Using digital tools to connect with customers during COVID-19

John Reynolds

In response to travel bans, school closures and recommendations to limit group gatherings, many community banks are relying on digital tools, including document management systems, to ensure regular communications and to keep some semblance of normality.

Document management systems are among the digital solutions that help institutions streamline operations and external communication. As financial institutions navigate this unprecedented situation while providing essential services to customers, maintaining productivity remains a priority. However, efficient customer communication requires more than simply creating a digital statement and sending via email. Community banks can combine electronic documents, centralized document libraries and personalized experiences to maximize their ability to connect with customers.

Best Practices for Effective Digital Communications

Many bankers are facing a variety of concerns due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, primarily the safety of their employees and customers, prompting them to promote digital delivery channels as an alternative to branches. If customers are not participating in digital or mobile banking, encourage that option so they will have access to their accounts at any time.

To further connect with customers digitally, many financial institutions are also creating effective online experiences through digital document delivery. With digital eStatements and eNotices, customers can securely view a dynamic, interactive statement or bank notice online. Using these digital tools can reduce paper and postage costs while offering convenience and physical safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another way to provide customers with easy access to their financial information is with a centralized online document library. With user-friendly search tools, customers can find the information they need without coming into a physical location, resulting in their questions being resolved more quickly.

Community banks should also use a variety of communication channels to ensure customers have necessary, up-to-date information. Using digital marketing tools like statement marketing banners, financial institutions can effectively communicate with customers through personalized messages. In today’s world, customers demand personalized experiences in every interaction, and the ability to provide that, especially in uncertain times, will set the bank apart from competitors.

Utilizing a Technology Partner for Document Solutions

With COVID-19 prompting many consumers and banks to rethink how they interact, many are turning to technology partners to assist with digitizing more of their communications, including statements or notices. Document services for community banks has typically been left at the hands of local printing services or vendors who do not specialize in the financial services industry for designing and producing statements.

Unfortunately, several smaller print companies reduced capacity or closed during the pandemic, causing community banks to seek out alternative options. As a result, many are turning to financial technology partners for innovative document services. With document distribution solutions, banks can gain efficiency from both a workflow and cost standpoint.

When First Bethany Bank and Trust was forced to find a new document services provider, they turned to an established technology partner. Their provider’s knowledge and familiarity with financial institutions allowed for a seamless and efficient process of incorporating mail and document services into First Bethany Bank and Trust’s operations.

Shortly after choosing a financial technology partner for document solutions, First Bethany Bank and Trust noticed a significant amount of cost and time savings. By utilizing document solutions for print and mail services, First Bethany Bank and Trust saved $13,000 in paper and postage while experiencing a significant drop in their paper and production costs within their first year. And their cost and time savings have continued to increase year by year.

In addition to the savings from printing and mailing solutions, First Bethany Bank and Trust also grew their digital footprint with dynamic, interactive eStatements, simplifying access to customer information through secure technology.

As financial institutions continue adapting to the challenges stemming from this global pandemic, any investment—from digital eStatements to efficient print and mail solutions—that allows your institution to boost its capabilities, increase productivity, reduce costs or better meet your customers’ needs is worth considering.


John Reynolds is vice president of Sales, Document Services at CSI, a provider of end-to-end fintech and regtech solutions. For more information, visit