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Get Onboard: The ‘new normal’ of remote verification

By NorthRow

Written by Adam Holden, Chief Financial Officer, NorthRow

Digital transformation projects have been fast-tracked for financial services firms, due to the effects of social distancing and remote working. These changes look to be on the radar for the remainder of this year and potentially further into 2021.

In this article, we discuss what the new ‘normal’ could look like and how firms can continue to deliver value to their customers when it comes to digital onboarding and remote verification.

Banks, Building Societies, FinTechs and Financial Services firms are working hard to serve their customers during these changing and challenging, times. Due to the speed with which the Covid-19 crisis has developed, there has been a need to adapt quickly – both from a consumer and business perspective. Digital transformation may have been on the agenda for some time, but the current crisis has accelerated roll-out and many firms are looking for established partners that can enhance their online operations within their existing business processes at low risk.

The need to change

In today’s fast-moving, competitive financial landscape, digital offerings from organisations have become increasingly sophisticated and user demands have risen exponentially. Customers of all ages now expect user-friendly services and streamlined efficiency from their online banking services from the moment they onboard. And, if they don’t receive this, they can easily turn to a competitor to find what they are looking for. 

Financial Services firms need to attract and onboard new customers without breaching lockdown regulations and must turn to a digital approach to client onboarding if they are to succeed in these changing times.

Digital solutions achieve great customer experience

Providing an optimal user experience across a society’s applications is therefore business-critical for attracting new customers,  and continually monitoring them is critical to maintaining compliance.

We have seen the rise of challenger banks, providing digital solutions, which has rocked the more traditional banks. According to a recent PI Market Intelligence Report, challenger banks have grown in search by 32% between Jan 2016 – Jan 2019, whereas traditional banks have seen a 22% decline in the same time. Recently Monzo gained the greatest number of current account customers in the three months to December 2019, beating long-term leader Nationwide, switching figures reveal (source).

Branches still have their uses. Many customers appreciate the personal touch and there are certain transactions that require a face-to-face meeting, but, as the new wave of digital/challenger banks has shown, the populace is looking for new ways of managing their financial affairs and are confident in adopting remote tools and apps. 

Remote onboarding and verification as the norm

What has become apparent is that businesses that rely on face-to-face meetings to verify their client’s identity before allowing them to use a product or service is a massive barrier to onboarding. 

In these unusual times, asking your customers to visit an office or branch is no longer viable. Not only do today’s clients desire the convenience of signing up to a product or service in minutes from a mobile phone, but with ‘social distancing’ imperatives, it has become key that regulated firms need to respond to this increasingly preferred and socially-acceptable demand for remote onboarding.

Download NorthRows latest opinion piece, Get Onboard: The ‘new normal’ of remote verification.