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Customer Onboarding

Why Banks Can No Longer Put Digital Transformation on Hold

Is it easy to be your customer? Can customers easily do business with you digitally or are they forced to use slow and out-dated, paper-based systems?

Seventy-three percent of financial institutions state that digital innovation is an imperative and that paper-based processes, disconnected channels, and legacy systems will not suffice in the Age of the Customer.1

Digital transformation is a hot term these days and you’ll hear many definitions. MIT Sloan defined it as: “The use of new digital technologies to enable major business improvements, such as enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations or creating new business models.”

Said more simply, digital transformation is about making it easier for prospects and customers to engage and interact with you. And there are plenty of signs from consumers that your bank should want to achieve this goal sooner rather than later.

Consumers are Driving the Need for Transformation

The explosion of social media, mobile, analytics, cloud and the “Internet of Things” has given rise to a consumer culture that expects a fast, seamless and convenient customer experience.

Digital innovators, such as Amazon and Uber, have not only changed how customers buy goods and services, they’ve also changed how customers expect to bank with your organization. Competitors—from the most innovative banks to FinTech’s like Apple and OnDeck—are disrupting certain banking products and services, further driving a transformation in how customers see banking being done.

These expectations range from your bank providing capabilities in mobile apps like bill pay to your customer’s online experience when opening an account. Your customers want the immediacy of sending required documentation to you electronically, swiping their phones to pay a bill, or using online chat for customer service. They also want a multichannel experience that lets them seamlessly switch between devices to bank with you on their terms.

And customers no longer want to wait in line at one of your branch offices or stay on hold with your call center when digital options should be available. They expect to be able to follow up with your bank staff through digital chat, video or other real-time options.

Beginning with the End-to-End in Mind

Knowing where to begin digital transformation of your bank operations can be a challenge. Sixty-four percent of bank executives say that a customer-centric business model is very important, yet only 17 percent feel very prepared.2 Twenty-nine percent of banks say they don’t have a strategy.3

Start with the goal of meeting customer expectations with streamlined processes that keep your bankers, customers and processing personnel informed and on the same page.

When many banks “go digital,” they often improve the front-end customer experience by adding mobile apps and point-of-sale systems. But they sometimes fail to address their back office systems and processes. According to one report, 60 percent of customer dissatisfaction sources originate in the back office, while 10 to 20 percent of contact center volumes are a result of back office execution issues.4

When you digitize a process, you’ll want to address not only the customer-facing front end processes, but also look at your back-end operations. For example, digitizing the front office will lead you to address customer engagement in branches, online and via mobile devices. But focus also on your back office processes, such as loan approval, underwriting and loan closing.

And end-to-end digital transformation doesn’t mean you’ll need to perform wholesale system replacement. Manual processing and interventions can be eliminated by integrating the right mix of digital automation technologies with your existing systems, and connecting to internal and external information sources—such as identity validation and credit scoring systems.

Digitization at Work in Customer Onboarding

Customers get their first experience of working with your bank during onboarding, so it should be as easy, flexible and frictionless as possible. Sixty-four percent of banks report lost deals and revenue due to problems with onboarding. In addition, manual onboarding can cost up to twenty times more than automated systems.5

So, what does digital transformation for onboarding look like?

In a truly digital onboarding scenario, the actions of your customer are recognized from channel to channel. If your customer began the process in one channel, but has steps remaining, they are not required to start over. Instead they can pick up the process where they left off and are prompted on the remaining requirements to complete the process. At any time in the process, if required, they are alerted in the channel of their choice (text, email, etc.)

By connecting your back-office systems and external sources, data is integrated into the process–requiring less data entry and confirmation at the front-end by your customer and the banker as well as by your back office staff. System integration allows for business rules to be leveraged by the digital platform to automatically check for all required data and documents to avoid having to go back to your customer later.

Banks that digitize their onboarding processes from end-to-end can reduce client onboarding time by 80 percent and increase throughput capacity by 40 percent. And your bank can eliminate more than 60 percent of manual steps while reducing management overhead by 50 percent.6

Transforming Onboarding from Days to Minutes

One global bank needed a quick, cost-effective way to manage the end-to-end application process for a hybrid credit and transport payment card, all while taking careful steps to avoid the risk of fraud.

Traditionally, processing credit card applications had been a complex, lengthy and manual task. Customers filled in a paper form and submitted supporting materials such as identification documents, proof of address and bank statements. Teams took all of this paper-based documentation, performed credit scoring and anti-fraud checks, and then decided whether or not to approve an application.

The bank introduced a document capture and processing platform that electronically scans identity documentation and information to streamline and speed onboarding. Key data is automatically extracted from applications, validated and entered into a case management workflow, where further fraud analysis and credit analysis checks are performed.

By digitizing its processes, the bank reduced card issuance time from days to just 15 minutes, and can deliver a more flexible card offering to win more customers.

Learn more on how to digitize your processes from end-to-end to improve the customer experience. Download the informative paper Banking on a Digital Future – a Guide to Digital Transformation today.



1Celent, Banks Emerging View on Digital – Part 1

2 Pwc, Retail Banking, 2020 Evolution or Revolution

3 Capgemini, Backing up the Digital Front: Digitizing the Banking Back Office

4 451 Research

5 Forrester and Pegasystems, Client-Centric Onboarding: Hopes and Realities for Global Banks

6 Pwc, Transform Your Bank’s Operations Model

7 Celent, Defining a Digital Financial Institution