Digital Account Opening in Finance: What Consumers Want

Consumer expectations for digital account opening are rising - but our survey shows the demands vary across age groups and countries

All businesses are now managing a tricky balancing act to meet digital consumers’ expectations. We’re an impatient lot and our tolerance for delays is getting shorter, driven in part the ongoing pandemic.

Both the onboarding of returning customers and signing in of new visitors requires some form of verification to safeguard them from ID theft, prevent fraud and uphold regulatory requirements. But checks can’t be difficult, choppy, or so time-consuming that customers simply get impatient, become dissatisfied or abandon the process – because once they’ve gone, they’ve often gone for good.

Consistently managing onboarding across all channels as smoothly and easily as possible is vital. The results of our recent survey offer insight into your customers’ views to help inform how you successfully ride the relentless digital wave to deliver faster, smarter onboarding.

We surveyed 14,000 customers from across the globe to gauge their opinions to onboarding. The findings published in our insight report Riding The Digital Wave highlighted some stark results. It’s also clear investment in winning and retaining the best customers is worth every penny.

Consumers Are Prepped for Biometric checks

The research shows biometrics are here to stay, thanks to regional innovation leaps and the global prevalence of the technology. In fact, the legitimate capturing of biometric information — be they facial scans, fingerprints, or voice prints — to help safeguard customers was deemed acceptable to the vast majority (+90%) of consumers polled.

In all, less than one in 10 believe it should never happen.

In every country surveyed, most respondents said they were happy to have biometric data captured — if it was made clear why it was being done, underlining the need for effective customer communication. But it’s also worth noting that there’s a divergence in biometric adoption between developed and growth countries.

In fact, more than half (50.4%) of customers in growth economies like South Africa are clearly more favourable towards using fingerprint scans to onboard to digital channels. In the UK, only around two in five (41.6%) Brits said they were willing to use the same technology.

Website or App?

When it comes to comparing sentiment towards digital channels for account opening and onboarding via either websites or apps, a clear trend emerges for customers in developed economies to favour websites, while those in growth economies prefer apps.

A significant proportion of customers said they would happily carry out the necessary steps to download an app to onboard to their bank account. In South Africa, for instance, it’s a high as three-quarters (75%) of customers. But it’s also worth noting a significant number are reluctant to sign-in this way. In the UK, just over half (52.9%) will onboard via an app.

This highlights the tricky role financial institutions are obliged to play in educating customers and inspiring confidence in adoption of digital banking — across multiple channels.

The Thorny Issue of Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is limited. Global research carried out by Accenture in 2020 showed that 5.6 million individuals switched banks, 6.3 million plan to switch within the next year, and 31 million are on the fence about staying or leaving their bank.

In fact, 50% fewer consumers now view their bank as a ‘trusted partner’ than they did two years ago. More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers would re-evaluate abandoning a relationship if it became clear a new provider was likely to give them more personalisation than their current one.

All customers expect fast, smart, personalised, convenient service, consistently across all channels. They also expect to be rewarded for any good financial behavior. We're enabling our clients to better serve their customers and make faster, smarter, and more profitable originations decisions. We've now unveiled a powerful next-generation originations solution for digital-first account opening.

To find out more, download the report Riding The Digital Wave.

Digital Account Opening infographic

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