Loan Software - Evaluating It For Your Bank

HW Gregory
March 15, 2011 — 1,259 views  
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Technology is evolving more rapidly than ever - especially in the banking industry. Community banks are joining the revolution to better accommodate customers' wants and needs: mobile banking, advanced check deposit options, and smart phone apps, to name a few. What "behind the scenes" technologies are available to banks to help streamline operations and reduce risk? Implementing an effective, streamlined and user friendly loan software platform is one way to achieve both of these goals.

Acquiring effective loan software to image and organize loan documents is one of the most affordable investments your bank can make to improve bank workflows.

What should your bank look for when evaluating such software platforms? The term "loan software" can span a wide spectrum of definitions. Some may interpret loan software to mean loan servicing or loan tracking. Others will consider such software to refer to loan document management.

For the sake of this conversation, "loan software" is defined as a suite of products that help with loan document imaging and storage. Given this definition, we suggest your bank look for these key features when evaluating loan software vendors:

  • Integrated loan document imaging
  • Modular in nature - allowing you to invest in the document management solution to fit your needs as opposed to a investing in a suite of products that may go largely unused
  • Report archive of all past loan documents
  • Audit export features, making audit preparation a breeze
  • Synchronizes to your existing core system
  • Offers a variety of security options
  • Availability of ongoing customer support

One feature that community banks may overlook is the immediate impact that loan document imaging has on audit preparation activities. In the past, preparing for audits could take days of preparation, photocopying, and administrative work. With the aide of loan software tools such as loan document imaging, your bank can typically prepare for most audits in less than one hour. Simply log into your system, run an audit export report, and then burn it to a CD or DVD. It really can be that simple.

Another important component is to find loan imaging software that fits your bank's size and current imaging needs. Many loan imaging providers will require you to purchase document imaging for other bank departments. If you are a smaller community bank, it is important that you find a software vendor that offers modular loan imaging products. This way, you can add additional modules as your bank needs them. This can help make your investment in loan software much more affordable.

When evaluating loan software solutions, your bank should take its time and consider all of the features and benefits of the different vendors' solutions. Investing time up front will help your bank avoid future user issues after implementation has been complete. Implementing loan software at your bank should improve processes; not create additional headaches. Therefore, it is important that your needs and goals are clearly defined prior to implementing loan software at your bank.

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H.W. Gregory is an experienced professional in financial markets. With experience both in technology and finance, H.W. continues to provide valuable insights into such market trends.

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HW Gregory