How to create a user-friendly onboarding process while integrating KYC?
Story by Mila Klimkowicz
6 min read
If you're familiar with the requirements in the fintech industry you've probably come across the term KYC. This process is used by organizations such as banks or other financial institutions, acting as a shield against criminal activities (like money laundering). In our previous blog post, we gave an in-a-nutshell explanation of this process as well as its components. The KYC process starts out with the Customer Identification Program which is used in the onboarding process to confirm the identity of potential clients.
However, integrating KYC into the onboarding process is quite a challenge. While KYC compliance is crucial, we can’t ignore the user experience factor. Users prefer a quick onboarding process without the hassle of manual document scanning and form filling. The more time-consuming the process, the higher the risk of losing clients.
According to Signicat, over half of the clients (68%) abandon the onboarding process for financial services. What are the reasons behind this? A few of the main issues are a lengthy duration, excessive personal information requirements, or lack of fully digital options (resulting in clients having to visit a branch).
With this data, it is clear that customers want a quick, convenient, and digital-only onboarding. But how can you properly carry out a KYC process without ruining the user experience? Striking a balance between these two aspects can be challenging. So let’s go over a few points that may help you create the right onboarding process!
5 crucial points to a user-friendly and KYC-compliant onboarding
1. Use automated technology 🤖🛠️
Leveraging digital solutions will not only enhance the customer experience by ensuring a quicker onboarding but also reduce staff costs and minimize the risks of errors (that come with manual checks). By eliminating manual steps and opting for a digital solution, you can establish a fast and secure onboarding process that benefits both sides.
One of the things you can implement is data entry automation tools. These tools or SDKs use OCR technology to extract important data from documents scanned by clients, and then use it to fill in forms. Additionally, they conduct authenticity checks providing a secure and reliable way to verify documents. Two birds with one stone!
An example of a product that uses this kind of technology is the IDscan from GBG. Having used this solution in one of our projects, we can say that it significantly helped with improving our client’s onboarding process. You can learn more about this by reading our “GBG IDScan based onboarding” case study.
2. Simplify the process ✏️🧩
As concluded from the previously mentioned statistics, one of the easiest ways you can lose a client is by demanding too much effort from them. Remember that simplicity is key. The fewer actions you demand from your users, the better. Allowing them to select from predefined options or simply tick the right answers makes their lives easier and streamlines the onboarding process, reducing the overall hassle.
Remove any friction points that may occur and stick to a clear and understandable interface. Perhaps there are steps that you can get rid of or postpone? If you've ever downloaded a new app only to be overwhelmed with permission and access requests right from the get-go, you understand how frustrating it can be. Split the process into levels and make it a multi-step one, requesting the needed information gradually at the right points in the customer journey.
Additionally, you should be accessible to your customers throughout the whole process. So if your client gets stuck on one of the steps or doesn’t know what to do - you can provide the necessary assistance (while also learning which step needs to be adjusted to avoid any misunderstandings in the future).
3. Speed things up ⏩⌛
If you decide to apply the previously mentioned tips, then that in itself will already help to cut down on the onboarding process time. Leveraging automation and AI solutions as well as delegating certain aspects to technologies can not only make the process more efficient and secure but also speed it up. Structuring the onboarding flow as a multi-layered process enables a faster pace while ensuring the collection of crucial information (so even if a client drops off throughout the process you now have a way to contact them).
Another way to speed up the process is to offer users the option to save their progress and resume later without starting from scratch. Better yet - allowing them to access it by using multiple devices, which leads us to the next point..
4. Create a customized experience 👤🤝
What if your client faces an interruption during the onboarding process or simply prefers to switch to another device for convenience? In that case, it's crucial to offer flexibility and provide various options. Restricting the onboarding process to a specific device, whether desktop or mobile, may result in the loss of potential users.
Recognizing that individuals have their own preferences when it comes to devices, tailor your customer onboarding to suit each client. This will surely increase your chances of gaining loyal clients. Additionally, considering that not everyone is tech-savvy, incorporating an in-person solution may also be a worthwhile consideration.
5. Make sure that your instructions are clear 📋👌
To ensure that everything goes smoothly during the onboarding process, provide instructions that are short and clear. Educate your customers about the process so that they have an understanding of how it works and offer support - whether that be additional materials, a live chat, or a phone helpline.
It is also a good idea to let them know beforehand what they can expect and what documents they will need. Providing a clear list of requirements helps clients know what to anticipate and reduces stress.
You can evaluate the clarity of your instructions by monitoring conversion and drop-off rates. Analyze how users react to certain notifications and which steps they are failing at - this could cue you in on what needs to be clarified or improved.
In this post, we looked into some of the best practices for designing a user-friendly onboarding process that complies with KYC (Know Your Customer) standards. Let’s do a quick recap of the points we’ve covered:
- make use of digital solutions
- simplify the process as much as possible
- minimize the time required to complete the process
- offer various options for a personalized experience
- ensure that your instructions are clear and easy to follow
Keep in mind that customer onboarding is the first stage of the KYC process. Reporting and ongoing monitoring are equally crucial components. So it's essential to conduct regular KYC checks and update client information consistently. Additionally, ensure that you are performing regular audits to identify issues and make improvements - staying on top of the KYC technology will allow you to identify opportunities for incorporating new and more efficient solutions. Have you got any additional questions regarding this topic? If you’re looking for a helping hand feel free to contact us and we will be happy to give you additional advice on this subject!