Digital Invoicing

A Detailed Guide to Financial Printing Rules, Laws, and Solutions

June 26, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

39% of all invoices issued in the US are paid late. The reasons behind such disturbing numbers are versatile. First of all, 11% of consumers never receive their invoices. 61% of late payments result from mistakes in the delivered papers. People get the wrong instructions and cannot send the payment by the deadline. The situation with other kinds of financial documents is similar.

As you can see, many of the late payments that disrupt cash flows could be avoided if the quality of printed and electronic invoices improves. This makes banks and financial organizations seek reliable financial printing solutions: they want to outsource invoicing to third-party professionals to ensure accurate commercial printing and delivery.

If you are also trying to solve the financial printing problem, we’re here to help you. Read Inkit’s guide to learn the rules of financial printing and find out what financial print solutions you can choose.

Why We Still Need Financial Printing Solutions in the Age of Digital Invoicing

Financial printing is a unique subcategory of security printing focused on serving financial institutions and banks. It encompasses invoices, bank forms, disclosure documents, annual reports, registration statements, annual compliance documents, and a range of other financial documents. Organizations usually delegate financial printing to third-party vendors that have the necessary printing equipment and software.

Despite digital invoicing, automated accounting software, and the transition to paperless, financial printing remains demanded. Why? Banks and financial institutions belong to strictly regulated industries whose activities are closely monitored. They need to follow dozens of rules, some of which require them to send financial documents by mail or store physical copies. If a customer asks to get bills by mail, a financial organization must do this. Important agreements, compliance documents, or reports must have physical copies. The documents like certified bank statements are also provided in print.

Therefore, although digital invoicing covers a large share of financial documents, it cannot fully replace paper invoices or documents. So far, the two formats coexist, and financial organizations must find ways to support both paper and digital invoicing.

Read About Pros & Cons of Digital Bills

Financial Printing Laws and Rules

If you need to create and send financial documents, you have to know financial printing laws and rules. They impose data access limitations and ensure a high level of security to protect customers’ personal data.

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Financial Printing Laws to Keep in Mind

The applicable financial printing rules will depend on the type of documents you print. Nevertheless, some universal laws that affect most financial organizations include:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard relates to all companies that process credit card payment information and mandates them to use financial printing solutions that securely store details, encrypt all print data, and comply with SSL.
  • Securities Act of 1933. These requirements specify the format of printed registration statements, applications, and reports. In particular, registration statements must be printed on white, unglazed paper 8 1/2 × 11 inches in size.

You may also be impacted by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and other core financial industry regulations. They all specify different requirements to financial documents and, hence, govern financial printing. Based on these laws, you need to include specific fields in your forms, provide copies to the specified regulatory bodies, and retain printed documentation records. For the complete list of regulations that govern your particular case, it’s better to consult a legal advisor.

Financial Printing Rules to Follow

The rules of financial printing are simple. Everything must be super secure. Employees can access personal information forwarded for printing only to provide the requested services. The invoice data transfers also require encryption and security measures.

Deadlines are another thing to note. In most cases, financial printing is time-sensitive and must be completed within the shortest time. A financial organization won’t be able to operate without blanks. It also needs to submit annual reports by the specified date. Hence, meeting the deadlines is among the critical financial printing rules.

And the last but not least rule of financial printing is a reliable partnership. Since most financial organizations don’t have proper financial printing solutions at premises, they have to outsource printing services. The quality of third-party financial printing solutions directly affects the work of financial entities. When the printing is fast and completed on time, avoid possible payment delays, undelivered documents, and resulting problems.

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Financial Printing Solutions: Commercial Printing Services, Automated Software, or API

The good news is that if you outsource financial printing to a third party with decent customer service, they will take care of compliance. Inkit, for example, provides the level of data security sufficient to meet the core financial regulations. This makes compliance with financial printing laws less of a challenge.

If you cannot decide whom to trust the invoices and other documents, consider the following financial printing solutions:

  • Commercial financial printers. In this case, businesses directly hire a third-party printer with all the necessary equipment and facilities. They provide the vendor with instructions on the volume and format of the printed materials. This option has been popular for years as the only way to generate financial documents. Today, with the appearance of sophisticated financial printing automation solutions, the software can easily substitute printing vendors.
  • Automated financial printing solutions. These are web-based financial printing solutions that connect financial companies with printing vendors. Once you sign in and integrate the software with your system, you can create printing workflows and set up the automated invoicing process. Then, the software will automatically initiate financial printing based on triggers. After that, the print documents will be automatically forwarded for delivery. Such software helps to cover the entire invoicing cycle and avoid the hassle of hiring a third-party printing vendor.
  • Financial printing API. If you want to add financial printing capabilities to your existing software, API financial printing solutions are an optimal choice. An API is a programming interface that allows you to integrate the functionality of one software into another. It’s a highly effective option for companies that want a single multi-functional system but don’t have the resources to develop custom financial printing software.

Note that financial printing solutions are usually outsourced regardless of the option you choose, be it commercial printing or the API. This is because in-house development and maintenance of financial printing solutions are too costly and time-consuming to invest in.

Inkit for Combining Financial Printing with Digital Invoicing

Inkit is a reach enablement platform (REP) that provides financial printing, document rendering, and address verification functionality for financial services. In addition, it fully automates all the processes making them trigger-based.

Init’s REP consists of the three main products: Render, Send, and Verify. Render allows you to automatically generate PDF documents from HTML for further printing or electronic invoicing. Send initiates remote printing and delivery based on real-time triggers, while Verify checks the accuracy of customer’s addresses. It’s a perfect combination of features to automate financial document management.

Inkit is suitable both for financial printing and digital invoicing. You can choose when to send documents online and when to deliver them by mail.

Have any questions left? Contact us to find answers or get Inkit’s demo.

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