What can bank and credit union decision makers learn from cash payment apps like Zelle, Venmo, and Apple Pay? One lesson is that near-effortless account opening and usage is not only possible, but it has primed customer expectations.
In fact, 57% of consumers would choose a financial services organization like PayPal over a traditional bank.
Taking a page from these digital payment players, financial leaders can help make the account opening process a similarly seamless experience, whether customers are applying online or visiting their local brick-and-mortar location.
The key is using digital tools to bridge the gap between long-held compliance and data standards and constantly increasing user expectations. Here are a few customer pain points and five changes financial institutions can make to deliver the best bank onboarding experience.
Understand customer loyalty
What do consumers want beyond speed and ease of use? A 2022 digital banking engagement study found that “a seamless onboarding process that is in sync with customer comfort and convenience…is key for a happy customer.”
That means getting the user-centric omnichannel experience right with device syncing, ease of use, and an onboarding experience that can be completed at a consumer’s preferred pace — all while remaining flexible and adaptable.
Create the best bank onboarding experience for your customers
Here’s a look at five best practices that can help any financial institution provide excellent onboarding experiences that drive conversions and build loyalty for the long run.
1. Keep it consistent
Customers value a consistent bank onboarding experience across all channels, so financial leaders may want to ensure that any digital solution fits within a cohesive design and domain experience. Using digital tools to seamlessly connect online onboarding with physical location experiences conveys to customers that the application comes from a financial provider they know and trust.
2. Prioritize ease of use
In a world of shrinking attention spans, customers want a superior digital experience with fast, easy-to-complete applications. Thirty-seven percent of Gen Z and 29% of millennials say they prefer to open accounts via a mobile app. Allowing customers to begin and finish an application via any channel they prefer can help expedite the bank onboarding process.
3. Focus on clarity
Customers feel empowered when the onboarding process involves clear, easy-to-understand steps that guide them through the application. The best bank onboarding experiences offer in-line support, tips, clear explanations of error messages, where to locate information such as routing numbers, and the ability to connect with customer service.
4. Strive for efficiency
Banks and credit unions that use digital onboarding technology can eliminate unnecessary manual work — both for banking staff and for customers or members, speeding up onboarding in the process. Digital tools can enable applicants to quickly pre-fill form fields, connect to other accounts, and altogether eliminate the need to upload documents like account statements. These efficiencies help drive customer satisfaction.
5. Optimize for mobile
Any digital bank onboarding process needs to translate seamlessly to mobile. Seventy-nine percent of baby boomers say they realize the benefits of mobile banking, whether via a tablet or smaller smartphone screen. It’s important that applications are as easy to read and fill out on a mobile device as they are on a desktop computer. Optimizing the mobile experience includes getting rid of complicated field dropdown scrolling and allowing automatic population of personal information.
How Blend helps with bank onboarding
Blend offers a digital-first bank onboarding process that makes it swift and straightforward to open an account. With deposit account opening often being the first step to acquiring a customer, a superior onboarding process is a critical first step in making a good impression and encouraging future engagement.
Partnering with Blend allows any financial institution to expand its channel coverage, streamline applications, and offer low-friction interactions while freeing up teams to focus on stronger customer relationships.
As digital becomes the primary engagement mechanism for banks, Blend’s expanded channel coverage means banking staff can engage customers wherever they are, whenever they want. This frees up valuable resources on teams, allowing them to focus on what they do best: helping customers.