When a customer plans to start a relationship with the bank, the onboarding process sets their opinion and expectation. As we well know, first impressions are lasting impressions, yet few banks have managed to nail the process that evokes true customer delight. Customer Onboarding is a crucial blend of processes, compliance, control requirements and customer experience. How can banking onboarding be captivating? What should be the key considerations when designing a customer onboarding process? These are key questions I use in my initial interactions with clients, and in this blog, I will share some insights on how banks can use onboarding to create a positive first impression on customers.
Less is more
Standard application forms demand a plethora of information and documentation, some of which is irrelevant or not really used. They evoke customer frustration and require longer time to process. Unwarranted information collection can also reduce the focus on essential details driven by applicants/ processors being overly cautious. Digital onboarding processes eliminate unnecessary data/ document collection, with intuitive front-end interface prompting only fields relevant to specific customer/ product. Similarly, AI and ML can perform automatic data extraction, so Relationship Managers can be more productive by addressing customer needs.
Isolated automation is counterproductive
Onboarding automation sometimes focuses on select backend operations rather than an end-to-end customer lifecycle. For example, many banks still collect physical application forms, KYC documents, loan disbursal authorization etc. Many of these tasks such as Bureau integration, affordability calculations, credit/ fraud verifications, subsequent disbursals etc can be automated for loans processing to enable real benefits of Straight Through Processing (STP) i.e. without any manual intervention.
In my view, fragmented automation will neither realize full ROI potential nor enable banks and financial institutions to provide that Wow factor to customers. Whilst banks may become complacent with partial process improvements, the experience is not perceptible by the customer
Rework is NVA
Banks are asking existing customer to re-submit KYC documents on incremental accounts / facilities – even those with digital core, which use scanning solution to store customer documents. The solution lies in implementing an integrated workflow and scanning systems with re-usability of existing information including KYC documents, to expedite onboarding. This will accelerate processing, besides making the customer feel valued. Further, processing multiple product applications via an integrated on-boarding process will be an icing on the cake.
Is DIY really a Straight Through Process?
Remote account opening (RM visiting customer with tablet) is being adopted by many banks. However, a customer initiated online application request is not truly a fully automated process, but rather passes through CRM and other manual processes. In the process, customers are deprived of an accelerated onboarding experience, even though branch visits may be eliminated.
Communication is key
Going back to my first point, onboarding is the first and one of the most important interactions with the customer. Customers should receive updates of key process milestones such as application submission, approval, account creation and disbursement to create a sense of engagement. This assumes greater significance in scenarios such as exceptions, delays, additional information requirement, etc.
A positive and impressive onboarding needs to be followed by post onboarding communications, prompting customers to fund their account, guide them on account benefits, important terms & conditions, and other key updates/ announcements. Transparent and real-time information creates a sense of confidence in the organization and lays the foundation for a lasting relationship with the organization.
This is the third of the Banking Process Transformation blog series. Please read the rest here:
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