Client onboarding is one of the most critical functions for financial institutions, as it directly affects the experience clients have and dictates how relationships are formed. Customer experience, in turn, has a direct impact on profits.
Onboarding procedures like Know Your Customer (KYC) involve several important activities such as evaluating new clients, setting up credit compliance, ensuring legal agreement terms, opening a new account and ensuring all is in line with a bank’s business policy and industry regulations. Due to regulations (like KYC) and requirements, financial institutions and banks are more focused on the onboarding experience and how it relates to their clients.
Regulations have forced banks to reconsider their client acquisition and relationship management processes. Financial institutions face several hurdles in establishing a proficient onboarding framework, especially if businesses operate abroad. These challenges fall under four broad divisions; people, system, process and data.
The team may lack a sense of ownership or assume they aren’t responsible for various components of the process. A lack of common objectives and distribution of information results in compromising the level of service clients receive. The onboarding teams must collaborate and instill cooperative procedures in order to be effective. This can be achieved by aligning working groups (KYC, credit, legal, etc.), which enables banks to assign accountability and ownership.
The absence of a flexible IT platform to onboard clients has been a roadblock leading to operational breaks. Lack of automation creates an inconsistent client experience and reduces efficiency. A client lifecycle management (CLM) tool can be used to streamline the process. In fact, Pega-systems’ CLM tool was implemented with a global bank, and it was determined that onboarding and due diligence time decreased 70 percent. The benefits of a rapid onboarding process include more opportunities to expand, obtaining new business, and becoming established as an industry leader. In order to maximize profits, banks must modernize the onboarding process and provide customized client services.
Unfortunately, fragmented processes are still the norm at many banks. The onboarding request may be handled via various channels, such as email, fax and paper documents. Additionally, there can be a lapse in communication with the client during the onboarding process. This leads to client frustration, potential fallouts and inaccurate mapping, which can cause a loss for the bank. The CLM dashboard can be developed to deliver a peek into the onboarding process for managers and clients by providing increased transparency. When banks and customers are able to interact via email and chat, this ensures the current status of the onboarding process is established and all parties are aware of the progress.
With stringent data protection rules and regulations, there is a growing need to maintain data integrity. From a business perspective, the client onboarding function is extremely complex, given differing local regulations and the lengthy negotiations and documentation requirements involved. To ensure client onboarding is controlled tightly, banks must remain vigilant regarding rules, regulations and policies. The use of CLM ensures banks comply with regulations, while completing the process as efficiently as possible. By using CLM, the length of the onboarding process is greatly reduced, while maintaining compliance. This technology can even allow for consistent KYC updates on any new regulatory policy.
Inefficient onboarding can lead to missed opportunities for growth and potential loss of clients. Institutions will constantly be dealing with fluctuating market dynamics, competition, regulations and operational expenses. However, being aware of these challenges allows for formulation of a plan that ensures efficiency.