Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes a lush, green forest thrive? Everything in nature, from sandy deserts to deep oceans, is dependent on its diverse ecological ecosystems. All parts of the ecosystem including the smallest algae to the humidity levels in the atmosphere contribute to its renewal and growth.

Digital ecosystems are no different.  It is often been said that the power of digital ecosystems is greater than the various individual parts.  A right entry into the ecosystem is imperative to deliver hyper-relevant experiences and generate overall value. This also holds true for digital onboarding.

This digital switch offered the perfect solution to various lockdown and social distancing guidelines issued as a response to the pandemic. However, crucial to delivering a truly outstanding digital experience is the digital ecosystem.

Onboarding starts way before onboarding

Yes. You heard right! The digital onboarding process does not start at the stage of form-filling. It starts way before that—right from the stage of product discovery. All digital marketing touchpoints—from a simple SMS to an in-app ad—can be a potential source for onboarding new customers. And enabling the smooth functioning is the digital ecosystem. Let me elaborate.

When it comes to leveraging digital technologies for business, the BFSI sector has always been ahead of the curve. In fact, even before the pandemic, 90% of global banking customers in a survey said that they would prefer online banking regardless of their income, age, type of bank, or place of residence. The pandemic, however, amplified this digital push and banks rapidly adapted their business to this altered reality.

On one hand, digital customer onboarding emerged as a critical banking process and even gained all-time popularity among customers as a top ‘search term’. On the other hand, banks were ready with their digital ecosystems in place. Banks leveraged cutting-edge technologies including digital document management, video conferencing, video identification, biometrics, digital signature and other cloud services to ensure compliance and business continuity.

More up-to-date search data for ‘Digital Onboarding’ on Google Trends

Take, for instance, instant credit cards. Customer onboarding powered by the digital ecosystem today offers instant credit cards in a matter of 10-15 minutes. Embedded data analytics that can analyse credit scores, online Aadhar identity verification, third-party API integrations and a host of other digital initiatives makes this possible. Customers are delighted with the instant gratification they receive. Clicking a link embedded in an SMS and following a few simple steps are all they need to get a new credit card.

A robust digital ecosystem—the enabler of seamless customer onboarding experiences

According to McKinsey, customers who are highly satisfied with their digital experience are two-and-a-half times more likely to open new accounts with their existing bank. As highlighted in an earlier blog, by adopting digital onboarding, banks were able to transform a complex and time-consuming process involving repetitive tasks such as data entry and customer verification to deliver faster service resolution. All of which directly amplified the customer experience quotient.

However, integral to delivering this elevated customer experience is the seamlessness of the ecosystem. Gaps in the ecosystem such as potential financial fraud risks, regulatory compliance issues, operational disruptions, data security and KYC-related risks can lead to a fractured customer experience.

Clearly, digital onboarding cannot operate as a stand-alone solution. It needs to be supported with an efficient ecosystem that is in turn sustained by digital experience platforms that employ end-to-end encryption and AI-powered intelligent automation. By leveraging these disruptive technologies, banks and financial institutions can inherently strengthen their digital ecosystem and become more future-ready.

Jishith Gangadharan

Jishith is a marketing strategist with more than 16 years experience in IT industry. He has extensive experience across various facets of marketing in the industry. Jishith spearheads marketing and communications for Clayfin. Outside office, he enjoys travelling, reading and aquascaping.

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