- Cetelem eliminated the burden of manually managing 1.6 million pages of paper a year; customer loan agreements are scanned into Alfresco ready for instant access, processing and distribution
- The automated and paper-free processing of 100,000 loan contracts per annum has generated significant cost savings and boosted employee productivity
- Operational processes are more streamlined, faster and less error prone; no more damaged or missing contract pages
- Cetelem now delivers a unique, in-store digital-signature credit application for shoppers that boosts cash-flow and reduces postage/printing/administration overheads for retailers
- The Company has built a reputation as the most service-oriented finance partner operating in the retail market today
- Consumers can instantly access and view their digital loan contract via a secure, online portal.
About Cetelem Slovakia
Part of the BNP Paribas Group, Cetelem Slovakia is a leading financial services company specialising in consumer lending. Since its establishment in the Slovak market in 2000, it has provided more than 1.2 million consumer loans.
Headquartered in Bratislava and with 200 employees, Cetelem has become the first provider of retail instalment sales in Slovakia. A pioneer of technological innovations that improve internal processes and the quality of its services, it now offers retailers the option of paper-free loan agreements - including the signature and distribution of documents. All of which has made it possible for Slovakian retailers to provide a mobile consumer finance service to their customers as they shop in-store.
When BNP Paribas launched its global ‘simple and efficient’ initiative, Cetelem Slovakia took the decision to deploy a document management and eSign program to improve its operating efficiency and kick off the launch of an innovative ‘mobile’ digital loan service to retailers.
Every year Cetelem processes, prints and archives 1.6 million sheets of paper relating to 100,000 consumer loan agreements. The paper intensive nature of the end-to-end financing process created significant operational challenges. Documents had to be printed and mailed out to retail partners and consumers for approval, which introduced delay and mailing cost for all concerned. Meanwhile, the completed consumer files were prone to loss or damage as these were moved manually through the back-office processing loop.
All of which added up to costly, cumbersome and extended back office processes, plus the added final burden of having to archive around one ton of paper-based documents a year.
Cetelem wanted to ‘dematerialise’ paper from the case management process and make it possible for consumers to instantly submit personalised loan agreements in electronic form while shopping in-store. That would mean making it possible to securely sign agreements at the point of sale.
Introducing the paper-free processing of consumer contracts would generate benefits for all. Cetelem would cut costs while simultaneously improving service delivery to retailers and end-consumers. Four copies of each prepared agreement had to be printed, which included copies that were mailed to the retailer and consumer for authorisation. Internally, each folder had to be collated, checked, mailed and subsequently archived.
To resolve this time-consuming and manually intensive processing challenge, Cetelem turned to Alfresco and its implementation partner Anasoft, to deploy electronic and mobile document management.
“Making the move to digitizing and validating consumer loan agreements at the point of sale was a trail blazing move,” confirms Pavel Kolarov, Chief Information Officer at Cetelem Slovakia. “When we began we weren’t even sure we’d achieve legislative acceptance but we were certain that DMS was a critical component of the e-Signature process when it came to ensuring no trace of documentation was ever held or retained on client systems. With Alfresco, we knew we had a route to managing this key security aspect.”
Personal loan cases are scanned, sorted, attached to metadata and stored within the Alfresco One repository, and the loan process is implemented within Alfresco utilising a set of workflows and scripts. A customised document capture process was created to scan pre-existing customer dossiers into the systems.
That was just the start. Next, Cetelem needed to initiate eSign to further improve efficiency. The end goal was to eliminate the need to print out loan documents which are mailed to customers for signature, which represented a significant bottleneck for consumers and retailers alike.
To resolve this challenge, Anasoft deployed its SIGNATUS solution that allows retailers to submit personalised loan agreements in electronic form on a tablet device to which they subsequently apply digitised, hand-written signatures. The tablet device includes a digital pen that enables consumers to view and sign their own personalised agreement. Once signed, paperless digital agreements are safely locked and dispatched electronically to Cetelem’s central server and direct to the consumer’s email account.
The solution also incorporates biometrically-enhanced security measures to support document authentication and assure a legally binding loan agreement. Biometric parameters such as pressure, acceleration, speed and rhythm are captured from the handwritten signature on the screen of the tablet and securely bound to the electronic agreement. This metadata is stored in a fully encrypted format within Alfresco ONE.
Retailers are now able to move alongside shoppers while in-store and design and process loan agreements that customers can sign instantly in the knowledge that they’ll receive an electronic copy of the agreement and no longer have to wait four or five days before they can purchase the goods they want.
Using the Alfresco repository, Cetelem is able to utilise the required server-less and offline modes of operation necessary to achieve demanding security and SLA requirements. Meanwhile, a customised mobile device management solution guarantees secure document delivery to tablets located in remote retail locations.
The unique solution combines Samsung S-Pen tablets with Alfresco Mobile SDK to put information into the Alfresco repository. Alfresco also made it possible for Cetelem to use secure paperless workflow management for the complete contractual process – from generating the proposal to the signing of the contract, contract approval, safekeeping and archiving of documents.
The introduction of paper-free, loan processing has saved costs for all, eliminating the need to print paper forms, manually handle these and then archive. Agreements can be processed faster, distributed electronically and the entire workflow is fully auditable. Furthermore, final approved agreements can be securely and cost-effectively archived ready for instant retrieval and, thanks to powerful Alfresco workflows, Cetelem personnel have instant visibility of exactly where every agreement is in the system.
“We’ve made considerable annual savings in print, paper usage and postage costs,” confirms Pavel Kolarov. “Each year we used to process 100,000 agreements, each of which was four pages long. Our retail partners have also benefited thanks to no more mailing costs getting signed agreements returned.”
Cetelem’s initiation of its new eSign consumer agreement service has helped revolutionise the provision of consumer finance for retailers, boosting the company’s reputation in the marketplace as an innovative financial partner.
As Pavel Kolarov explains: “We’ve cut processing costs, boosted productivity and responsiveness, and given our retail partners a way to differentiate themselves in the eyes of consumers who can now seamlessly organize their own personal finances as they purchase items in-store.”
Retailers no longer have to wait up to five days for payments; they now receive finance payment submissions next day for goods sold via installment agreements and all personal loan folders are securely routed back to Cetelem in digital form for secure processing and storage in Alfresco. Furthermore, retailers no longer have to bear the cost of printing and posting agreements to consumers.
But the benefits don’t end there. Consumers now have the convenience of being able to purchase items immediately, once they’ve viewed their own personalised digital agreement in-store and placed their electronic signature on the contract at the point of sale. Around 90% of consumers prefer this approach, and are now able to sign-in to a secure portal to view their agreement online whenever they want and within hours of having signed the agreement.