Striving for ‘friction free’ document movement

Karl Fox
Tracy Fox

The secure movement of delicate customer information has long been a concern for banks, but never more so than in the age of massive data breaches and numerous cyber threats.

Botdoc has a mission to solve this problem for good. The Monument, Colo.-based company is one of 10 startups selected to participate in the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, a new program focused on community bank product development. Karl Falk, the company’s founder and CEO, and Tracy Fox, director of business development and sales, explained the challenges faced by transport technology.


Q: What are the current problems with how documents are exchanged electronically?

Karl Falk: Cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by the year 2021. To combat cybercrime, financial institutions are increasing their security budgets and adding layers of security around their people, processes and technology.  Unfortunately, this increased security comes at the cost of lost convenience. Everyone is making business harder to do.

We look at it like a child’s seesaw, with one side being security and the other side being convenience. As security measures are increased, convenience drops. The opposite is true as well, as banks decrease their security in order to increase convenience, they’re giving in to risk, which is unacceptable because it comes at the cost of the consumer’s data.

In a new age of banking where the consumer experience is everything, how do we break the seesaw? With regard to the transportation of data and documents, how do we deliver the highest levels of security while delivering convenience?

Q: How can your technology improve the workflow at a community bank?

Tracy Fox: With regard to the secure digital transport of data and documents, Botdoc has broken the seesaw. We facilitate the functions within banking, lending, insurance and investments/advisory departments to collect sensitive data and documents remotely and in real-time with end-to-end encryption. Botdoc is doing it without a need for PINs, passwords, logins, accounts or the requirement to download software. It is being accomplished via email and text. Furthermore, upon delivery, the encrypted container and all of the data within it evaporates.  

A majority of bankers still use unsecure means of transporting sensitive financial documents because their options are too cumbersome for them or the consumer. Their options today may include fax, FTP transfer tools, secure email, snail mail and even physical delivery — all of which are complicated or over-engineered technologies that result in friction.

Q: Summarize the difference between “sending” and “sharing” a document. Why is it worth noting?

K.F.: Traditionally, sharing requires two parties to be on a system simultaneously for the real-time collaboration and exchange of data. Although this is needed, more than 95 percent of the time all we really need to do is send something to someone. Current sharing technologies include FTP transfer tools, secure email, portals and cloud storage technology; all require another party to set up an account, log in, or perform other “sharing” tasks that result in a friction-filled consumer experience.

With Botdoc, sending is removing one of the parties from that sharing environment so only one party needs to be on the platform (the Botdoc user), allowing the user of Botdoc to remotely collect (pull) or send (push) documents without enforcing a sharing requirement (a login) or imposing anything foreign (e.g. PINs, passwords, new accounts) upon the other party.  

Q: What’s important about information transfer?

T.F.: Ninety-nine percent of the secure digital transport space today is sharing technologies. In the future 95 percent will be sending technologies. We challenge bankers with this: As you look at your people, processes and technology, if you are enforcing anything foreign upon the consumer, your business is not as secure as it could be, nor is it as efficient or effective as it should be. You are putting too much friction between you and your customers.  

As far as the future, notice we never said secure “document” transport or the secure FedEx-ing of documents.  It’s all about data. That’s the future community bankers can expect.