In late January of 2021, with over 5 different vaccines being rolled out across the globe, there was great optimism in the air. A world which was fatigued by over 1 year of lockdown was slowly limping back to some sense of normal, things were opening up and there was a sense of optimism everywhere. Cut to easter weekend in early April and the gloom of record cases across US, India, Europe were dominating the news. Soon again we are all reminded that life will be this way for a long time to come – the ‘New Normal’.

In this ‘New Normal’ of remote-everything, banks still need to carry on their work and grow their business and one of the key pillars for this growth is to have a great customer onboarding experience as it has the power to increase conversions, improve banks’ reputations, and boost efficiencies. To be able to successfully do this, every bank needs to rethink their onboarding software in a way that’s built for digital from the ground up.

In addition, banks have to play double duty when deciding on customer onboarding software. On the one hand, the software must aid in staying compliant with regulations including KYC, AML, FATCA, Dodd-Frank, and others. On the other hand, the software must be intuitive and easy for both customers and agents to use.

With all these considerations, it can be challenging to decide which onboarding software is best suited for a bank’s needs. One can argue the right customer onboarding software can make or break a bank’s success, and a few questions to ask that can make evaluating potential solution

Why the customer onboarding software matters

Banks are constantly faced with choices about which banking technology to invest in. From the core system to robotic process automation (RPA) to loan origination software (LOS), there is no end to the types of technologies that can enhance banks’ processes.

But improving the digital customer onboarding is an overwhelming priority for banking executives, even compared to other important technologies as shown in the chart, where 90% of executives say that it is one of their top priorities for 2021 and this trend is not going to change in the years to come.

And with good reason. Bad onboarding — whether due to insufficiently digital processes, excessive customer touchpoints, over-reliance on manual processes, or some combination of these — can seriously hurt banks’ success.

Of course, it’s not that banks think this is acceptable. Most banks are keenly aware that current onboarding processes are broken and costing them in multiple ways. Banks urgently need a way to streamline onboarding while ensuring regulatory compliance. And adopting effective and intuitive onboarding software is often the best way to undo the damage of traditional onboarding.

1. Promotes Compliance with Banking Regulations

Understandably, banks’ top priority is staying compliant. Therefore, any onboarding software must meet or exceed the standards of paper-based regulatory paperwork. The software should:

  • Ensure compliance with KYC, AML FTFCA, Dodd-Frank, CRS, MiFID II, EMIR, and others.
  • Allow admins to easily update business rules, form fields, and document requirements in response to changing regulations.
  • Use a robust digital ID verification system that allows customers to instantly submit their photo ID and selfie for automatic verification.
  • Collect all documents and forms from a secure environment that uses technology such as single sign-on, one-time passwords, audit trails, and HTTPS encryption. The more layers of (seamless) security, the better.

2. Allows Customers to Onboard from Anywhere

Today’s banking customers expect to be able to open a new account from anywhere, and from any device and start on a channel and resume on a different channel. Customers should:

  • Enjoy a consistent, intuitive onboarding experience whether they’re completing the process from a smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, or any other channel.
  • Be free to onboard from a call center, physical branch, drive through, or online.
  • Be free to onboard without the involvement of devices such as printers and scanners, which limit them to onboarding from specific locations.
  • Be able to complete the entire onboarding process from wherever they happen to be, without the need to switch channels or visit a branch at any stage.

3. Make the most of Agent Talent

Client onboarding software isn’t meant to replace bank agents. It’s meant to augment them. Customers in the process of onboarding should still have access to over-the-phone agents who can walk them through the form-filling and KYC procedures, and answer any questions. ​​​​​​​

4. Offers self-onboarding

The best customer onboarding software can be used in flexible ways. Just as some customers want an agent to guide them through the digital onboarding process, other customers would rather go it alone. This is particularly the case for retail bank customers with simpler needs.​​​​​​​

5. Plug-and-play API ecosystem

Onboarding software shouldn’t and can’t be a standalone technology. It’s meant to integrate into existing systems as well as all new systems through simple and easy Open APIs which will ensure that the bank is future-proof and  allowing banks to maximize their ROI from currently used tools.

How can Epik’s platform help banks in the digital onboarding age? allows banks to satisfy regulatory requirements without sacrificing speed and efficiency. With advanced banking technology baked into the software, customers can onboard easily and from anywhere.

Some of the key benefits banks might realise using

  • Improved completion rates: Banks no longer see customers abandoning the onboarding process due to lengthy application forms and excess friction.
  • Fewer callbacks: Customers are able to complete the entire onboarding process in one shot, from one channel. This eliminates the need for them to call again, or for agents to follow up.
  • Fewer compliance issues: With automated onboarding workflows, agents know exactly which stipulations are required from which customers, preventing compliance lapses.
  • Improved customer experience: New customers feel they have received the “white glove” treatment even before they hold an active account, contributing to a positive NPS early on in the customer lifecycle.