Onboarding by Videoconferencing: What Can Automation Improve?

The process of online onboarding - the online registration of new clients - begins a new chapter in client acquisition for the financial sector. In short, this process makes it easier for the user to set up their bank account quickly and comfortably, without needing to be physically present in a bank.

One positive step in the regularization of these processes has been the recent SEPBLAC regulation authorizing the identification of clients by videoconferencing. This remote identification process eliminates one of the main obstacles created by completely digital processes: the need to physically see the person in order to verify his or her identity, as well as the validity of their documents.

With the growth of FinTech and completely digital solutions (as in the case of the German banking institution Number 26, which offers financial services exclusively by mobile device and has recently expanded its operations to Spain), it has become essential to regulate these processes that depend less and less on the user being present.

Even though the SEPBLAC regulation has caused significant advancements in the identification of clients for remote onboarding, especially with regards to user experience, there are still aspects of this process that can be improved.

In what ways can this process be improved?

A Significant Reduction in Cost

One of the advantages of the digitization of processes, in general, is that it reduces costs. But remote identification by videoconferencing currently presents higher costs for the institution, as the current process, according to the regulation, has to be bidirectional, with “a person with specific training” carrying out the validation on behalf of the financial institution.

This means that if the online process is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (and the online method doesn’t make sense if this isn’t true), then there must be a person available to respond to the videoconference in order to validate the registration.

The solution involves an unassisted process, i.e., a totally automatic process, that reduces the current cost of infrastructure and staff.

Quicker Registration Process

On the Internet, a registration process that takes minutes to complete is considered to be slow. And with user experience, speed is a factor that is increasingly valued. But the current videoconferencing system is not automatic, rather it requires the assistance of a physical person. This translates into a process that takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes. This is faster than going into an office, but it is still too slow for the expectations of Internet users today.

The main disadvantage in this sense is that an offline process has been translated to an online environment where both the user and the document presented are validated by an employee of the institution. However, the ways in which the process could most benefit from technological possibilities has not been reconsidered.

As previously stated, a completely automatic solution allows for greater speed and precision in the data collection process.

Improve Identity Security

Another problem resulting from the online assisted programs - or processes that require a physical person on the other end who validates certain actions - is that in many cases it is difficult to detect possible falsification. Even though great improvements in digital security have been made, this is an area that should be constantly evolving.

With respect to security, the improvement involves incorporating biometric facial recognition systems, a much more reliable verification process than visual recognition, that also automates the process and makes verification by staff at financial institutions unnecessary.

Furthermore, if an automatic document authentication system is incorporated, this would not only meet the KYC (Know Your Customer) and custody of data requirement but would also prevent online fraud.

In summary, we can say that current onboarding systems have brought about improvements for users and businesses, but they still have room to grow and can add much more value to financial institutions’ acquisition of clients.