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The Signicat Blog

The Battle to Onboard 2020: The impact of COVID-19 and beyond

Discover valuable insights from this latest report, which surveyed 4000 consumers in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, and Norway.

A year of change

This year we have all been forced to start doing everyday tasks differently. For many that has meant managing the entirety of their financial lives using remote channels for the first time, and large numbers turning to digital services as call centres are overwhelmed and branches shut.

Providers struggled to keep up

Financial service providers have been found lacking. Before the pandemic they were not keeping up with user expectations, but as digital became customers' only option and emotions regarding money run high as recessions bite, products and services are failing increasingly often to give customers what they need

Onboarding is a problem area

Onboarding is one of the most crucial areas where providers are failing. If customers can't or won't open new accounts, these organisations will struggle even more to cope with economic turmoil. And it's not just the pandemic. Other, pre-pandemic factors which have not been addressed are exacerbating potential customers' failure to complete onboarding.

Gen Z expects smoother, faster digital experiences

Younger generations have grown up in an always-on, instant world. Some will expect the opening of a bank account to be as simple as opening a social media account. When it takes longer and requires greater amounts of personal information and documentation, they are put off.

More accounts means less commitment

Consumers have more financial accounts than ever as more providers launch. They have greater choice and will look elsewhere if a provider cannot give them the experience they expect. An applicant might not actually need the account in question. If getting one is too difficult they will simply give up.

A truly digital experience, from verifying identity for account opening through to authenticating a user’s identity to access services and beyond, is now a business continuity necessity for both banks and their customers.

Headline stats

63% of consumers abandoned digital bank applications in 2020 — more than ever before

Onboarding is one of the most crucial areas where providers are failing. if customers can’t or won’t open new accounts, organisations struggle even more to cope with economic turmoil.

68% of consumers expect 100% digital onboarding in the wake of COVID-19

The pandemic has turned a desire for digital services into a requirement. Like working from home and other digital transformations, the shift has been from “why?” to “why not?”

32% of consumers refuse to start an application if they are required to take ID credentials to a branch

Consumers have stopped accepting poor experiences and are breaking free. The ‘first mile’ of digital sales—capturing and converting the customer—is stifling providers’ ability to grow.

36% of Gen Z feel the onboarding process is longer than they expected, and banks are losing them as a result.

24% abandon applications due to lengthy processes (24%) — more than any other age group. They are also deterred by too many detailed requirements (22%), and the most likely to simply change their minds (24%).

60% would value being able to use their digital identities to access services internationally

Looking beyond Covid-19, empowering people with secure cross-border eIDs will become crucial to support increasingly global economies, smart cities, and their digital services.