What Do Onboarding Delays Really Cost Your Bank?

Joe Pitzo July 17th, 2017
Treasury Management

Ready, set, wait

Road construction is a fact of life. Whether you’re headed across town or have the car packed for vacation, encountering a detour or traffic jam is inevitable. Driving is just one of the occasions where we’re conditioned to expect delays: airport security, license renewals at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or exiting the stadium after a major league sporting event all qualify. It’s in these instances—waiting at an impasse that’s beyond our control—that make me think about the value of time in the business world.

Specifically, how often do outdated processes and systems result in delays for a bank’s valued corporate customers? And, how much do avoidable delays really cost?

The onboarding bottleneck

Treasury onboarding can have particularly gruesome bottlenecks, thanks to disparate systems and paper-driven bank processes. The typical implementation cycle ranges from a week for a product such as Zero Balance Accounts, to nearly nine weeks for retail lockbox.

These delays come at the worst possible moment in the business relationship. Your customer, full of enthusiasm and with the corporate checkbook open, has just said “yes” to a new service. But instead of a 70-mph expressway to using that new capability, too many treasurers experience a stop-and-go slog of poor communication, lack of visibility and redundant requests for information.

It’s a “ready, set, wait” occurrence that frustrates both sides, jeopardizes customer satisfaction, and impedes time to revenue.

An on-ramp to accelerate bank revenue

Banks have just as much to gain as their SMB customers by speeding up the onboarding process. Consider the value of these activities. What would be the impact on your bank if you could:

  • Book new customer revenue faster?
  • Boost your customer satisfaction and loyalty?
  • Focus your staff on strategic activities?

Research shows measurable improvement is possible. Banks that automated treasury management onboarding accelerated time-to-revenue by 35%—a clear competitive advantage. Seventy percent of financial institutions indicated a faster, electronic customer onboarding process would free up internal resources to generate more sales. In addition, banks reported significant productivity gains such as  20% less data entry during onboarding and  80% less time spent searching for information.

These improvements begin with an end-to-end, paperless workflow, one that reduces staff workload, improves information sharing across the bank and with customers, streamlines project management and supports Know Your Customer (KYC) and other compliance requirements. A treasury management onboarding platform includes these capabilities and more:

  • Electronic signatures to speed contract fulfillment
  • Self-service electronic forms to reduce data entry and create a shared repository of data
  • Automated workflow to route implementation documents for review/approval
  • Web-based dashboard to communicate implementation status
  • Alerts to notify bank and client stakeholders of progress and at-risk deliverables
  • Compatibility with mobile devices for portability and professionalism with customers
  • In the box compliance and auditing

End onboarding gridlock

Yet even with these clear-cut advantages, many financial institutions hesitate to change their treasury management onboarding process. After all, there’s still an assumption that updating technology, integrating systems and digitizing workflows is too expensive and time-consuming to be worth the effort.

But with more choices than ever before—including Fintechs and alternative providers—a   customer’s experience during sales and onboarding truly matters. Research shows onboarding has substantial impact on future buying behavior; a positive experience during implementation improves the likelihood of repeat purchases significantly.

In this increasingly competitive environment, where speed, transparency and instant access to information are the new normal, banks must delight their customers from day one. This e-book is a quick read that is filled with suggestions to help convert your onboarding from gridlock to the fast lane.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.