Case study

Electronic archives as Addiko bank’s competitive advantage

Addiko bank was one of the first companies to begin outsourcing electronic storage that is in the cloud. Relinquishing documents to be managed and stored by an external provider was a bold move ten years ago when cloud services were not yet widely used. However, today, Mikrocop’s certified system of e-storage is the most used electronic storage both in Slovenia and in the wider area containing more than 260 million electronic documents.

Addiko bank (formerly Hypo bank) has been present in Slovenia for almost 20 years and began digitizing its records and operating paperless only a few years after being founded. The banking and financial industry, as well as other commercial industries, were given an additional incentive to move in this direction due to the adoption of legislation that gave documents created or converted into an electronic format legal validity.

Over a decade of document digitization

“Just like at any beginning, we began looking into electronic archiving only tentatively. However, the bank made the bold decision of transitioning into e-archiving as early on as the start of 2003. The bank recognized that the current spatial capacities for storing documents would not suffice for a longer period of time, since the bank was growing quickly and, consequently, so was the number of documents. It was already clear at that time that storing documents only in paper form would not be feasible in the long run,” explained Vesna Popović about Addiko bank’s decision to use an external provider for their document storage and management.

Documents that are created because of business decisions are most intensively used in the first years of being created. Over time, their use declines, but they still need to be stored. The fact is that it is necessary to store documents securely for the entire duration of their lifespan, maintaining their usability and integrity.

Electronic archives speed up business

Implementing the digitization of documentary materials at Addiko bank was and still is a demanding but pleasant challenge. In the initial phase, the bank digitized the documents that represented the largest quantities and material that employees used the most. Over time, they then combined and merged various types of documents into groups. This enabled employees to find comprehensive information using one search parameter. “We carried out the integration of business applications with an electronic archive which allows us to quickly access necessary information. This solution works perfectly in sync with the process of bank tellers dealing with customers,” added Popović.

Ensuring compliance with legislation

Today, over 90 per cent of the bank’s documents are in a digitalized form, while the preparation, capture and storage procedures are all in accordance with legislation. The bank established internal rules that carefully documented all the procedures for implementing the legally compliant capture and storage of documents. “The result of several years of collaboration between the bank’s employees and Mikrocop, as well as the continuous desire to make progress and implement improvements, helped us in the preparation of our internal rules. We were able to set up the internal rules without any problems and the result of our successful and effective collaboration was immediately noticeable. No corrections of the submitted internal rules were necessary and we received the decision from the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia in a month and a half,” commented Vesna Popović on the preparation of the bank’s internal rules.

On the path to paperless business

Introducing centralized business operations motivated the bank to go paperless. The initial purpose is to ensure clients receive information about decisions as quickly as possible. Document capture still takes place in all phases of the order handling process, from its receipt and processing to the final decision and storage. The applied support for employees thereby enables access to content and documents throughout the duration of the process. Paperless business at Addiko bank had given them a competitive advantage and benefit to the bank’s already efficient operations.