Client onboarding is a critical initial step for a financial institution to establish a new relationship or expand its offerings to clients. While it may seem a fairly standard process, it is quite complicated as the onboarding experience is the first real test of the promises made during the acquisition phase. And a bad first impression sets a negative tendency.
In this first post, we take into consideration the factors driving financial institutions to revisit the client onboarding experience.
Ever-changing regulation has increased the amount of data required for firms to capture and store, as well as updating on a regular basis to provide the appropriate tax and reporting for clients. In addition, complying with regulation can originate operational risks as there may be different levels of approvals depending on where the firm is doing business and if they are operating in different jurisdictions.
During this client’s detail gathering process, financial institutions need to make sure that there is complete transparency and consistency in the data validation. This process may seem redundant and quite intrusive, sometimes. For this reason, it is important for firms to have the right technology to offer a positive client onboarding experience.
Providing consistency across channels and reducing redundancies in data entry is pivotal to enhance the customer experience. Therefore, the ideal is for firms to invest in the process flow, the engagement phase, and adopt the various digital channels to create an accurate, easy, and efficient process for delivering a personalised value proposition to clients. Because firms are faced with different types of customers, from mass affluent to high net worth individuals, from baby boomers to millennials, differentiation is imperative.
Cost And Process Efficiency
In addition to servicing clients better, automated and efficient client onboarding can reduce costs and increase revenues. Through automation of the various steps of client onboarding, there is an automatic reduction in the use of paper, in time dedicated to administrative tasks, mailing costs, in training staff to know how to fill out the various forms.
Upgrading client-facing processes ultimately affects the back-end environment, therefore creating efficiency throughout the firm.
The onboarding process continues for the entire lifecycle of the customer with the financial institution. A consistent, automated onboarding process allows firms to reduce risk inaccuracies and relieves from manual administrative tasks involving extensive data entry and originating errors.
Configurable workflows automate much of the evolution of the client onboarding data through the approval process. This automated workflow lets exceptions to be caught faster and be able to handle them more efficiently. Client onboarding helps to maintain the appropriate risk management process in place, allowing wealth firms to be compliant with industry regulatory bodies.
The client onboarding process should shy away from being a bureaucratic approach to becoming a value-added and business-driven process. Changing the onboarding process into a revenue function may have a strategic impact on the financial institution.
Let’s discover how in our next post on client onboarding.