Onboarding and Client Lifecycle Management

Simplify, Streamline, Satisfy, Save.

.The customer experience of being onboarded with a financial institution, in order to do business during these highly regulated times, is akin to the passenger experience at an airport when trying to get on a flight – it can be frustrating, intrusive and time-consuming.
At airports, delays occur with parking, checking in, security screening, and even boarding the aircraft. The more time a customer spends in the system, the higher the dissatisfaction. Conversely, the less time the customer spends in the system, the higher the satisfaction.

The reality is, as, with financial institutions, airports and airlines are obliged to ensure that passengers fulfil a number of checks. These checks include; proper identification at the check-in desk and then again at immigration, limited luggage weight and the number of bags, and screening procedures at security checkpoints Throw away your liquids, remove your belt, take out your laptop and phone, give up your shoes etc.

Despite being aware of these necessary processes for safe travel, anyone who flies will also know how time-consuming, frustrating, inconvenient and often intrusive the process is.

This fact, affecting millions worldwide, has led the airline industry to investigate simplified and expedited passenger onboarding methods to speed up the process, whilst maintaining or even increasing levels of security and assurance.
In terms of customer onboarding within financial institutions; a recent industry survey showed that the time to onboard new customers has increased significantly over the past year, and is likely to increase further. This is a grim outlook since global banks regulatory and economic challenges are already having a negative effect on profitability. Despite significant operational cost-cutting and business restructuring post-financial crisis, most banks are still struggling with pressure on balance sheets and profit margins.

This scenario is likely to continue as new regulations and market structure changes make doing business even more complicated and costly. Mitigating this situation will require focus on the middle and back offices, where currently high-cost tactical responses to ongoing regulation tend to be overlaid on outdated technology and sub-optimal manual processes.

In our opinion, as with the flight onboarding process, these pressures have created the impetus for financial services firms to implement Customer Onboarding and Lifecycle Management platforms (CLM) such as iMeta CLM. Included within this is a workflow and a rules engine; which by automating lower value-add compliance processes, will reduce operational costs, increase productivity and increase customer satisfaction, whilst also guaranteeing stronger regulatory compliance and risk management.

Many firms though continue to function with
environments that include:

  1. Workflow management by email
  2. Filling in of Word templates or Excel sheets
  3. Double-checking of information completeness/correctness
  4. Manual data and documentation gathering
  5. Reviewing the correct application of compliance policy
  6. Printing of documents, creating and storing of files
  7. Manual back-office re-keying of information and manual account creation

This type of environment results in sub-optimal
operational conditions, including:

  1. Manual re-keying of information
  2. Four-eye checking of completeness/correctness
  3. Lack of process transparency
  4. Non-uniform application of policy or regulatory categorization
  5. Creation and storage of hard copy files
  6. No referenceable audit trail of either application of regulatory procedure or data provenance

This situation is fraught with compliance risks,
inefficient use of resources and the potential for alienating customers.

When manual processes are implemented and automated within a CLM platform that has workflow and rules, immediate benefits are gained from:

  1. Workflow for structured and trackable management of tasks
  2. Automated checking of information completeness / correctness
  3. Automated / integrated data and documentation collection
  4. Enforced and uniform application of compliance policies and regulatory categorization
  5. System based documents and information retention
  6. Integration with Back Office systems
  7. Automated email notifications

These optimal characteristics,
by contrast with the earlier example,

  1. Greatly increased operational efficiencies, enhanced operational control model, less manual work and reduced costs
  2. Ability to track adherence to policy and provide demonstrable audit of regulatory compliance by responsible compliance teams
  3. Enforced, upfront checklists to reduce rework
  4. A superior client experience, resulting in improved customer service and ongoing satisfaction
  5. A faster time to revenue, improved upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  6. Data management architecture, which is simplified by the single flexible platform with both upstream and downstream connectivity
  7. Automated data quality management
  8. Reduced overall technology costs

Technological capability in the areas of workflow, data quality management and rules engines, has transformed many aspects of financial services. It is already widely used to engage with retail customers and to manage data in a cost-effective and targeted manner. Now, with iMeta’s CLM platform, the opportunity exists to utilise a unique combination of innovation; to streamline and optimise customer onboarding and client due diligence, while also effectively managing both regulatory and operational risk.

Through the utilities and data vendors, enormous amounts of data, documents and regulatory information is readily available.
Now is the time for banks and financial services institutions to invest in best in class technological capability; to enable them to manage and maintain their onboarding process in the most optimal way. Given that relevant data and information is widely available and is an effective asset, it is critical that it is managed in a way that will differentiate a firm from its competitors, both in the eyes of valuable customers and the unrelenting regulators.

With the use of a comprehensive CLM platform system, it could be that the financial services industry may even give the airlines a run for their money in terms of promoting good customer service!

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