5 ways financial institutions can improve digital acquisition

Developing a digital acquisition strategy has never been so important

Acquiring loyal, profitable banking customers in today’s climate is an interesting challenge. You’re marketing enticing deals, and visitors are hitting your website in record numbers. You’re talking to more potential customers than ever before, even in an increasingly crowded and fragmented market. However... too many potential customers are dropping out of the process. Not enough are finalising their applications or waiting for final approval. And too many are pulling out before the end of the cooling-off period.

Customers have become increasingly savvy when comes to digital engagement with brands they know and trust. And these brands understand the importance of a seamless digital acquisition process and how that can play into the overall customer experience. What do we mean by acquisition process? Here we’re talking about the process from the first time a customer researches your brand online, through to them submitting an application online, gaining approval and fully onboarded as a customer – the point of settlement or deposit. 

Below we outline how financial institutions can increase the success of their digital acquisition strategy.


5 ways financial institutions can improve digital acquisition

1. Marry up all relevant teams and review software capabilities 

Digital Acquisition in the banking industry is complex. Converting website visitors to customers is much more than having a great User Interface (UI) on your site. You’ve probably already got a fast, intuitive front end, but you’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s just not converting. Your UI/Digital Team have done their best, but they’re only handling one piece of the puzzle. They’re probably unaware of the complexities other teams face – integration with back-end and external systems for identity checking and credit decisions, to gathering and reviewing customers’ supporting documentation, to name just two.

Departments across your organisation will need to collaborate to create a respectable online acquisition process. At this stage it’s also worth completing a gap analysis to identify pain points and technological gaps. More recently many organisations are adopting Open Banking to allow customers to quickly give providers access to your financial information to speed up application times. Do you have the relevant resource capability in house to successfully deliver your digital strategy or would it be beneficial to bring in a specialist financial technology partner?

2. Find out where your customers are dropping off on the journey

Recruit your business analysts to deep dive into the analytics of your ecommerce site. They’ll be able to see drop off points at each stage of the application. Maybe there’s a bug in the application, perhaps the questions posed aren’t relevant or confusing. Make sure you are only asking questions relevant for the application – many organisations find they can reduce their application process dramatically by simply removing unnecessary data capture. In order to improve your digital acquisition strategy, you need the facts as to what is going wrong – working on assumptions is likely to result in wasted efforts from your team and not solve the problem.

 

You need to ensure your digital acquisition strategy enables signing up for a new financial services provider or opening additional accounts easily but with enough appropriate friction to reassure applicants you are respecting their data and following water-tight security protocols.

INTRODUCING BANKFAST APPLY

APPLY STATS

Gear up for simple, frictionless online applications that help manage compliance. BankFast Apply is a tried-and-trusted, multi-channel solution.

BankFast Apply integrates with in-branch customer service and banks’ lending research tools for streamlined interactions and minimal touchpoints that gives your customers the seamless digital onboarding experience they’ve come to expect. Offer your applicants an easy, engaging and hassle-free experience, with access from anywhere, any time, on any device.

BankFast Apply Benefits

Real-time assessment of applications; verified approvals based on internal decisioning criteria and external bureau checks. Being able to verify applicants’ identities online; being able to deploy new features quickly to keep pace with market demands.

BankFast Apply will also integrate your application process with other products in the acquisition chain and ensure compliance with your own policies by cross validating customer data and integrating with third-party data services.

3. Put yourself in the applicant’s shoes

While you analyse where in the process you are losing valuable customers, take some time yourself to understand your organisation’s website. Sometimes when financial organisations are designing their websites, colleagues take off their ‘human being’ hat and only focus on the commercials. Slipping into this mentality breeds below average digital experiences. We are often drawn into the technicalities of how an activity should look from a business view rather than how it might feel for a customer to complete. Make sure you also apply for an account using your website – not with test data – as a real customer to truly understand the experience. Consider your target audience when completing this step. If your aim to attract older customers with a larger share of wallet, an online application which is gamified with small font is unlikely to appeal to them. If your target market is younger, you might consider adding some added value tools on your site to nudge them through the application processes these could be calculators, product guides, personal finance management widgets, etc.

For a seamless user experience, customers who have successfully onboarded digitally shouldn’t be told that they have to wait to receive credentials or temporary credentials before they can log in to view and manage their accounts. For some processes – such as waiting for a debit card and PIN in the post separately after creating an account – there are unavoidable delays.

You can go one step further and encourage people from your ideal target market to participate in focus groups to test - your online applications profile – this will provide you with highly valuable insight and allow you build a hyper relevant user experience.

 

4. Can you securely identify a prospective customer digitally?

Customers applying for an account online do not want to visit a branch or call a processing team to confirm their identity – this interrupts the great digital experience they have so far had with you. Remember – this may be the first dealing a prospective customer has had with your brand. As financial organisations expand their digital onboarding services, considering how tighter integration of identity onboarding and ongoing authentication can improve security and pave the way for more flexible risk-based authentication approach is critical. If banks get digital identity right, they stand to realise benefits in streamlined sales processes and customer onboarding, reduced losses from fraud and regulatory fines, and the potential for new revenue generating identity-based products and services. More importantly, they can maintain their central role as arbiters of trust and stay relevant in the transforming digital economy.

 

5. The work continues after your customer has successfully onboarded

Digital Acquisition is complex because it is the perfect marriage between your bank’s and customers’ needs and desires. It’s not just about filling in a form or having a flashy website. Consumers want hassle free, engaging and rewarding experiences on the path to them realising their financial goals. They want their dream house, not to have to fill out their employment details three times. You must convert the customer by giving them a quick decision; while gathering other useful information for cross/upselling. However, you also need to meet your regulatory and compliance requirements, risk and credit management criteria and cover operational necessities.


In summary

Digital Acquisition is complex because it is the perfect marriage between your bank’s and customers’ needs and desires. It’s not just about filling in a form or having a flashy website. Consumers want hassle free, engaging and rewarding experiences on the path to them realising their financial goals. They want their dream house, not to have to fill out their employment details three times. You must convert the customer by giving them a quick decision; while gathering other useful information for cross/upselling. However, you also need to meet your regulatory and compliance requirements, risk and credit management criteria and cover operational necessities.

To watch BankFast Apply in action and for a complimentary copy of our product brochure, please complete this quick form

 

Complete our quick form

Apply_Logo_50x50mmRGB-1