Is COVID affecting company strategies for client onboarding and KYC?

As we are forced to look at alternative ways of working in the current climate; whilst it provides firms with challenges, the flip side is that it also presents opportunities to find new, improved ways of working.

Traditionally, companies have looked at client onboarding and KYC as a very manual, human-intensive process and have implemented systems which digitally replicate the process of filling out paper forms, filing them away in a cabinet and reviewing them periodically every 1, 3 and 5 years.

The tech providers of the first generation of CLM tools have essentially replicated this process but replaced ink on paper with keyboards and hard drives. These first-generation BPM/CLM systems offer very little advantage over a pure paper-based approach. The progress from paper to digital here is a bit like going from walking barefoot to wearing shoes. Yes, it is a lot more comfortable but doesn’t offer much in the way of material gains!

What is required is not digitisation of legacy processes, but a completely new mode of transport.

Today, consumers are used to near real-time online experiences and it’s simply not practical for companies to be onboarding with BPM / 1st CLM generation type tools which require heavy human intervention; especially given the current working environment with COVID -19, where human interaction is a challenge and relying on manual processes is simply not practical.

In today’s market, product offerings from financial institutions are largely commoditised, so one of the key ways they can differentiate from the competition is by delivering a better customer experience. The companies which embrace forward-thinking technology and automation, and utilise technological capabilities to enable the straight-through processing of onboarding are the ones who will win out.

The way to achieve this is to utilise an intelligent rules engine combined with data integration via APIs and data mastery, which can make decisions based on policies – to innovate, automate and revolutionise the end client experience.

Using a combination of smart KYC tech combined with data enables institutions to remove human error, slash operational costs and onboarding times, drastically increase the number of clients onboarded and increase associated revenue. All this whilst ensuring compliance with regulations and enabling staff to work remotely without lowering the level of customer service.

Times they are a changing and perhaps they will change forever, in what we are constantly reminded of as ‘unprecedented times’. It’s also time to change to new technologies which facilitate advancement and enable a constantly improving customer and staff experience.

By George Collier