By Kevin TweddleBy Kevin Tweddle
I’ve had to ship a package or two via priority overnight over the course of my career. And I remember all too well being down to the wire and sweating Fed Ex’s closing time. But once I dropped the package off, I breathed a sigh of relief. Having the tracking number gave me some assurance of delivery, and experience told me the package would get there safely and on time—with no work for the recipient.
What if we had that same certainty with digital document delivery? Enter Accelerator finalist Botdoc and its secure digital transport solutions. With investment company Edward Jones as an early adopter, Botdoc has expanded rapidly beyond its piloting days in 2016. But, as founder and CEO Karl Falk recounts, growing today’s version of the solution was a happy accident.
While working to automate the default mortgage process, discussion turned around to how best to collect sensitive information, recalls Falk. “This is document collection for the most challenging customers, he stresses. “They are in foreclosure, so they won’t pick up the phone; they may not have laptops; and they’re using free Wi-Fi at McDonald’s on their mobile phones. How do you make that secure? Well, we figured out a way to do it, and before long, Botdoc was in 21 different verticals.”
Here’s how it works: A request for information is sent via Botdoc. The recipient takes a picture of the required documentation and shares it via a mobile device. That information is encrypted and sent digitally with unique tracking details to the requester in real-time. Once the requester confirms receipt, the transaction is complete. A simple, safe, shipment of information, with no passwords or logins prompts for end-users.
Unlike other sharing solutions like Dropbox, the initial image is not stored and is transferred between devices leaving no residual footprint.
“Ninety-five percent of the time companies don’t need to share documents,” notes Falk. “They just want to send something to someone or have someone send it to them. With Botdoc, they can remote-collect and send without imposing that sharing requirement.”
This, in turn, makes the process more efficient, secure and cost-effective.
“Botdoc was advanced with their business model,” reflects Marty Sellars, president and CEO of $500 million-asset FNBC Bank in Ash Flat, Ark. “The product itself is something that very much fits within the needs of community banking. We have to keep our customers’ information confidential and secure without the risk of it being stolen or compromised.”
Accelerator visitor Stephen Wooters, executive vice president, marketing, digital banking, and payments, at 1.5-billion-asset Fairfield County Bank, Ridgefield, Conn., also was impressed by the advantages Botdoc offers community banks.
“The number one problem in modern banking is authentication. Historically, organizations have put the burden of that fraud protection on the customer. We need to be able to create capabilities using technologies where we know it’s you, can be very confident it’s you, and be able to pass non-public, personal information back and forth. Botdoc has done a fabulous job of solving that.”
With a developed product and plan, Botdoc continues to grow. Since arriving at the Accelerator, the company has begun conversations with core service providers to bring the solution directly to community banks and has pending agreements from a variety of different organizations, including international corporations, in the works.
Time will tell how those discussions will unfold, but for now, the Botdoc team is gearing up for its stage time at 2019 ICBA LIVE® National Convention and working to make the company a household name.
“We have customers using it as a verb - So relax … and Just Botdoc it,” Falk says.
Kevin Tweddle is chief operating officer of the ICBA Services Network.