What difference have you noticed between customer onboarding before and after the Covid-19 pandemic? Let’s say you wanted to apply for a loan before Covid. You had to raise a request and enter the details on the bank website, and within 24 hours, the bank representative would visit you at your address to complete all the paper formalities. Customer verification in person was an essential aspect of customer onboarding whether you physically visit a branch or any representative visits you.
Due to social distancing and contactless interaction during Covid-19, the footfall in the branches was reduced. It completely changed the customer onboarding process. A few technologies have played a massive role in determining the customer digital onboarding process and simplifying the process for both customers and banks. Video KYC, geo-location verification, aadhar-based customer verification, and more were the go-to solutions for the industries. Financial organizations and Fintech launched multiple applications (mobile and web) to ensure that the process of digital onboarding can be carried out without disruption and offer a seamless experience.
Digital onboarding is no longer about getting and converting new customers or retaining the old ones. It is more of a service, an added benefit offered by the banks to their customers. It determines the relationship banks establish with their customers and ensures satisfaction over the digital journey of customers. However, the digital onboarding process is at a nascent stage, and the journey is not over until the customers can use the services without any interruptions. There are definitely some challenges that both customers and organizations face and strive to overcome. In this article, we will explore the challenges organizations and customers face with digital onboarding and ways they can overcome them.
Challenges of customer digital onboarding
- Platform Security – The platform security of digital onboarding is a vital challenge that customers and financial institutions face daily. It is hard to protect both customer and organizational data in traditional banking. When the data are shared on the digital platform, it requires a stringent security mechanism to protect data from stealing and manipulation.
The traditional customer onboarding process is lengthy and time-consuming. It has several steps like document submission and verification, a branch visit followed by an online application, and approval waiting. With digitalization, customers no longer prefer the long awaiting time of traditional ways of onboarding. Hence, many financial institutions, the majority of them have opted for the digital onboarding process. The customer in the digital onboarding process must follow the entire process, but instead of visiting the branch, the whole process is taken care of on the digital platform.
Before the pandemic, the onboarding process was a mix of digital submission and branch visits. But in 2020-2021, much has changed. The recent trend is the end-to-end onboarding process is done on the digital platform without the need for customers to visit the branches for formalities. Since customer uploads all documents on digital applications, security could be a concern for banks. Each bank may have a set of challenges, including identity verification compliance and security issues.
- Complex UI features – It is a massive disappointment for customers if they are required to navigate through complex UI functionalities during their onboarding journey. Customers cannot relate to applications with complex UI designs. Hence, the banking and financial industry faces an immense challenge in keeping up with customer expectations for a simplistic and user-friendly application. Several survey reports have confirmed that customers tend to appreciate digital platforms with clean UI design. If you feed in too many irrelevant and unnecessary features like pop-ups, action buttons, or others, customers would not think twice about leaving the site and would not return.
- Performance glitches – Performance errors in digital applications are frequent. Banks create service-based APIs to establish connections between the application and customers’ bank account details. The API can retrieve financial information from the banks and send the information back to the banks. The digital platform for the onboarding process can face a tremendous setback if the platform does not meet up to the expectation of handling multiple requests simultaneously. If the applications cannot bear the request volume and the load, they would easily face the performance bottleneck.
A poor digital onboarding platform performance can disappoint the customers, who might discontinue using the platform. Customers using the digital onboarding platform continuously can also create immense stress on the platform. If the platform is not robust and capable, it will not be able to endure the maximum system usage and might face performance errors. Most digital onboarding platform fails because of these performance errors. Customers associate themselves with systems that are stable and have longevity. A poor-performing digital onboarding platform will not be able to retain customers.
- Lack of personalization – Not all customers want the same services. Different customers have different needs. Hence, personalization is crucial to retaining the most loyal customers. Most digital onboarding platform fails to personalize the applications based on customers’ needs and wants. It is challenging to keep up with customer expectations as customers’ needs may vary. Lack of personalization leads to dissatisfied customers. Users will not engage with the platform if the platform fails to meet with adequate and personalized digital services.
- Delay in resolving grievance redressal – Since digital platforms are a combination of services by multiple third parties, it is hard to track the complaints. In the case of digital onboarding, there may be multiple agents integrating their services with a single platform. If any grievance arises, the users will not know whom to raise a complaint to and how long would it take to resolve the issues. The apprehensive customers will either solve the errors or leave the platform without even informing regarding the discontinuation of services.
Following are the instances of consequences that organizations must face if challenges remain unresolved.
- Users may sign up for a month’s free trial and discontinue using the service. As per a report, 40 to 60% of users who sign up for a free trial use a product once and never come back. As low as 2.97% continue the service even after a month.
- Many customers lose interest after using the platform for a week. As per a report, almost 75% of new users leave in the first week.
It may be noted that organizations gain 65% of the business revenue from their existing customer and the chances are that most satisfied customers will recommend your business. Hence, organizations must address the challenges before it becomes too late to address them.
Ways to overcome these challenges
Customers are the ones who use your end products. When you think about your products, you must have customers in your mind and think from their perspectives. Banks and financial institutions have already handled customer onboarding traditionally. They know what their requirements and customer expectations are. Hence, while tackling customer onboarding digitally, they can enter only those fields that are necessary for customer onboarding to avoid the lengthy onboarding process.
For a successful customer onboarding process, the lesser features always guarantee a better user experience. Include only the necessary UI features and leave out the rest. The most relevant features can add value to your digital application and help to retain your customers. Avoid complicated User Interface design and opt for the most minimalist layout with the right combination of adequate features and nothing more to clutter your application with unnecessary action buttons, service menus or more. User retention is based on building the application with simplistic designs. If you notice your customer engagement with your platform outnumbers the time, they begin using the application for the first time, it will determine your customer experience. An outstanding customer experience is worth all your effort. Functional UI testing ensures that all fields, navigations, pop-ups, buttons, and other functional UI elements are working without any technical error.
Usability testing is important as it tracks the user to transition from the time they sign-up to using the product for the first time. By conducting usability testing, organizations can examine and verify the points that conflict with user expectations. For a smooth digital onboarding process, financial institutions require a clean user-friendly interface. It enables the business to gain direct revenues.
Security testing is a critical way to ensure the security of the digital onboarding platform. It ensures that the platform maintains identity verification compliance and overcomes security issues and challenges.
Performance testing ensures the system’s capability and stability during the onboarding process. Performance testing ensures that the APIs manage the load and perform as expected. It removes the performance bottleneck and reduces the resolution time.
A personalized digital onboarding process is key to engaging your customers. Customer seamless onboarding experience will make them delighted. And they will return to your site without hesitation.
Do reach out to your customer and collect their feedback. The customers feel connected to the businesses that value their opinion, suggestion, and feedback. Most organizations add online feedback forms to help them immediately capture customer reactions and avoid losing them. It is a dynamic step that can help you to retain your customers. The most honest feedback can help you to improve your digital onboarding processes and help you to serve your customers with no regrets.
At Yethi, we have tested the digital onboarding process for a few of our clients. We have supported our clients in transformational projects to the digital platform by offering them end-to-end testing. From security testing to performance and functional UI testing, we have helped our clients to serve their customers with outstanding services and gain high ROI on their business.
Our 5th generation robotic test automation solution, Tenjin, is easy to integrate with all major banking platforms. This intuitive solution can reduce the time to market and help you save money and effort.