Building out an efficient account opening process can be a challenge for financial institutions (FIs) who want to provide great experiences for both consumers and businesses, but it can also be an opportunity. A great account opening experience offers convenience at every step and allows customers to perform critical account opening functions from anywhere at any time—enabling FIs to match their customers’ exact needs no matter where they are.
If an institution’s account opening process is overly complex, repetitive, or prone to manual error, customers and businesses will simply look elsewhere. As it stands, many competitors to community FIs such as neobanks and money-center banks are able to focus more of their effort and a larger budget on developing seamless digital banking experiences throughout the customer journey. These investments are made in an attempt to meet widespread customer demands for convenience—demands inspired by current customer experiences inside and outside of banking that aim to make customer actions as simple as possible. If your community FI can’t provide a customer with convenient options, the competitors will.
Overall, good account opening requires you to create streamlined processes that work for consumers and businesses, while also boosting efficiency for your institution’s internal team as they manage customer relationships.
Omnichannel account opening—allowing applicants to open accounts through multiple channels—brings everyone’s needs together and guarantees adaptability throughout the account opening process. Using omnichannel, FIs can deliver standout account opening experiences that suit the needs of any consumer or business.
To understand why omnichannel is key for effective, flexible account opening, it helps to understand the challenges that individual consumers and businesses face when opening accounts today.
With these factors in mind, it makes sense that business owners and consumers share a strong, sweeping demand for better account opening experiences. According to the 2021 Banking Impact Report, more than half of businesses (57 percent) and consumers (58 percent) consider online account opening a “must-have,” for any bank they use. This ever-increasing demand for convenience means your account opening processes must offer dynamic and flexible customer journeys between in-branch, desktop, mobile device, and tablet experiences. An omnichannel approach allows you to do exactly this.
According to an Accenture study, 50 percent of customers would prefer the ability to switch between online and telephone channels during a transaction. 60 percent would like to see their banks blend physical and digital services together.
On top of their demand for more convenience, consumers are already accustomed to omnichannel-like experiences from retail shopping and now expect the same from their bank. An Accenture study revealed that 50 percent of customers would prefer the ability to switch between online and telephone channels during a transaction, while 60 percent would like to see their banks blend physical and digital services together. With omnichannel, you can meet these demands today, and easily adjust to the needs of future customers and members.
Many banks support multiple channels for account opening, enabling customers to open bank accounts through the channel they prefer (online or in-branch). But these multichannel account opening capabilities don’t allow customers to switch between channels once they’ve started the account opening process—at least not without having to start the process over from the beginning.
This is where omnichannel makes the difference. Although multichannel and omnichannel approaches seem similar, omnichannel account opening allows applicants to move freely between all channels during the account opening process. This small difference has a huge impact on customer experience as it allows customers and business owners to change their preferred channel mid-process without losing their progress, repeating steps, or interrupting their sign-up experience. Take these two scenarios for example:
Demonstrated in the examples above is the reason that omnichannel approaches are so valuable. Opening an account can be a moving target made more difficult by logistical challenges, process hiccups, and lack of flexibility. By allowing applicants to move across channels during the account opening process, omnichannel fosters a faster, smoother, and more enjoyable experience for consumers and business owners alike while preventing potential customers from walking away mid-signup.
By allowing applicants to move freely between all digital channels, omnichannel creates a more convenient and enjoyable account opening experience for consumers, business owners, and financial institutions.
Omnichannel also makes it easier for financial institutions to expand their reach beyond their immediate community. While customers of FIs who offer omnichannel can always take advantage of the hybrid approach of in-branch and digital options, they can also elect to have a purely digital experience—meaning customers don’t actually need to live near a branch to be able to use a bank. Offering omnichannel allows you to widen your marketing efforts and target potential customers who may live further away from your physical branches.
Today, consumers and businesses alike crave seamless banking experiences that align with modern-day definitions of convenience. Although we may not call them by the same name, omnichannel capabilities are everywhere—healthcare management, retail and shopping experiences, and even employee processes now enable individuals to move freely between different channels and platforms. Omnichannel approaches are quickly transitioning from a ‘nice-to-have,’ to an essential part of customer experiences, and the banking industry is no different. Research from Capgemini reveals that 76 percent of customers in 2021 already expect an omnichannel banking experience. Consumers will always prefer options that are convenient and efficient. With omnichannel you can deliver on this expectation no matter where your customers are.
Curious about the role MANTL plays in an omnichannel approach? Schedule a demo with us here.
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