Top Process Barriers in Finance and Insurance

In any organization, there are a variety of reasons why processes might not be top-notch. This could tie into cost, business culture, and lack of IT capability—among other factors. This blog post will discuss top barriers to process improvement in the finance and insurance sector specifically.

Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends surveyed employees in banking, loan underwriting, insurance, and insurance underwriting, asking them to indicate the extent to which eight potential barriers are slowing down their financial processes.

Top finance and insurance barriers tied to customer capabilities

For each of these groups, the top barriers were “our customer age and demographics slow down their part of the process” and “our customers lack the automation tools.” The below chart shows the results for bank agents/employees as an example.

Rate your level of agreement with the following potential “barriers” that slow down banking processes. 1 = completely disagree; 5 = completely agree (Mean)

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrendsSource: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends 

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends

Implications of these results

In many ways, customers’ ability to efficiently fulfill process requirements is something finance and insurance firms can’t control. They can’t force customers to purchase technology like computers and scanners to speed up tasks like form completion, and it may be difficult to teach certain elderly customers (as well as others) how to perform transactions digitally.

But one thing financial institutions can do is offer a multitude of possibilities for their customers, enabling each customer to complete tasks in the way that best suits him or her. For those without Internet access, for instance, they should continue to let people do business over the phone, by mail, or in-person.

For digital-savvy customers, they should give them access to online banking, mobile apps, and electronic forms—among other tools that drive efficiency, flexibility, and satisfaction.

As more customers become digital savvy, more customers will perform tasks digitally—theoretically helping save time and effort. But in the meantime, it’s important that finance and insurance organizations continue to provide more traditional options for certain customer groups.


No matter what sector a company is part of, it should have a good understanding of its top challenges to process efficiency and effectiveness. Within the finance and insurance industry, it appears that customer access and capabilities is a leading obstacle to process improvement.

While this shouldn’t keep companies from modernizing their workflows, it should reinforce the importance of providing customers with multiple choices for completing transactions.

Finance and Insurance Workers Cite Benefits of Automation

In a series of surveys on the finance and insurance industry, respondents within this sector noted the benefits their firms have achieved through automation of common processes. This blog post will discuss the major benefits they cited.

Improved processing time, customer satisfaction top benefits

Regardless of whether the respondent works in banking, loan underwriting, or insurance, he or she was most likely to say that highly automating processes has improved processing time. The below chart shows responses from insurance claims representatives as an example. Customer satisfaction was often a common benefit as well, with on average two-thirds of finance and insurance professionals citing this as an automation effect.

For the processes you feel you have been able to highly automate, what are some of the benefits you have seen?
Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends

Implications of top automation benefits

Faster processing times and better customer service are something most organizations would like to attain. That said, it’s also important for finance and insurance firms to consider the top objectives within their organization. Is improving productivity a top goal, or has information accuracy taken on greater importance in recent years? The good news, however, is that automation appears to provide benefits in quite a few areas that may be top-of-mind for financial companies.

Other organizational considerations

Beyond the benefits included in the survey, other potential benefits of automation could tie into employee satisfaction, the environment, and accessibility of information. Once companies take stock of their major initiatives, they are encouraged to ask their business technology providers how new technology and/or automation can help them achieve their goals. Any case studies or specific information can help prove the benefits are indeed real.

Drawbacks of automation

Another healthy exercise for finance and insurance firms to perform is a consideration of the drawbacks of automation. For instance, are there certain clients that wouldn’t be able to benefit from digital and/or automated systems? Would it be possible to somehow maintain more traditional processes for these particular clients? Other key questions revolve around the cost, training, and maintenance required for new systems.


Research suggests that improved processing time and customer service are the top benefits of automation in the finance and insurance realm. Finance and insurance firms are advised to consider their top organizational objectives, and how automation might bring them closer to these goals. This could help ensure that any drawbacks of automation do not outweigh the impact of its advantages.

How Finance Compliance Standards Tie into Print Devices

Most of the standards that exist in the finance industry that are relevant to printers/multifunction printers (MFPs) pertain to privacy and security for the general transmission of private data. This blog post will discuss some of these standards, giving finance customers ideas of questions to ask their print technology provider.


But first, why are industry standards and compliance important?

The importance of securing all products related to the processing of financial data cannot be overstated, as the costs associated with security breaches in the financial sector are staggering. A recent survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute showed that the average annualized cost of cyber related crimes was highest for the financial industry ($18 million) compared to any other industry. Financial audits, typically performed twice per year, often uncover vulnerabilities associated with breaches related to the transmission and improper access of financial related data.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

A well-known security standard in finance is called PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Essentially, all companies using devices that process, store, or transmit credit card information must meet this standard. Xerox, Konica Minolta, HP, and others actively promote their compliance with this standard.

How secure transmission of credit card data relates to MFPs

One might ask how the secure transmission of credit card data relates to MFPs. The answer is if a financial institution, retailor, store front, or other similar entity accepts credit card payments, they may have a process that involves 1) taking an order form or purchase order, which typically includes credit card data, and then 2) scanning, copying, or transmitting that form, from an MFP or scanning device to a local or remote server.

This kind of process places the device that has performed the scanning within the scope of PCI DSS, as well as any server (on-premises or off-premises) that may store the data and/or any related metadata. At this point, according to PCI DSS compliance standards, the private financial data that is transmitted is treated with nearly the same scrutiny as patient information related to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance.

Other compliance standards

A variety of other standards exist in the finance industry that pertain to protecting financial information, including information passing through a networked MFP. Industry firms are encouraged to ask their MFP providers to describe and demonstrate how they comply with these standards.

Table 1: Additional finance standards to consider

Compliance standard Comments
SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) Requires adequate internal controls for reliable financial reporting, including longer storage of larger volumes of sensitive information from different systems, quick and easy access to digital information
Basel III (Basel Committee on Banking Supervision) Includes stringent data reporting and risk management requirements
SOC2 and SOC3 (AICPA Service Organization Control 2 and 3) Relates to security controls associated with the accounting industry
ISO 15408 International evaluation standard of information security
FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which essentially covers all financial institutions that do online banking) They now require multifactor authentication (MFA), as opposed to SFA (single factor), as well as a high level of encryption for all financial transactions or OLTP (Online Transaction Processing). This can include biometrics such as voice ID, fingerprint/vein, iris, etc.


Most financial firms are mindful of key industry standards, but they don’t necessarily understand how they relate to multifunction printer devices. In addition to some of the background information provided in this article, these firms are advised to speak to their business technology providers specifically about this question.