FIs Should Take Onboarding Lessons From Amazon, Expert Says

  • Grace Noto
  • June 21, 2017
  • 0

Banks should approach points of digital friction in the same way e-commerce giants do, if they want to hold onto their customers.

As noted in recent surveys, a single point of friction is all it takes for consumers to abandon a digital banking product—and thus, the bank itself. This means banks need to start taking a few lessons from e-commerce firms, according to Derek Corcoran, chief experience officer for digital customer acquisition solutions provider Avoka.

“We take a lot of the learnings from e-commerce organizations like Amazon,” Corcoran told Bank Innovation. “What can banks learn from what the e-commerce giants have known for many years about shopping cart abandonment? Only in this case, we’re talking about digital bank product abandonment.”

Banks need to take these lessons to heart, according to Corcoran—while there might be only one Amazon, there certainly isn’t only one bank or financial institutions for customers to choose from. Doing this right starts with the onboarding process, he added.

“What we typically see is that the banks design their onboarding experience from the inside out—they look at themselves, they look at their business processes, what do they do in the branch, they come and look at that, and they impose that on the customer experience,” Corcoran said. “We encourage our customers to turn it around and look at it from the consumer’s perspective and say, ‘is what you’re asking the consumer to do easy?’” Corcoran explained, “Because if it isn’t [easy], they can go and get your product somewhere else, from another bank—there’s not much of a difference between checking accounts or savings accounts or credit cards.”

Of course, banks need to consider a few more factors when it comes to consumers than an e-commerce company would (even if that company is Amazon)—like KYC or compliance regulations, for instance.

“Identity is a big challenge for a lot of people. If we look at the application flow for something like a checking account, it’s the number one contributor. In terms of sections, the bank has to get certain information from you,” said Corcoran. “There’s no getting around it, there are certain things they have to ask you.”

It’s tough to eliminate user friction when onboarding a new customer requires 60 fields of information filled out for compliance purposes.

Banks are already making strides in this area, however—new Capital One clients only have to fill out 16 fields of information, for instance—and it is an area that could potentially benefit from a list of new technologies like biometrics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain (maybe a combination of the three).

For now, though, the best play might be to keep attending the Amazon school of thought.

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