Digital transformation in document management

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Digital transformation in document management

APS Bank is a leading bank in Malta established in 1910. In 1970, the Bank was incorporated into a private limited-liability company, and in 1990 it was granted a commercial-banking licence. Since then, operations have vastly expanded and today the Bank employs over 400 members of staff working at a modern head office building, located in Birkirkara (Swatar), and eleven branches across Malta and Gozo.

The Bank offers a complete range of personal and corporate banking, wealth management and insurance, services and is an active member of FEBEA – The European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Bank and Financiers.

About Avantech


To bring a series of secure, comprehensive, and fully-integrated solutions to APS Bank, while optimizing their workflow, enhancing and reducing human error.

Areas to be addressed:

  • Cheque imaging, indexing, and sorting for clearing
  • Digitization, including capture, retrieval, security, bank compliance, audit
  • Account statement processing for print, e-banking viewing
  • Intelligent scanners and multifunctional printers that can integrate with the rest of the business, to provide their users with business process feedback, during the capturing process

The proposal

Digitization has become a major priority for all organizations as business partners move towards remote working, digital workflow, efficiency drives and added value to customers. Client demand for armslength interaction, increased privacy guarantees and greater value for money, all necessitate a revamp of how business is conducted.

The challenges of moving paper around an organization, with many offices all over a country or territory are many: weight, inefficiency, cost, time, risk of loss, damage or tampering. As we see more and more, the success of a business is as much about the customer experience as is the product spec or price. Consumers are fickle and quick to move if a competitor proves more efficient.

Compliance is also of increasing concern, with every day that goes by. In Europe, the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes onerous fines on any organisation that are unfortunate enough to fall foul of the law. In the Financial Services sector, the additional rules and regulations governing everything, from Knowing Your Customer (KYC) to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and many others, put massive pressures on these institutions.

Digital transformation in document management

The proposal to APS Bank was designed around the client, to address all of these issues.

Issue #1:

The Bank needed a processing system to reconcile cheques and post them into the system.

Solution #1:

Canon’s authorised partner Avantech, proposed a customized application that is able to scan and process cheques and finally, post them into the Bank’s ERP system. This application was then upgraded to scan ID cards and collect signatures. Together with this application, the Bank purchased Canon DR-C130 and DR-C230 scanners, which were distributed throughout the Bank’s branches. The Canon equipment allowed the staff to scan various customer documents directly from the branches’ frontline, significantly reducing back-office administration and increasing operational efficiency.

Issue #2:

The Bank wanted to replace a legacy system with a specialized statement printing solution that is capable of integrating with the Bank’s digital channels in a more streamlined and efficient manner. In doing so, the Bank chose to consolidate the digitization efforts into one platform.

Solution #2:

Avantech designed a tailor-made solution, with Canon, that enabled APS to generate these statements. Part of this solution includes PlanetPress, which gave the Bank the facility to generate large amounts of monthly statements in a short period of time, for both digitized and printed versions. This also gave the Bank the ability to customise these statements to suit their needs.

Issue #3:

APS Bank was looking to replace its current printing equipment fleet, and to digitize documents.

Solution #3:

Avantech was able to show the Bank that by combining document digitization, document generation and Canon hardware, they would achieve significant gains in efficiency, compliance and costs. In running the same Scan2x capture solution across the bank on all their scanners, PCs and multifunctional devices, the Bank were able to extend document capture to every user in the bank with no training requirement. Canon’s fleet management tools revealed multiple quick wins for the Bank when implementing their integrated multifunctional printers, resulting in enhanced business workflows, increased return on investment and the integration of business logic into each device. Avantech also proposed uniFLOW and TrueMPS output management solutions, offering the Bank a secure document print workflow system, ensuring that only authorised employees could print. Through this solution, the Bank gained the ability to manage its new fleet of Canon multifunctional copiers, and instantly issue reports on its fleet utilization, monitoring consumption by sector, department and user.

