Commercial bankers broadly recognize that their financial institutions (FI) have a problem with the onboarding process for clients when it comes to their treasury products and services. When a business decides to utilize an FI’s cash management products and services, a set of expectations is established through the sales process that transitions that business from a prospect to a new client.
If the business is satisfied with the onboarding process for new products and services, that client is likely to form a trusting relationship with the FI and will keep the door open to further sales opportunities. However, Aite-Novarica Group research shows that the majority of businesses are dissatisfied with the onboarding process. Only about a third would recommend their FI to a peer based on the onboarding experience.
Why Improve Onboarding?
The results are clear: If businesses retreat from onboarding new products and services, FI-business relationships are negatively impacted. And when those relationships are damaged, both immediate and future revenue streams decrease. Although bankers know their onboarding processes need improvement, only 28% of FIs are budgeting onboarding improvements as a significant priority.
Businesses increasingly expect quality onboarding experiences. In fact, fintech vendors have made some inroads with businesses by touting easier and faster onboarding for products and services. Improving the onboarding experience helps FIs retain existing customers, attract prospects, and open pathways for future revenue through cross-sell opportunities.
Meanwhile, failing to improve the onboarding experience risks losing current and future sales to other FIs and fintech vendors. In many cases, FIs already know they should improve onboarding, but for a variety of reasons they have difficulty making an internal business case for the budget needed to overhaul the experience. For FIs uncertain about how onboarding is impacting their business, they should discuss how satisfied current clients were when onboarding new products. More likely than not, the results will suggest it’s time to invest in onboarding.
Investing in Onboarding
The landscape to attract business clients is becoming more competitive than ever. The regional banking crisis has caused many businesses to seek a new FI, and the rising trend of fintech vendors disintermediating FIs for critical products and services continues to increase.
To retain a competitive edge, FIs need to prioritize making significant improvements to their onboarding experience. The decision to make critical changes to the onboarding process needs to come from bank leadership—ultimately, the process will require enterprise-wide modifications, in addition to clearly defined benchmarks and improvement ownership.
Resources and time are necessary to make the right process improvements. Waiting to make the necessary investments and further delaying the steps needed to overhaul onboarding will only set an FI back further relative to other banks.
Underlying the time and resources necessary to improve onboarding is the required integration of process automation to accelerate and improve the onboarding experience.
The ability to integrate with a business’s ERP system, automate workflows through digitization, provide a quality user interface for onboarding, and utilize fintech vendors specializing in bank onboarding processes are all critical inroads to overhauling onboarding processes quickly and smoothly.
These types of improvements reduce human error as well as cut back on time and input redundancies, resulting in increased client satisfaction. The goal is to have a digital ecosystem centered around the customer experience.
Revamping an entire treasury onboarding process is no easy feat, but it is no longer a nice-to-have option. An automated, digitized treasury onboarding experience improves customer relationships and your FI’s overall success. To learn more about how to emphasize the business case for a better treasury onboarding process, what other institutions are doing, and what you should be prioritizing, register now for my colleague Paul Kizirian’s upcoming webinar with FINBOA Strategic Advisor Dave Hunkele on June 13th at 1:30 PM ET.