Digital pen and paper

In India, banks still rely heavily on pen and paper. This is driven by regulations and also by related issues on cost of automation, varying level of technology infrastructure across the country, and the associated training and change management. In the current pen and paper process therefore, handling forms, data capture and ensuring data validity often slows down essential processes and generates costly bottlenecks. And at a minimum, data is captured twice – on paper and then re-entered into the backend system, leading to additional processing time and possibility of manual errors. Accenture’s Digital Pen & Paper solution provides banks an opportunity to adopt a simple technology enabler and streamline their existing pen and paper processes.


Accenture's Digital Pen and Paper eliminates tedious processes

How does it work? 

1.    The digitized paper form is filled by the relationship manager/ customer using digital pen. KYC documents/photographs can be scanned through digital scanner or captured using mobile camera.

2.    Data captured on digital pen is transferred through an intermediate mobile or laptop device– through USB/bluetooth onto a laptop if at a branch, or sent to phone via Bluetooth, if in the field, by checking the “pidget” on the paper.

3.    Digital Pen Router runs in the background on the mobile phone and transmits all the data received from the pen/scanner to backend web platform via secured https.

4.    Validation of digitized data is done on the backend platform and an XML and/or PDF file version of the form is created.

5.    Post acceptance, the XML and/or PDF file is sent to the bank`s core systems/archival system.

How does Accenture's Digital Pen and Paper work?

The solution works on advanced Hand Writing Recognition (HWR) that has high conversion accuracy. Key points that differentiate the digital pen and paper technology include – 

•    Complete solution for simultaneous capture of customer data/ signature and KYC documents including photographs 

•    Data transmission is encrypted

•    Data can be electronically signed by the relationship manager if required by the bank’s internal policies

•    The form is automatically scanned for archival needs.

•    The form traceability is enforced (each pen is identified, each activity is timed)

•    Solution supports any storage type: xls, csv, relational DB, etc. 

•    The solution supports different data sending methods (Bluetooth, USB,GPRS/UMTS connection) 

•    The solution has multiple validations built-in and is integrated for SMS/Fax/FTP/Web services delivery. 

How secure and reliable is it? 

The digital pen is secure and is securely coupled with a specific mobile phone. Once the data has moved to the mobile, the pen memory is automatically erased. Data transmission is encrypted and happens over https for which a complete audit trail is maintained. In terms of data conversion accuracy, the Hand Writing Recognition analyses each pen stroke and identifies patterns, then places the character. 

Results from a pilot project show that HWR can reach more than 90% conversion accuracy. Since HWR is based on pen strokes instead of the entire object, it is far more accurate than Optical Character Recognition. Moreover, the solution ensures that customer’s signature is the actual image captured and cannot be altered.

The solution works on advanced Hand Writing Recognition (HWR)

Can it support data entry at draft stage? 

Yes, the user can part-fill a form and store the data under draft stage (for a pre-set time). Once the remaining data is filled in, the solution will directly integrate the new data with previously-stored data.

What are its running overheads? 

The digital pen is rechargeable and its ink is refillable. The paper used with the digital pen is normal paper, printed with a specific pattern.

Which phones/platforms does it run on? 

Accenture Digital Pen Router is a simple J2ME based application running on Nokia Smart Phones. A wide range of mobile platforms are supported: Symbian, Android and Blackberry. 

The inherent advantages of this solution lies in the fact that it is simple to implement, has minimal operating costs, leverages the large mobile infrastructure in the country, uses common tools and is simple for users to be acquainted with the technology as no training is required. Digital pen and paper provides a cost-effective way for traditional paper processes to enter the digital world. Thus the innovation also empowers banks to manage the key business imperative – Customer Experience. 

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