Banks need to evolve account opening… Or face getting left in the dust

There’s a lot of talk about account opening…
Countless blogs, reports and solutions address account opening. Smartphone users number in the hundreds of millions (Statista 2016). And yet fewer than 30% of banks have a mobile account opening solution (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 2016).

Why are so many banks missing the boat?

The problem with account opening

Clutter. Noise. Friction. These aren’t just descriptions of a frat party gone awry. Industry reports show that 40% of customers will abandon an onboarding process—perhaps due to the clutter and friction of a dissatisfying onboarding experience (Signicat 2016).

Several qualities can contribute to an account opening customers perceive as sub-par.

  • Time-consuming. Consumers rightfully see their time as valuable, and many onboarding processes remain unwieldy and overlong. The average time to complete a digital application is over 18 minutes and in the branch the wait is longer, much longer. 1 in 3 abandonments are due to the time taken. You can go from Vegas to LA on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One faster than opening most checking accounts online. (Signicat 2016)
  • No mobile enrollment. It should come as no surprise that customers increasingly prefer to interact with the world—from the coffee shop to the Pokéstop to the bank— through their mobile devices. If banks fail to offer a mobile account opening solution, they effectively cut off an onboarding channel with potential to thrive.
  • Too many questions. An over-abundance of questions in the onboarding process can tip a consumer’s experience from satisfying to suspicious. Too many questions can breed skepticism of the process, which may lead to abandonment.
  • Too many steps. Some onboarding processes require customers to bounce from channel to channel just to enroll. Somewhere between requiring consumers to mail a form and visit a branch, banks are breeding process drop-out.

But how can banks fix a broken onboarding process?

Mobile. Simply.

Bringing the account opening process to mobile devices is a no-brainer, but the challenge of bringing the full onboarding experience to smart screens can result in clunky experiences.

Downloading an app should not be required to open an account or start a relationship. Slow load times and and the added step of downloading can discourage customers before the onboarding even begins.

Extra steps like these add friction. To keep processes as fluid as possible, keep mobile solutions simple. A mobile account opening process can only work if customers actually open it.

Engage without derailing.

A great account opening experience strikes the delicate balance between engaging customers to set the tone of the bank-customer relationship and moving customers along through the process to minimize abandonment.

The onboarding process sets the stage for all ongoing interactions customers will have with banks, making it key that banks foster trust and demonstrate expertise… without wasting time.

Features such as needs assessments and digital appointment booking can have a large impact on customer satisfaction and follow-through without necessarily slowing down the opening process overall.

improve_aoCut the clutter.

When reviewing your bank’s onboarding experience, always ask, “Is this essential information for onboarding?”

Be concise. Avoid bank jargon—customers can only interact in a language they actually speak. Clearly explain why you need items of personal information and make it easy to enter.

Customers just want an easy, no-stress experience. Things like pre-scanning a long form reduce steps and using conditional logic to only show pertinent field minimize the time it takes to complete and reduce abandonment. Visuals—like reducing the lengths of forms you usually use in brand and desktop channels—should be clear and engaging to avoid unnecessary complications.

It’s time to clean house.

How Zenmonics can help…

Our account opening solution was designed with simplicity in mind.

Creating a smooth and frictionless journey into account ownership no matter the channel. Digital, Branch, Kiosk and Call Center all utilize the same digital API with channel and user intelligence baked into the platform to tailor the experience based on the channel being used.

We believe in doing things right the first time. Imagine building your account opening offering once—not over and over again.

Zenmonics features that reduce and simplify.

  • Needs assessment – Despite their reputation for only attracting an older audience, needs assessments have become increasingly appealing for younger customers looking for guidance and support.
  • Digital appointment booking – This feature is proven to increase engagement and follow-through among customers. Establish credibility early in the customer-bank relationship by making interactions as easy—and versatile—as possible.
  • Save and Resume – Application Management is the heartbeat of the accountOpening Solution. The application is updated in real time and provides the ability for consumers or bank users to interact with the application. This also gives the bank the ability to recover and or retarget applications. Perhaps the consumers did not have all of their documents or they had a time issue or even the situation with second chance banking.
  • Customer Cart – Our integrated cart will create a retail experience wherein consumers can save a product and the bank representative will be alerted to their interest. This feature represents an opportunity to cross-sell products and programs based on customer interest, in addition to offering a more consistence experience for more indecisive consumers.
  • Real-time customer creation, account booking, funding and account service activation – Your customers live in real time. Join them. By avoiding batch processing, customers aren’t forced to wait for an account number or the ability to start using the account. Banks don’t have to wait for a batch of applications to upload or a synchronization process to run. Everyone wins in real time.
  • A single application across bank operations – Avoid jumping from solution to solution between call center and branch associates. Zenmonics offers a single solution enterprise-wide.
  • eSign – Get rid of paper both digitally and in the branch. Our solution supports all eSign requirements and helps financial institutions reduce the costs associated with accountOpening. No paper, no problem.
  • Open API allows introduction of tools to lessen form entry like mobile photo upload, social API, address API, etc.
  • Introduce marketing and prequalification tools – market to the specific consumer using key life information and make it relevant without introducing friction.

About channelUNITED® Connect from Zenmonics

channelUNITED® Connect is more than just an API that most other vendors offer, it’s a feature-rich channel service layer, allowing channels to accelerate feature delivery across business teams, releasing content at different speeds as needed.

Think of legacy industry APIs as a single, direct connection—like having a TV just plugged in for power and using rabbit-ears to get stations. Compare that to our solution, it is like satellite (DirecTV), where I can utilize multiple devices to access content, start/stop, etc.

Our digital API…

  • Insulates your digital channel applications from back-end system dependencies
  • Includes built-in channel intelligence that allows services, process and data to be specific by channel, user segment or user role
  • Provides microservices that allow each channel application to leverage a common set of integration points (integrate a service once, use across channels)
  • Allows you to share features across channels, allowing you to enable account opening, needs assessment, scheduled appointments, offers, etc across channels – to start and stop a process in one channel, then retrieve and complete in any other
  • Allows you to extend back-end core system data by decorating customer and account elements
  • Is workflow aware – which allows services orchestration from basic JBoss Drules to an existing bank enterprise workflow engine
  • Houses a centralized, enterprise contact history (Financial Story) of your customer, across your self-service and assisted channels

Improve your success rates and reduce your abandoned applications with a Zenmonics accountOpening solution. Create that awesome first impression and turn it into a lifelong customer.