Skip to main content

Addressing Common Institutional Onboarding Challenges in Financial Services

Yin He, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Solutions
October 5, 2021

For financial services organizations, onboarding institutional clients is challenging. The process is complex and made even more so by increasingly distributed and decentralized work, which compromises visibility and transparency and makes connectedness difficult. It also introduces a high degree of risk, as manual processes expose organizations to errors and inconsistencies. It often takes months to onboard an institution as a client, and the stakes are high—the longer the onboarding window, the greater the risk of customer dissatisfaction and potential loss of revenue. 

We recently gathered with senior leaders from various financial services organizations to talk about how their organizations approach onboarding, the challenges they face, and how they work to overcome them. Three common onboarding challenges emerged from our discussion: lack of data integration, insufficient risk mitigation, and inconsistent customer experience. 

Integration is lacking.

As financial institutions grow, whether organically or through mergers and acquisitions, it can be challenging to streamline onboarding processes and ensure uniformity in workflows. Systems with mission-critical data often aren’t well integrated, making it difficult and inefficient for users to navigate their workflows. Some institutions even try to create their own solution to help manage their data and find that while their solution may help them report on data, it’s much harder to operationalize it. This leads to “multiple key punching”—or entering data more than once across disparate solutions—to get the job done. With human error and multiple databases at play, systems can easily get out of sync or even conflict.

Risk mitigation is compromised.

Managing regulatory and compliance requirements is crucial for financial institutions, but rarely is it a uniform, organized process. Some staff follow requirements to a tee, while others are a bit more lax. Leaving compliance adherence in the hands of individual employees leads to inconsistency and more room for human error. For example, relying on manual data entry can cause leaks, requires more manual effort, and increases risk. 

Financial institutions with multiple disjointed systems have to manage more technology and keep up with ever changing requirements, using up valuable resources. 

Customer experience is inconsistent.

Delivering a positive customer experience is a key initiative for all businesses, but for financial institutions  this can be particularly difficult. Financial institutions with small onboarding teams  have limited resources and may find it difficult to prioritize “white glove service” for top-tier clients while still delivering a seamless experience for other clients. 

In order for smaller teams to deliver an ideal customer experience, it’s critical that financial institutions streamline communication for low-touch servicing, rather than repeatedly returning to the customer with requests for information. 

An inconsistent or mediocre customer experience opens the door to competitors and makes it harder to win new business, so it’s critical to get it right.

Overcoming onboarding challenges. 

The common denominator in all of these challenges? Disparate technology.  The solution is to move away from relying on manual processes and data management and instead, to automate processes and connect technology to expedite workflows while providing transparency into the process for all users. 

Using low-code, businesses can quickly build applications in days or weeks that would once have taken months. By accelerating development time and decreasing technical debt, low-code reduces IT backlog and gives developers more time to innovate. With the right low-code platform, it’s easier to integrate, update, and modify enterprise applications so organizations can adapt and evolve more rapidly.

Rapid app delivery is only the beginning of what low-code can do. The most advanced platforms deliver powerful business process automation capabilities. These low-code automation platforms unify the best of robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), data, business rules, and people to automate even the most complex business processes imaginable. This unique blend of transformative technology unleashes tremendous power, speed, and savings for organizations and enables them to finally realize the promise of true digital transformation. 

Built on the Appian Low-Code platform, Appian Connected Onboarding and Connected Servicing are pre-built solutions that address many of the challenges institutions face today with customer journey operations. The solutions are quick to deploy and feature intelligent document processing, RPA, and AI to deliver a guided onboarding experience with streamlined decisioning and far less friction. These solutions enable customers to leverage systems and data that are already part of their workflow and provide complete visibility into the onboarding process, allowing users to take relevant action and keeping onboarding teams in the loop every step of the way. 

Learn more about the Appian solutions built for financial institutions, and how they can help enhance customer life cycle management, by visiting our booths at SIFMA Ops, SIBOS, or Money 20/20 or requesting a demo from a financial solutions expert.