5 simple steps to seamless customer onboarding

You can measure the efficiency of an organization by looking at how long it takes to get things done. In the era of instant gratification that we live in, consumers expect things to move fast. No wonder there are more people abandoning a financial services onboarding process than people completing that process. Did you know that Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help you make the onboarding process almost as easy as opening a TikTok account?

What are the advantages of self-onboarding?

Digital customer onboarding, or self-onboarding holds advantages for both customers and for financial institutions. To name just a few:

  • Less time spent: customers and banks save a lot of time by filling out an online form rather than a paper form.
  • Fewer mistakes made: filling out paper forms is error-prone, as is keying in that information.
  • More revenue: making it easy to onboard will get you more customers. Onboarding is the first moment of truth with a new customer. Making that process as seamless as possible is a great first step towards an enduring relationship.
  • More loyal customers: research by Bain shows that 89% of banking customers switch banks after a bad experience with their bank. Keeping customers loyal is important: a 5% reduction in customer defection leads to a 95% profit increase.
  • Better customer experience: customers don’t like having to enter data they know you already hold on them.

Make digital onboarding seamless and secure

It’s clear that client onboarding is no longer a back-office function, it has really become a sales and marketing function. An increase in customer experience through self-onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line of a bank. Here are five tips on how to make digital onboarding smoother for your customers.

  1. Make it a joint effort

Digital onboarding is not a technical or logistics process, it’s a sales and marketing necessity. That’s why it’s key to have everyone working together. Marketing will be very keen to work together with IT and the data security team to ensure customers have an easy time signing on to new services. When Allianz Benelux implemented their Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy with TrustBuilder Identity Hub, Marketing actually helped build the business case.

  1. Follow the rules

Over the last few years, banks have been paying hefty fines because of non-compliance with regulations such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Implementing customer self-onboarding is a nice opportunity to review how well you are complying and improving on your governance for other regulations like GDPR. Digital onboarding allows you to ask the required information and verify its veracity, while also giving your customers the opportunity to give and revoke consent for sharing their personal information.

  1. Allow BYOA

Customers demand ease of use and don’t want to be forced to implement a new authentication method or identity source. ‘Bring your own authentication’ is quickly becoming the new normal. For optimal customer experience, allow them to choose their authentication method of choice. Where possible, allow Single Sign-On or Federated Authentication, or a national identity provider such as itsme in Belgium.

  1. Make it easy on the IT department

Who will be implementing the self-onboarding solution? In many cases, this is something the IT department will be charged with, as one of their many projects. Therefore, make this implementation as easy as possible for them, by working with an IAM vendor who has built-in connections to multiple identity sources and who supports authorization mechanisms such as SSO, MFA, Federated Authentication, … The graphical user interface in TrustBuilder’s Workflow Engine allows different divisions within the bank (Marketing, IT, …) to jointly decide what attributes are required, what the process flow is, where data will reside, …Once this is set up, new onboarding processes can easily be mapped out.

  1. Tear down the silos

Customer information is sometimes scattered over different applications and banking solutions. This may result in asking customers the same information over and over again, for each now service they want to subscribe to. So tear down the walls of the silos and allow the IAM solution access to the data from these silos whenever necessary. When different applications make their data available in a secure way, this can only improve customer experience. And make life a lot easier for yourself too.

Secure customer experience

When architecting your digital onboarding procedure, keep in mind what you should demand from your IAM vendor. A solution that was designed to easily connect and interact with external repositories and third-party authentication technologies. A solution that will federate with external vendor solutions. A solution that contains a set of adapters that connect to every internal and external authentication mechanism or back-end repository you may want to use. A solution that relies on Attribute-Based Access Control, which will allow you to request specific attributes such as address, date of birth… from the identity source the customer uses. But, above all, a solution that delivers both superior customer experience and airtight security. When checking all these boxes, chances are you will narrow down your options to the TrustBuilder Identity Hub. Are you ready to onboard the TrustBuilder ecosystem? Contact us now.


Frank Hamerlinck

Frank Hamerlinck

As co-founder of global trade management leader Porthus, customer experience platform NGDATA, and strategic consulting services company innacco, Frank embodies the entrepreneurial mindset. His 20+ years of ICT experience is complemented by his position as ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ at iMinds and coach at Netwerk Ondernemen.

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