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Three big bets to accelerate onboarding and boost revenue in 2022

Companies that view digital onboarding as a powerful opportunity to grow their business will be well-positioned for future growth in this new world.

Three big bets to accelerate onboarding and boost revenue in 2022
[mojo_cp – Adobe Stock]

The author John Maxwell once wrote: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” As the financial industry comes to terms with the rapid and profound changes in consumer behavior brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, executives must find new and innovative ways to grow their businesses. In a world where many consumers now prefer the safety of a screen over the intimacy of face-to-face interactions, companies big and small are racing to level up their onboarding practices to gain a competitive advantage. While current digital onboarding procedures in the financial industry often drive away customers by requiring extensive data entry, emerging technologies are providing early adopters with quick but impactful ways to improve customer experience.

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In many corners of the financial industry, the importance of a firm handshake outweighed the importance of a seamless digital user experience. While the transition to digital onboarding in the financial industry began long before the pandemic, consumer adoption rates were often sluggish and varied widely by demographic. While many consumers felt comfortable sending money to a loved one over Venmo, even younger consumers felt that more complicated financial transactions like applying for a mortgage or opening a checking account should be done in person. Then it suddenly all changed as the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated extended lockdowns and required widespread social distancing. During this tumultuous period, a critical mass of consumers around the world simultaneously embraced the digital offerings of their financial institutions at an unprecedented rate. According to a McKinsey report, “rates of [digital] adoption are years ahead of where they were when previous surveys were conducted—and even more in developed Asia than in other regions.” As executives in the financial industry race to meet the new digital demands of consumers, they must find innovative new ways to address challenges unique to digital onboarding, including sky-high customer abandonment rates.

In order to grow their digital channels, financial institutions must address customer abandonment rates head-on. According to a recent study by Signicat, the percentage of European consumers who abandoned a digital banking application surged from 38% in 2019 to 63% in 2020. So, while a critical mass of new consumers is pursuing digital onboarding alternatives, often for their first time, the existing process is leaving nearly two-thirds of potential customers out in the cold, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue. According to Signicat, two of the primary forces driving customer abandonment are “the amount of personal information requested” and “the time taken to fill [out] the forms.”

Because digital onboarding requires customers to enter their own data, the process can be laborious and time-consuming. In order to rise to the occasion and remain competitive, financial institutions need to find a way to make digital onboarding less painful and less time-consuming. Fortunately, with the help of new technologies, financial institutions can make it easier for consumers to onboard by reducing the number of clicks necessary to fill out a form while still collecting all of the necessary data.

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THREE FIXES TO ACCELERATE ONBOARDING AND BOOST REVENUE IN 2022

1. Enable auto-filling on all forms to cut down on typing fatigue and accelerate onboarding. Auto-filling solutions fetch PII data (with the consumer’s consent, of course) from trusted sources to automatically fill out onboarding forms. In our experience, this results in 80% fewer keystrokes and dramatically reduces drop-out rates by improving the customer’s onboarding experience.

2. Testing 1, 2, 3: Save your intuition for the bigger decisions in life and use data when deciding between fonts, copy, and so much more on your webpage. A/B testing tools like Unbounce and Google Analytics make collecting and analyzing customer data easy and fun, leading to better-designed websites and a greater ROI.

3. Use phone-centric intelligence to verify identity: Relying on stale data from legacy sources is a surefire way to increase synthetic fraud while slowing down legitimate customers. Instead, use verified and trusted phone data that is continually updated.

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As we move slowly toward a post-pandemic world, the business community is struggling to predict which changes in consumer behavior that were triggered by the pandemic are temporary and which are permanent. Will customers continue to favor drive-through dining? Will customers return to the movie theaters once it is safe to do so? Will customers continue to prefer digital banking? Although only time will tell, the trend toward digital will likely continue to grow rapidly, especially in the financial industry. For this reason, companies that view digital onboarding as a powerful opportunity to grow their business will be well-positioned for future growth in this new world.


Brad H. Rosenfeld is the Chief Marketing Officer at Prove

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