‘Avantech and Canon have enabled us to create end-to-end workflows, totally integrated with our back-office systems, that span across all our devices.’ – Jonathan Caruana, Chief Technology Officer at APS Bank

Solution tools

The uniFLOW solution helped identify users and departments with heavy printing requirements. This together with the ability to control who uses colour printing, set other default printing settings, like draft and duplex printing, and promoting digitization rather than printing, has helped the Bank to optimise its printing fleet and reduce costs by about 20%. This resulted in a reduction in printing waste, and most importantly, limited the risk of data privacy breaches.

Avantech proposed Therefore™ DMS to give APS Bank the ability to design and manage its business processes using Therefore™ workflows. Therefore™ DMS also gave the Bank the possibility to have a single managed and backed-up document repository, where only authorised users can access documents. All document and user activity is also audited. Retention policies were also introduced to ensure the end of life of each document while also meeting GDPR requirements.

The implementation of Scan2x Intelligent Capture ensured that each document, scanned to Therefore™ DMS, is consistently scanned, indexed and archived in a secure, controlled fashion. Scan2x helped the Bank automate the extraction of metadata from various data sources while checking with Line of Business applications via database or webservice queries. All this happens in real time while the document is being scanned, alerting the user directly on the device control panel. Avantech also proposed that all copiers run Scan2x embedded, to save the Bank from purchasing additional scanners.

Scan2x also validates incoming identity documents and passports at APS Bank, alerting the user to an expired document before the customer leaves the branch, giving the Bank additional functionality to ensure compliance. By adopting document management and output management systems, APS Bank facilitated GDPR compliancy, document security, cost tracking and control, and access and tracking of documents while easing the administration load on IT staff.

A multi-phase plan was created by Avantech for the full digitization of the bank. The first phase digitized all active files from a centralized scanning department, making them available to all the Bank’s branches. The physical files were then archived securely, and retention policies implemented using Therefore™ functionality.

The second phase of the digitization project involves scanning all client documents at source, using Scan2x on their multi-functional printer and network scanner devices, and saving them into Therefore™ DMS. This will ensure that all staff have immediate access to this advanced document capture and storage functionality.

Solution tools

‘The Digitization Programme is taking the bank to a new dimension. The entire solution is improving the processes for our internal users and enhancing, in no small way, our customers’ experience.’ – Alex Camilleri, Head of Support at APS Bank

About Avantech

Avantech is a long-standing Canon Platinum Partner in Malta. The hardware division of the company works to bring the full range of Canon products to market, while the software division develops a range of applications for use in financial services. Avantech is also the author of Scan2x, a document capture system that is revolutionizing the way businesses digitize their daily documentation.

At APS Bank, Avantech worked together with Canon to revolutionize their document capture, production and management systems, by utilizing multiple Canon products to create a solution perfectly tuned to the needs of APS.

As consultants and software developers, Avantech were able to implement these components together with their own consultancy, integration and project management experience, to craft the unique offering that has been so successfully implemented across the bank.

These are:

  • Scan2x – an intelligent document capture solution designed to be simple to use, easy to configure and able to integrate with 3rd party application software. With Scan2x, all users across the organisation are able to capture, process and store documents in a secure, simple and consistent manner. Each document scan is audited, and integrations into line-ofbusiness applications make data capture easier than ever before.
  • Therefore™ DMS - this is a complete and comprehensive document management and workflow tool, able to integrate seamlessly with the Bank’s many software applications, and this provides users with simultaneous, instant, secure access to documents required for their tasks.
  • PlanetPress Connect – a document output management system that accepts digital output from 3rd party systems (eg the core banking system) to independently produce client-facing statements dynamically, in print, email or e-banking image format, depending on each client’s preferences.
  • Canon Scanner and Multifunctional Printer Hardware-proven worldwide as being robust. Canon’s hardware is technologically advanced, efficient and environmentally-friendly.

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