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.