drive down costs, save time and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction in a green and efficient manner.

"Lettergen has developed a suite of automation software geared towards the improvement of DOCCM."

Consequently, an increasing number of banks are prioritising document automation within their business process management (BPM) models. This, unsurprisingly, requires high levels of innovation, developed by technology companies such as LetterGen.

Operating under the umbrella of holding company BTR Services - a Belgium-based IT services and solutions provider - the firm has developed a suite of automation software geared towards the improvement of document output for customer communication management (DOCCM).

"We assist our customers in optimising their business and ICT so they can face the market challenges of tomorrow," says marketing manager Magali Biron. "By implementing the LetterGen suite, we automate the workflow of core business processes and make them paperless, improving cost control and green IT in the process."

Signature of quality

LetterGen's software is aimed at various business processes once synonymous with unwieldy reams of paper, such as HR management, credit acquisition and personalised letters. Through the use of predefined templates, users can generate best-fit documents while incorporating vital back-office system data.

"Using a digital signature means that all documents can be dematerialised, archived, posted and stored without ever again needing to print out reams of paper."

"Our software generates standard documents that can be changed and enriched with extra information," explains Biron. "Also, thanks to the standard usage of revision marks, other people can easily validate documents by using a management-by-exception approach."

The advent of the digital signature arguably represents the greatest driver with regards to banking dematerialisation. Accordingly, LetterGen has developed LetterSigner, a solution by which customers can validate, approve and digitally sign any PDF document according to the highest compliance standards.

Digital signatures either take the form of traditional manual signatures on, for instance, a tablet screen with a stylus pen, or modern digital signatures based on public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates. The concept has most notably been adopted by Belgian advisory bank Bank J Van Breda & Co.

"Using a digital signature means that all documents can be dematerialised, archived, posted and stored without ever again needing to print out reams of paper," says Biron. "Our LetterSigner software can also streamline processes, while providing better control of compliance and operational risk."

"LetterGen places much weight on bespoke client collaboration."

While conceiving and designing the proper technology is clearly important - the company makes use of an in-house R&D department, which is supported by offshore development and testing partners in India and Brazil - LetterGen places much weight on bespoke client collaboration. Its customer value proposition is subsequently underscored by an onus on return on investment - namely cost reduction, the easy implementation of software and the lowering of compliance risk.

"We listen to client feedback and proactively communicate with them about market trends and new product developments," says Biron. "Based on this input and data, together with our overall knowledge of the banking sector, we identify the major areas where we can reduce costs and improve services. We are strong advocates of close client contact and collaboration."

Universal digitalisation

In contemplation of other market demands, Biron identifies modular and cost-efficient software as a major factor in streamlining workflow automation.

"Modular and cost-efficient software is a major factor in streamlining workflow automation."

"Thanks to the growth of BPM applications, flexible and interactive workflows can be defined," she says. "Our LetterGen suite is designed to be easily plugged into existing infrastructures, which requires no extra customer investments."

And in light of the development of security tokens, such as the integrated VASCO Digipass chip - which is used to authenticate customers' access to online bank accounts - Biron is certain that the banking industry is on the verge of across-the-board digitalisation.

"The market is clearly evolving towards this," she says. "At a later stage, it might also be possible to digitally sign documents using these types of authentication. The universal use of digital signatures is much closer than we think."

Magali Biron is marketing manager for LetterGen.