Alkami Gold Standard Series

Gold Standard event recap: Earning User Loyalty Starts with Digital Account Opening

Brian Drozdowicz GM, Customer Acquisition & Growth Solutions, Bottomline Technologies

Brian Drozdowicz
GM, Customer Acquisition & Growth Solutions, Bottomline Technologies

Marc Salinas VP of Solutions Consulting, Bottomline Technologies

Brian Drozdowicz
GM, Customer Acquisition & Growth Solutions, Bottomline Technologies

Brad Cranford Senior Product Manager, Alkami

Brian Drozdowicz
GM, Customer Acquisition & Growth Solutions, Bottomline Technologies

In today’s digital world, being a user-focused financial institution (FI) goes far beyond simply having a digital banking solution. FIs must also earn user loyalty, which requires mastering the delivery of an outstanding end-to-end user experience — it all starts with intelligent digital account opening (DAO) and onboarding.

In our most recent Gold Standard Series event, Bottomline Technologies and Alkami discussed new digital banking paradigms, industry changes, and market trends in DAO. Here are the highlights from our talk.

The anatomy of a winning, end-to-end user experience

We defined a successful end-to-end experience as sharing information and applying intelligence across the user lifecycle and throughout each user’s journey to engage in a more coordinated, proactive, and intelligent way.

It begins with the very first interaction with the FI brand and moves through onboarding, online banking, relationship management, and sales and marketing to drive relevant ongoing engagement.

What this type of experience looks like will vary by client type and segment (e.g., needs and touchpoints are different for retail, small business, commercial, and wealth), but providing it is important. Demonstrating a deep understanding of client behaviors, needs, and aspirations shows users they’re more than just a number and facilitates meaningful engagement that builds long-term client loyalty.

A winning end-to-end user experience requires coordinated engagement throughout the client journey. But FIs can’t stop there.

Continuous engagement is not a single transaction

Banks and credit unions should also work toward building relationships with new users. Ensuring that marketing is informed by each clients’ financial context is the first step in building trust. The digital experience should lead clients to the best products for their needs and engage them to assist with product selection and discovery.

The customer journey shouldn’t stop after initial account opening—FIs can, and should, continue the seamless digital experience. Think about an “unboxing” experience for the new financial product in the users’ account list. What are the most important things they need to know or do now that they have opened an account? Avoid letting that new account turn into an abandoned, unused account six to twelve months later. For winning FIs, engagement is continuous.

DAO solutions that provide actionable insights and mitigate fraud risks

Facilitating account opening from anywhere and any device is more important than ever. And, with branch closures, stimulus payments, and PPP loans, 2020 has tested digital channels like never before. So, what makes for a superior DAO user experience (UX)?

Today, a DAO solution with a simple, intuitive application process that can be completed in less than 5 minutes is table stakes. Users now expect a UX that is consistent with an FI’s broader brand experience. Omni-channel support is also key. While users have leaned more on desktop browsers as more people work from home, mobile continues to dominate as a source of new application.

Beyond table stakes, FIs should look at the needs of individual user segments. Small businesses, for instance, have unique needs such as tailoring workflow and documentation capture based on company type.

For differentiation in-branch, FIs can consider driving collaborative discussions around which set of products is right for each client through channels like kiosks or branch employees using tablets. An engaging, “shopping-cart” style approach to presenting product options and recommending cross-sell offers can strike a great balance between capturing the structure and scalability that DAO provides while preserving or extending the consultative nature of branch interactions.

Reduced friction throughout the digital experience is a key differentiator, but also a near ubiquitous challenge for FIs, as services like Amazon have heightened consumer expectations. However, in banking, some friction is not terrible, especially when it’s in the interest of securing users and minimizing fraud. What’s more, even within a secure DAO experience, FIs can always leverage data to identify new means to improve usability. For example, complex portions of the DAO experience can be simplified by providing response options for users to select, rather than having them manually fill out digital forms.

Accelerating mobile banking demand

With mobile account opening rates up substantially year-to-year (driven primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic, but likely to continue into 2021 and onward) the importance of the mobile experience is undeniable.

“Mobile first” should be the present baseline standard for FIs, not a future goal. If an FI doesn’t have a great mobile experience, they’re already 5 to 10 years behind—but it’s not too late to catch up.

To be mobile first, FIs must be able to engage with users through various tablet and phone browsers and screens with a compelling, purpose-built UX. A desktop application shoehorned into mobile browsers as an afterthought is far from this.

Some examples of a compelling mobile-first experience include driver’s license capture and mobile engagement of beneficial owners and other co-applicants, who may be across town through email and text for small businesses and joint applicants.

Working mobile into more traditional account opening processes for a hybrid experience is another way of getting up to speed. For example, granting contact center agents the ability to complete assisted applications over the phone and then text or email the applicant to view the disclosures and sign the documents that only they are authorized to complete provides more opportunities for user engagement and easing of friction.

As FIs deal with more mobile users, it’s important to remember that they are often more casual. That means abandonment is not a final, terrible outcome. Sometimes mobile users are just browsing, which still provides FIs with data to learn more about potential users and their habits to continually evolve the mobile experience.

When FIs experience abandonment, they should use it as fuel for better future communication with the user. FIs: put on your marketing hat and keep working on that prospect. Continue building your relationship with users that abandoned your DAO process and engage with them based upon what you have learned about the user.

Thank you to Bottomline Technologies and attendees for another great Gold Standard Series event!

You can watch Earning User Loyalty Starts with Account Opening on demand by clicking the link below.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More recommended reading for you