What makes customer on boarding in banking a journey not a transaction

Post Bank headquarters banking hall on 16th September 2016. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Up until recently, opening a bank account meant having to visit a physical branch, meeting face-to-face with a bank representative, and signing documents.

However, with customers increasingly adopting digital channels to interact and engage with businesses, this signals a new approach for the banking sector where customers are relying on different channels.

According to an analysis by global consulting firm McKinsey, one of the productivity imperatives for African banks includes reconfiguring physical networks and shifting to digital channels.

Increasingly, traditional banks are being compelled to reach out to their customers over their preferred channels, such as SMS, WhatsApp or other social media networks.

Banks need to address the needs of the modern consumer, and this starts with the digital acquisition and onboarding of clients. Starting with the initial application to open a bank account, banks need to assess a client’s application through a simplified and streamlined process.

This process should be clear, accurate and capture the client‘s details via their preferred channel. In the event of any changes, all details must be updated in real-time to ensure a smooth customer experience.

The next step in the onboarding process is identity verification. Banks need to leverage Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, combined with application details to form an end-to-end view of the type of client they are dealing with.

By using digital solutions such as photo and video call onboarding solutions to facilitate the enrolment of real persons, underpinned by an enhanced verification layer of biometric facial recognition, the bank can cater to customer preferences. Once all customer analytics have been captured, predictive models based on client behavioural data and artificial intelligence (AI)- based data should be used to make real-time decisions in terms of application approvals.

Based on validated data, KYC checks ensure that banks’ approval and decision-making processes are accurate and efficient. Potential fraudsters can be flagged early in the process, saving the bank time, money, and reputational damage. According to Mckinsey‘s Growth & Innovation in African Retail Banking report, there are more banking customers in Africa who prefer digital banking to branch banking.

Banks thus need to use digital solutions to ensure efficiency throughout the customer journey.

Digital signatures have replaced physically signed documents and one-time passwords are sent via mobile devices or emails, simplifying the process and enhancing the customer experience.

The writer is the key account executive at Infobip Kenya