4 Ways to Boost Your Digital Account Opening Metrics

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The introduction of the smartphone has changed the way we do just about everything—including banking. Back in 2015, a Novantas Digital Banking Report showed that a staggering 79% of consumers preferred to use their mobile app to check their bank account balance. The COVID-19 pandemic has only helped to push customers towards doing even more of their banking completely from their smartphones—including opening new accounts.

According to a survey of almost 2,500 US consumers conducted by Aite Group, financial institutions saw their volume of digital applications increase two- or three-fold in 2020. However, research from the NEURO-ID Friction Index Report 2019 showed that more than half of users leave a digital application without selecting an offer or product.

When it comes to digital account opening, success isn’t measured by how many people start an application, but by how many finish the application, open an account, and start banking with you.

How Does Digital Account Opening Help?

The modern consumer doesn’t have time to complete the lengthy paperwork and identity verification that a traditional bank account application requires. When your bank or credit union employs digital account opening solutions to automate the process, you increase the likelihood that customers will not only start the account opening process but complete it.

Here are 4 ways you can optimize your digital account opening process to increase your chances of success

1. Design a Mobile-first Experience

The problem with many digital account opening programs is that they are modified from old paper applications. The result is a lengthy process that requires consumers to enter all their information manually. Today’s smartphones are built for speed and convenience; it is more cumbersome to type a lot of information on a smartphone keyboard than it is to type on a computer or write by hand. The appeal of digital account opening should be convenience.

If your customers are going to spend as much, or more, time entering information into the mobile app than they would applying by any other method, digital account opening becomes a highly inefficient means of opening a new account. Smartphone screens are much smaller than laptop displays or standard-sized paper applications. Your mobile app should reformat the application process to make it easier to read and fill out on a smaller screen.

An effective digital account opening program should be able to capture data automatically—either from saved information or optical character recognition (OCR) of a scanned file—and populate it in the correct field. Instead of copying the format of a paper application, mobile applications should be streamlined so they are more easily readable on a phone screen.

2. Support Easy Ways to Validate and Verify Identity

OCR is the ability for a phone camera to scan a document and render what is written on it into typed characters in digital form. Digitally verifying identity used to be done one of two ways—either the customer would have to enter all of their information by hand, or they could submit a picture that would then have to be reviewed and accepted. Neither allowed for instant validation.

With OCR, the customer can take a picture of their identification, upload it to the form, and then the computer can read and verify the information with third-party sources immediately. Including a section for document or photo upload in your application helps your customers complete your application quicker and more easily.

3. Ask Only Essential Questions

Streamline the application process so customers don’t feel like they’re wasting time. Ask for only the bare minimum of information you need for your customer to open a new account. And, try to make the application questions ones they can answer without leaving your app. If the applicant has to leave the application, you increase the risk that they won’t come back to finish it. Your customers are also more likely to trust your institution if you are not asking them for excessive amounts of personal information.

4. Identify Points of Friction

The best way to improve your digital account opening conversions is to study how customers interact with your personal application. A careful analysis of when customers who abandon the application process chose to abandon it, can reveal critical information about which parts of your account opening process need to be adjusted. If there are any steps of the process where you see consistently high rates of customers leaving the application and not coming back, see how you can either streamline that section or consider removing it entirely.

The IgniteOpen Promise

When you partner with IgniteOpen, you’ll partner with a team of experienced banking professionals with a wealth of experience who understand your institution’s goals, as well as the challenges you face. Our team is committed to helping you develop a scalable, cost-effective, end-to-end digital account opening solution that will help you grow.

Ready to learn more about how we can optimize your digital account opening? Schedule a Discovery Meeting today to get started!

Key TakeAways:

  • More and more, customers are using their mobile apps to fulfill their banking needs.
  • Many mobile banking applications are complicated or inefficient and provide customers no real benefit over other account opening methods.
  • Optimize your digital account opening system for the mobile format so it is easy to read and fill out.
  • Utilize OCR technology to make identity verification a painless process.
  • Strive to keep applicants in your app until they finish the application process and minimize the time they need to spend opening an account.
  • Identify points of friction in your application and streamline them.

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