Your ultimate guide to digital onboarding

Here is a briefer on digital onboarding that will help you bank attract and retain clients for many years

Now that so many banking transactions can be done online, including client onboarding, it may seem as if pen-and-paper applications are a thing of the past. Your bank may have invested in new digital infrastructure to increase customer enrollment, as well as sales for financial products.

But will it be inherently easier to onboard a new customer just because you have the technology? Does the technology alone guarantee your customers’ loyalty to you over your competitors, who may have also shifted to a more digital approach?

The banking industry has immense potential for growth amidst the digital revolution, but it is also much more competitive than ever before. One of the most important battlegrounds to secure is that of customer onboarding, as customers will only push through with enrollment if they’re satisfied with the process.

Put simply, your bank has to do more than offer a digital version of the over-the-counter enrollment processes it may already have. Successful onboarding experiences are a matter of keeping up with customers’ needs, optimizing your current digital channels, and establishing a reputation for yourself as a leader, visionary, and trustworthy partner for banking.

With that in mind, here is a briefer on digital onboarding that will help you bank attract and retain clients for many years.

Put your customers’ needs at the forefront

When it comes to digital onboarding, the first thing you should think about is how responsive your processes are to the customers’ needs. Will enrollment be an easy and intuitive process for clients who are comfortable with technology, and those who aren’t? Can it be done in one sitting? Will they encounter the full range of financial products and services they need when they’re on your platform?

Don’t stop working on your onboarding processes until you can say yes. To keep up with customers’ evolving needs, use technology to your advantage. For example, advanced analytics on a cloud-based banking solution will give you a 360-degree view of your customers’ needs, all in the interest of fulfilling them better.

Strengthen your banking ecosystem so that the digital onboarding experience goes smoothly for your new enrollees, as well as for your staff. A system that can leave a good first impression on a banking customer, via their onboarding, is a valuable one to have indeed.

Enable straight-through processing

The next things you should focus on are the granular aspects of your onboarding. Your goal should be to engineer an onboarding process that’s quick, straightforward, and precise in terms of what it asks from new enrollees.

Are the requirements for a new application, such as personal info and documentation, easy to submit on your platform? Will it be a hassle to enroll in the app’s biometrics system? Is the process as free as it can possibly be of repetition or redundancy? You’ll need the answers to these questions in order to implement digital onboarding that doesn’t feel like an unnecessary burden to your customers.

Aim for quick, secure enrollments

Speaking of burdens, the issue of security might seem like one if you don’t address it during onboarding. Though speed is important, you shouldn’t compromise on the security of your onboarding process by omitting crucial steps in your screening and know-your-customer (KYC) protocols.

It may help to appeal to your customers’ understanding and to remind them that certain protocols, like ID documentation and one-time PIN entries, are an important part of the enrollment process. Let them know that these steps are in place to protect everyone involved in the bank’s system—them included—from fraudulent activities.

Provide guidance material on your platform

Customers value straightforward and no-nonsense application processes, so unnecessary information dumps should be avoided. That said,  your clients are usually looking for adequate information to make an informed decision about their banking needs.

In fact, a good number of your customers may be seeking more in-depth financial advice from your bank, especially for your more complex products. Take note that many of them comprise the younger side of the workforce, and therefore may not have as much working knowledge on investment, insurance, or loan programs as their parents did.

That said, your bank can definitely use the onboarding process to educate these customers and to provide trustworthy advice on the nitty-gritty of their finances. For example, you can link to FAQ pages on the bank’s mobile banking app for select screens involving customer onboarding. Topics can include opening a new account online, applying for a credit card, paying for loans, and adding investment features to an account.

It would be even better if these materials were personalized in some way, so that they truly reflect each individual customers’ needs. You also have greater chances to upsell additional services if you give proper guidance, and if your customers know why they’ll matter at this particular stage in their lives. 

Final words: digital onboarding is your bank’s doorway to growth

It all comes down to the value of creating a strong impression on your customer via your digital onboarding experience. Win their trust in your system, your processes, and your expertise in what you do through their onboarding. That’s the ticket to growing your customer base and staying profitable and relevant in this digital age.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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