7 ideas to improve a financial onboarding process

The new client acquisition phase is critical for a financial institution. To begin with, nearly 75% of cross-selling opportunities take place within 90 days of acquiring a new client. In addition, the user’s first impression of the financial institution, i.e., the user experience, will determine the future relationship and, therefore, their loyalty—or not—to the institution.

For this reason, financial institutions need to understand the client lifecycle and new behaviors and habits linked to technology. But it is in this first onboarding phase where institutions can offer a good experience to establish the foundation for a solid relationship while capturing client needs to optimize all future communications and maximize customization.

How can a financial institution improve the onboarding process? We have compiled a list of the seven best practices:

  1. Build a multichannel experience, not just mobile. The client can decide to begin the process on one device and then go to another one to finish: mobile, web, or other channels. In all cases, the transfer of information and data during the process must be perfect, with no errors or delays.

  2. Design quick and easy forms. Forms save paperwork and time, but they should include some type of digital signature to keep people from having to print and send the documents.

  3. Incorporate identity document reading and authentication systems. This provides not just additional safety to the user, but it also prevents errors in data entry and complies with KYC regulations.

  4. Monitor the process in real time to detect errors in the process and possible client abandonment points. The quick reaction time is key if a point in the process leads clients to abandon it.

  5. Leverage the process in order to detect needs. Relevant questions to understand client needs in this phase not only help you define cross-selling opportunities, but they also increase client satisfaction since they perceive this as interest beyond merely capturing the account.

  6. Provide help at all times. At any point in the process, the client may need complementary information to make the decision or even define exactly which product or service they need. Ensure that they can access it quickly and easily: chat, email, related FAQs, and even by phone.

  7. Once the onboarding process is complete, do not forget to establish frequent personalized communication with your client. Today, with a well-defined process, this communication can be completely automated, with emails that respond to concrete actions. In the end, it is much easier to keep a client than gain a new one.


Of course, this is not a finite list: as knowledge about our clients’ habits grows, including knowledge about market segments other than those we target, we can fine-tune the onboarding process and adapt it to the new data that we have.