Processing loans in an inherently complex and time consuming process, and inevitably generates a large amount of paperwork in the form of applications and supporting documents. Because there is so much information, both numerical and otherwise, to sift through, a single loan application can take a considerable amount of time to process. In addition to delaying the process itself for that specific loan and for the current batch of applications, this means more employee hours consumed, and thus higher costs per loan and overall.
Fortunately, there is a technological method which can be used to speed up loan processing considerably, saving money at the same time. This is a digital automation tool known as optical character recognition (OCR).
What is optical character recognition?
Optical character recognition makes it possible for computers to read text and numbers from a scanned or digital document. Whereas conventional scanning creates a copy of the document in question without recognising any of the marks as language and data, OCR does recognise all data and text, making it possible for you to search scanned documents for certain text, output data to a variety of formats, and edit digitised documents.
Optical character recognition is performed by specialist computer software packages, such as Nuance’s OmniPage.
How can OCR technology aid loans processing?
If you have a large pile of loan applications and associated supporting documents, there is a lot of data contained within that needs to be checked and reviewed. Ordinarily, the only way to do this is painstakingly with the human eye, and this can take a considerable portion of time. What’s more, human error can allow for some vital details to be missed, resulting in further work later on.
If you’re using optical character recognition software though, when a loan is requested, or when you have loan applications to process, you can simply scan these documents into the computer, and then perform a search for the information you need. Essentially, with OCR technology you can do several things that will enable you to dramatically speed up the loan and mortgage application process:
- Review and search through applications – Automatically highlight any missing detail or error in initial information so that the application can be returned to the loan applicant at an early stage for rectification.
- Review and search credit reports – Immediately identify any outstanding debts and payments that may have a significant effect on the success of the application.
- Review applicant earrnings – Quickly assess income and outgoings to ensure that the applicant would be able to repay the loan, and highlight any numbers that are higher or lower than key thresholds.
- Quickly sort approved and disapproved applications – Automatically identify at an early stage which loans can go for further process and which should be declined immediately.
Streamline and organise your processing
In addition to these significant timesaving functions, bringing OCR software such as Nuance’s OmniPage into your workflow can also cut down on unnecessary printing, saving resources and the environment, and with Nuance’s inbuilt cloud services you can share applications immediately with staff across the country or globe as needed.
Once digitised, applications can even have notes added to them using Power PDF’s easy to use annotation tools, for example giving guidance to the prospective borrower, or to the loan processor who will deal with the case next.
As this video demonstrates, there are many ways in which you can use OCR and other digital technology to make your financial processes more efficient and cost-effective. Visit Nuance’s dedicated webpage to find out more about OCR technology and what it can do for you.