oFlows wears its paper politics directly on its sleeve-visitors are greeted with "The Problem with Paper" upon entering the Web site, along with images of an unhappy face and money flowing down a drain.
What follows is a trip through the future of transaction processing-oFlows offers paperless loan origination, online account opening, automated offices, business analytics and other services. While paper reduction is part of the firm's brand, its real hammer is improvements in Web capacity that enable document efficiency and energy reduction.
"Up until recently, the [Web] infrastructure that you needed to have a system like oFlows wasn't available. You needed substantial bandwidth and storage capabilities. Even five years ago, moving files electronically was painful, so firms relied on paper to transmit documents," says Scott Pitts, oFlows' CEO, who says the recent development of new data transmission protocols enables large documents to be more easily moved via the Web-opening the door to less paper.
Also, in today's budgetary environment, banks are ready to smell what oFlows is cooking. "Things like efficiency, and throughput ratios, are top of mind issues today. Five years ago, people were focused on other things," Pitts says.
Pitts didn't reveal client uptake, though the two-year old firm figures to have plenty of opportunity. Banks are embracing paper reduction-not just for "green" purposes, but to improve reporting via electronic storage; streamline workflows; and make transactions more efficient, compliant and accurate via automated processing. oFlows can also benefit from integration made possible by its breadth of tech offerings-touching on almost every departmental stop a loan or consumer transaction makes while in process.
"Currently, bank origination systems are very siloed. You have one system for an online application, one system in a branch and another system in a call center. All of those systems generally end up with something being printed out-a promissory note, an account document, etc.," Pitts says, adding that in an average bank deployment, oFlows replaces seven different processing systems. "We hear from tech folks that they want to simplify their systems- management burden. We've built a full platform that goes from 'apply now' to 'final' decision without having to cobble forms together."