Customer Onboarding
and Origination in Banking


The vast majority of banks believe that by 2020 most of their sales operations will have shifted from their branches to digital channels, mostly web and mobile applications.

Onboarding or new product origination is traditionally a challenging and time consuming process. Barriers are created from the outset, which seriously impact on conversion rates and the cost of acquisition. Manual processes, visiting bank branches, awaiting approval, and passing information through a series of systems.

More often than not, there’s a complex paper trail as new customers have their identity verified. Banks must put their customers through this in order to comply with regulations such as Know Your Customer (KYC). The rules are strict and usually require documents to be signed in person or sent via snail mail.

The information banks require to undertake due diligence and assess risk profiles comes from third parties. This means they have to request data, wait for it, and then analyze it, which essentially derails the onboarding process as new customers must wait before taking the next step. Such lead time reduces the probability that they will stay with the bank until the end of the process.

Human Effort

Human Effort


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Form-filling costs time, for both customers and bank employees. Customers re-enter information they may have already provided via another channel. CSRs have to push this through, or input it into other systems. Human resources and a new customer’s time are wasted on unnecessary data entry. Customers must work to get their banking products, rather than being made feel welcome from the start.

From both a customer acquisition and an operations perspective it makes no sense – and there are huge opportunity costs. One bank that re-designed the experience for their customers saw an 80% reduction in the length of time it took to onboard and a 15% reduction in the cost of the overall process

Five steps to frictionless onboarding

Five steps to frictionless onboarding

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01. Blend Human and Digital Experiences

Forrester uncovered a surprising statistic: millennials are just as likely to use bank branches as other generations (50-55%). This demonstrates the importance of ensuring that your onboarding must extend seamlessly across both in-person and online experiences.

02. Make Mobile the Hub of Your Onboarding Experiences

It’s no surprise that daily banking activities have increasingly shifted to digital channels, given the fact that 56% of all website traffic is now coming from mobile devices. We expect the trend to continue towards more research and applications being performed on mobile devices, which means that your customer onboarding strategy should begin with mobile.

03. Transform Digital Customer Experiences

It’s clear that digital is increasingly the place where consumers will be interacting with banks and financial institutions. In order to capitalize on this shift, it’s imperative that you either inspire or facilitate a digital transformation within your organization.

04. Use Data to Differentiate and Personalize Experiences

Transforming the customer experience is not about moving everything to digital and forgetting the branch experience entirely—it means leveraging data to better understand how your customers want to receive information, and what channels work best for them for onboarding.

05. Stay Customer-Led not Technology-Led

Your consumers don’t care about your new back-end system—they just want a great user experience and the ability to apply easily for your banking products….Take the time to understand the needs of your customers and the capabilities of various software platforms, and plan a course for marrying the two.3


The perfect onboarding process — it's already out there

The perfect onboarding process — it’s already out there


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Onboarding can actually be done on a smartphone in a matter of 60 seconds. The traditional concept of onboarding is both outdated and unnecessary. In fact hand-written forms and drawn-out processes are no longer viable if a bank truly wants to win new customers.

With an omni-channel orchestration platform in place, banks can easily process applications that are started on one device and finished on another. For both bank and customer the process is seamless and uncomplicated as the platform unifies all of the bank’s channels. A new customer might, for example, begin an application for a current account on a mobile device and finish it on their desktop computer, or in one of the bank’s branches.

The customer will pick up an application at the point they left it and CSRs should be able to see what stage they are at and if any help is needed. A central server that connects to each channel orchestrates the entire process, saving time, eliminating the need to duplicate information, and creating a positive customer experience.6

At the back-end, all digital applications can be processed quickly, as banks don’t need a human operative to tran-scribe a handwritten form. Instead, data flows straight into the system, where a number of checks can be carried out. The checks verify identity, as well as whether the applicant qualifies for a particular product or service. These checks are done immediately, so the risk of losing the new customer drops substantially. Rather than stalling the process to facilitate approvals, the system lets users sign up and become a customer right away.


Go holistic

Go holistic

An integrated approach is vital. Digital onboarding is so much more than just bringing nice interfaces to the end customer. It spans the entire user experience and a host of back-end systems and procedures. This is about bringing everything together to create an ecosystem that connects all the parts of the bank and optimizes the customer experience.


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