Financial institutions no longer onboard clients; clients onboard THEM – so if you don’t have the smoothest of onboarding processes, supported by the most user-friendly and efficient KYC/AML platform and onboarding tools, you are in danger of alienating clients from the outset. You only get one chance to make a first impression – so make it count.

Let’s set this in context and start by stating something we all know – we’re spoiled. Really, really spoiled. If a website doesn’t load in a split of a second, we grumble. If an app doesn’t catch our attention the first time we use it, it’s quickly uninstalled. If a website doesn’t appear on the first four results of the search engine, it might as well be on a different astral plane. Unless we suddenly ascend into a higher form of consciousness, we’ll simply never get to it.

Everything in our world has to work; and work fast and flawlessly, or we’ll simply not use it. “Customer is King”, proclaims the early 20th century saying. A hundred years later, the customers are not only kings; they’re especially intolerant, impatient kings, offing the heads of websites and apps as if they were enemies of the crown.

All this, of course, doesn’t sit well with the fact that financial institutions need to carry out a careful, meticulous, KYC/AML process.  Who wants to read long lists of instructions and answer dozens of questions born in the minds of regulators ten thousand miles away, just to download another app or open another account? We open accounts on Google and Amazon and countless other websites all the time – two screens and you’re done. Who has patience for more than two screens? This is exactly what compliance teams need to be mindful of when addressing client onboarding – it is the reason why selecting the right KYC/AML platform and onboarding software is key.

Patience from potential clients is gone; and the world of slow onboarding is disappearing as well. Financial institutions are getting rid of lengthy onboarding processes, even for extensive due diligence, replacing them with fast, fully-automised Straight-Through-Processes.  It’s “survival of the smoothest” – only the smoothest, easiest, most user-friendly KYC/AML onboarding process will win over today’s consumer – and it is why Muinmos has worked so hard to develop our onboarding software, enabling onboarding of any client type in under 3 minutes. It’s why our KYC/AML platform is so fast, comprehensive and robust.

In our view, there’s only one winner in the battle for customer experience – and that’s whoever offers customers the same fast Straight-Through-Processes they’re used to from other online accounts or mobile apps. That’s the benchmark – other web services or providers, not just other financial institutions.

Of course, the customer is also right – a smooth KYC/AML onboarding process can indicate to the clients what kind of financial institution they’re dealing with: why should the client, for example, believe the financial institution is quick to respond to market changes when its onboarding process is slow? Or that it’s in tune with the latest trends, when it can’t keep up with, technologically, even governmental agencies?

That’s the harsh reality that financial institutions are dealing with right now. They’re no longer “just” financial institutions. They’re also mini tech-companies, online service providers, and therefore measure against other tech-companies and online service providers. In the mind of the consumer, an account is an account, an app is an app. And the same way customers won’t download a slow, non user-friendly app; they won’t download the investment firm’s app. Or, in other words, they won’t onboard it onto their devices.

Like we said – financial institutions no longer onboard clients; clients onboard them.  

An edited version of this article was published by Finance Magnates on 21.6.2021