How to springboard your onboarding to the Digital Landscape?


The most important ‘moment of truth’ in a business relationship between banks and the customer is the very first one. A Finextra report states that over 50 percent of people said they would be willing to become a bank’s customer if their onboarding experiences were 100 digital-banking digital. For example, N26, a FinTech based in Germany, provides a fully digital onboarding experience which can be completed within just 10 minutes.

digital_bankingThis has been a roaring success and is an indicator of the digitally minded millennial’s pull towards new players when the trajectory of experience is positive. Both banks and customers alike face challenges in their quest for a seamless digital onboarding experience.

The Hard and Prized Diamond of Security

When we talk about digital onboarding transformations to customers, the first apprehension that spooks their mind is, “What if my credentials are forged and misused” or “Now isn’t that easily vulnerable to hacks”. Hence it is a business imperative for banks to provide hardened security with all holes of vulnerabilities patched up.

There is a very intriguing model which banks are vying for to solve this challenge. Banks validate login credentials using a selfie, biometrics and Iris reads. Selfie matches the photo in the id using state of the art facial recognition algorithms. Collectively, these details form a digital identity using exponential technologies including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, NLP and groundbreaking Biometrics to create an immutable, secure and paperless identity.

If banks enable this, it will be as good as a diamond, providing bipartite layers of strength and customer demand.

Automate Due Diligence

The bank’s app can be designed to ensure that onboarding experiences do not take less than 4 minutes. All you need is a smartphone, a government issued ID and a smile. The bank’s apps can take in digitized versions of government-issued ID card and the customer’s picture. This way, due diligence can be automated with the help of image recognition algorithms that can validate the authenticity of any individual or entity, to ensure a seamless onboarding experience with reliable cycle times. Credit ratings provided by credit rating agencies can also be dynamically accessed to speed up the whole process.

Auto Populate Fields

The data available in the IDs can be used to auto-populate the form fields meant to be manually entered by the customer. This is an interesting option which would save a lot of time for the customer.

Intelligent and Intuitive User Interface

Looking at a transition from manual handoffs to digital solutions, the interactive user interface can be designed for a real-time verification of relevant documentation. For instance, the Government ID card can be validated to check if it is an authentic one and if it is within the expiry period. The interactive and intelligent UI can also be made an intuitive one by integrating it with disruptive technologies like machine learning and deep learning to leverage the huge data available to get a 360-degree view of customer authenticity instead of just using traditional players like credit bureau as a sensor.

An effective UI can be designed to be a simple and attractive face of the bank which hastens processing times with lesser keystrokes. Thus the front end design is a simple and sure shot way to ensure that the bank is a competitive differentiator.

Avoiding redundant data

Most customers get frustrated when they are asked to needlessly fill in the same information time and again. So the apps can be created to avoid the superfluous flow of data. Also, intelligence can be driven into the app to ensure that when data is available in the auto-populate field, the other fields asking for the same data becomes inactive.

Save and Resume Function

Many customers may not have the time to go through the laborious process of onboarding. They might not have the documents necessary for validation of the account and would want to do it for later. When they come back, having to do everything from scratch is a challenge. Hence, it is quintessential for banks to have the “Save and Resume” functionality for a seamless business process orchestration. A QR code can be generated for the same which when read later, can lead him to continue from where he left.

Cross-Channel Compatibility

Irrespective of the channel mix, seamless onboarding is the focus point of the banks. It is therefore imperative to provide cross-device functionality that allows customers to seamlessly transition between from one channel to the other when they resume work.

Enable Straight Through Processing

Straight-through processing (STP) helps you collate customer data and documents from diverse sources and consolidate them seamlessly by putting all information directly into your existing core banking systems. Empowered by STPs, the basic information collected from the customer is enough to get all the other details about him. This can then be auto-populated to save manual intervention, besides giving a history about his credibility, besides serving him according to his needs and preferences.

Serial to Parallel

There are some serial onboarding processes which carry out redundant tasks. Such tasks need to be identified and converted into their parallel counterparts and integrated into the system. This saves on a superfluous and critical time of the customer.

Location and Language preferences

The language and location preferences of the customer can be derived automatically from the customer’s smartphone or desktop settings to avoid manual entry, besides being an effective way to know your customer and to enable features based on customer-driven preferences.

An effective onboarding experience with the right processes can streamline operational efficiencies, increase the onboarding process, mitigate risks and ensure compliance, plus enhancing customer engagement and communications. Banks thus give customers control over their financial identity, hence empowering their financial life. Though this might be one small step for the millennial, it is a giant leap for the Banking Industry. It is the next step, or rather, leap towards the future of digital banking.

Views expressed in this article are a personal opinion of Srini Peyyalamitta, Vice President – Banking & Financial Services, Aspire Systems.

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