It’s Official: E-Forms and Workflows are Vital for Credit Unions’ Bottom Line

The Credit Union Times declared in an article recently that electronic forms and processing are vital to a credit union’s bottom line. Cost-cutting, time-savings for members, and improved efficiency were all quoted as being key benefits of implementing e-forms and workflow software.

Such amazing results beg the question; “how can software achieve all of this?” Let’s dissect the answer below.


Paperwork procurement for credit unions is both huge in cost and storage. The number of members can be in their hundreds, thousands, or even millions for each credit union, so having to handle membership and loan applications via paper forms is a substantial burden. The filing cabinet budget alone would be astronomical. Add to that the complexities of changes to processing regulations, and you’re looking at an expensive and complicated setup.

E-form software, more commonly known as Business Process Management (BPM) software, digitizes paperwork completely. Membership and loan forms can be created using the e-form builder, which can either be completed online by credit union staff, or directly by members if the e-form is made accessible to the public.

Paperwork that doesn’t need signing or user input can be stored securely within your credit union intranet, which comes with a Document Management System (DMS) as standard. Here, files can be organized coherently and given access rights so that only the approved members of staff can view or download documents. This is a much safer way of storing paperwork – with not a filing cabinet in sight.

Already, this key change completely eliminates the need for managing physical paperwork; cutting costs for procurement, handling, and storage.


It takes time to complete paperwork. Mistakes can be easily made. And forms can get misplaced or thrown away.

Providing your members and credit union staff the ability to complete applications online minimizes these risks greatly, and provides the added bonus of convenience. Application forms can be started and saved for a later date; reviewed and edited by either the credit union employee or member; processed automatically and sent to the appropriate team; and audited after completion to gain valuable insights and trends.

A seamless and engaging customer experience is key to the credit union member journey. By providing them with an intuitive and simple application process, you’re showing your members the high level of service they can expect by being a part of your community.

Improved efficiency

The handling of applications and loans can be complex when multiple team members need to be involved for reviews and approvals. BPM software lives to make these processes easier and more efficient by turning repetitive tasks, which are susceptible to human-error, into automated and accurate procedures. Applications can be automatically assigned to the best-suited team member for processing – a much quicker and more efficient way of handling paperwork than passing forms around from desk to desk.

Digitizing and automating applications online also allows your credit union staff to prioritize submissions based on level of urgency, as the software comes ready with built-in Service Level Agreement (SLA) timers. These act as automatic reminders which notify staff if they are about to breach their processing targets.

The bottom line

Ultimately, e-forms and workflow software work by helping to streamline credit union processes. Costs are driven down by the removal of manual paperwork handling; members are saved time by submitting applications online; and staff are able to work more efficiently, having a knock-on effect on providing a more professional service for members.

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