Document Archiving for Banking: What to Know About PDF/A Format


Document archiving can be a simple, stress-free solution for all your banking needs--but only if you know all the tips and tricks. For example, do you know the best format for archived documents? Today we'll take a closer look at PDF/A, which might be your bank's new best friend.

What is PDF/A?

As you've probably guessed, PDF/A format is a close relative of the ever-popular PDF--but it has a few key differences that make it ideal for document archiving projects.

PDF/A is essentially a standard format accessible by all users on all devices. It prioritizes a uniform appearance, which means users on a smartphone will see the same thing as users on a laptop, and longevity, which means it will continue to work even as your technology advances. This is possible because, unlike other formats, PDF/A is self-contained and preserved precisely as it exists right now. It doesn't do outside searches for data regarding fonts, colors, or other appearance-based details, so it will look just the same in, say, twenty years. That's good news for document archiving projects and even better news for banks looking to stay sleek and technologically advanced without losing their financial records or sensitive client data.

What to Know

PDF/A format is broken into three subcategories: a, b, and u. These subcategories provide different functions and features for different levels of document archiving.

  • PDF/A Level a

Level a is by far the most complicated--but also the most adaptive--option. It can convert images and other elements into text for text-to-speech tools, making document archiving efficient as well as accessible.

  • PDF/A Level b

The simplest and most common type, Level b, lacks some of the advanced accessibility features of other types but does guarantee consistency, longevity, and reliability in archiving. Documents will have the same content across all devices, although the order or format may appear altered.

  • PDF/A Level u

Level u is a newer addition to the PDF/A format, prioritizing search features and functions. This means that any documents saved as PDF/A Level u can be searched b keyword, phrase, date, and more.

Want to learn more about PDF/A? Ready to get started with document archiving? Contact us today!