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The Signicat Blog

The onboarding advantage: how operational efficiency boosts conversion

You think of the word ‘efficient’ and certain things come to mind. Hybrid vehicles with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Smart thermostats that optimize energy usage based on occupancy. High-speed trains that are quicker over short distances than air travel.

Sadly, customer onboarding in the digital age is not one of these things. With 68% of potential customers abandoning a financial service application in 2022, we’d go as far as to say that customer onboarding is currently inefficient.

So, let’s look at the customer onboarding problem. How big is it? What could help solve it, and what might the future look like?

# Customer onboarding strategies: why businesses need them

Although customer onboarding journeys have become more digital, evidencing and proofing identity online hasn’t. And that’s difficult for both customers and service providers.

Customers must go through various screens, provide personal details, sometimes repeatedly, collect and scan documents. Such lengthy and cumbersome procedures inevitably lead to dropouts – and in quite some numbers, our research found.

More than 2-in-3 consumers have abandoned applications in 2002, the 2022 Battle to Onboard report showed. Either because it takes too long (21%) or because consumers are asked for too much personal information (a further 21%).

It’s not a great experience if consumers feel so dissatisfied with the process that they abandon it altogether. Or simply change their mind because they don’t have the time, energy or will to continue.

It’s even less great for businesses, though. The time, effort and marketing budget they’ve spent getting prospects to their sites is wasted, if they fail to convert browsers into buyers. With competitors only a mouse-click away, no business can afford to turn away genuine customers, or gets a second chance to make a first impression.

# Improving customer onboarding

The problem of identity on the internet is nearly as old and as tricky as the problem of money on the internet.

Knowing who your customers are and proving their identities is critical for financial services, insurance, iGaming and other businesses in the regulated sectors. That’s because of anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and other compliance checks.

KYC is also important in non-regulated sectors, such as healthcare, retail and public service organizations, to personalize service, prevent fraud and abuse and so on. However, just because identification and verification during onboarding are important, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Quite often it’s not, as well as being time-consuming and manual.

The average time for an application process was perceived to be around 15 minutes 34 seconds by end-users in Signicat’s 2022 Battle to Onboard research. For more than a quarter of survey respondents (28%) that was longer than expected.

# Automating customer onboarding

Identity-proofing has its challenges within the context of a single country. A solution may need to support multiple government-issued identity documents. Plus, verify personally identifiable information (PII) on the documents with authoritative data sources.

However, the more countries in which a business operates, the more the complexity – and inefficiencies – of identity-proofing grows. This may become a significant operational overhead. Signicat solutions can help optimise onboarding, maximize growth and reduce technology and resource costs.

Signicat covers the full digital identity lifecycle from compliant onboarding to secure login and electronic signing. We offer local compliance across multiple markets, developer-friendly, scalable solutions, all on one contract and one API.

Here’s a real-life example. A product owner at a HR consulting firm explained that colleagues spent 20-30 minutes verifying candidate identities during onboarding. Since they adopted Signicat’s fully automated, integrated system, they’ve eliminated the need for multiple tools, parallel processes and manual reviews. This has saved time, cost and resource, totalling 40,000 hours of consultants’ time per year.

“Our organization has changed for the better with Signicat, as we’ve removed a big administrative chunk of the process from our employees.”

IT product owner and manager, HR consulting firm.

# Total Economic Impact™: operational efficiencies of digital identity

What does enhancing the operational efficiencies of better customer onboarding journeys this equate to?

Signicat commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a 2023 Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) businesses may realise by deploying its platform.

Forrester interviewed five representatives with experience in using Signicat. And aggregated the interviewees’ experiences, combining the results into a single composite organisation. Some of the needs of the different interviews included a solution that could:

  • Reduce the cost of managing different identity solutions across different markets.
  • Help them be compliant across different markets.
  • Maximize operational efficiencies.

All while, of course, delivering an improved customer experience and reducing fraud.

Signicat provides the convenience of a one-stop-shop, turnkey approach. We are operating in different markets and the identification space is very messy because of the different local variations.”

Managing director of payments, tech/delivery.

The Total Economic ImpactTM study revealed that Signicat has a pivotal role when it comes to higher conversion but also complying with local and regional AML regulations. Some of the key findings of the composite organization in the study include:

  • Operational efficiencies of €2.9 million over three years. Due to saving time on manual verifications during onboarding, compliance teams can be deployed to more value-adding tasks.
  • An increase of 19 percentage points in client conversion rates. Due to robust local identification methods across multiple markets and quicker, streamlined verification process, the composite organization experienced a 19% uplift in conversion rates, equivalent to €3.2 million net profit over 3 years.
  • €423,000 increase in profit from incremental customers in three years. Effective, localized identification methods increase total addressable market for the composite organization, resulting in new customer acquisitions.

# Signicat’s solutions and benefits at a glance

Signicat supports numerous methods to remotely verify the identities of new customers and businesses being onboarded, depending on the geography, vertical, and use case. All of these methods are compliant with all local AML regulations as well as eIDAS:

  • Identities can be verified through more than 35 trusted digital identity schemes from various governments, bank consortiums, trade organizations and others.
  • Signicat’s flagship identity document and biometric verification solution, VideoID, validates scans of international identity documents using video and streaming to identify users. It compares facial patterns and performs liveness checks to prevent identity fraud.
  • Identity data obtained through eIDs or ID documents and biometric verification processes such as VideoID can be corroborated and enhanced for various checks, such as creditworthiness, PEPs and sanction lists. Access to over 170 third-party risk and identity data repositories is supported.

Whether it’s sign-ups, sign-ins, signings or signs of fraud, Signicat offers a consolidated one-stop-shop for digital identity solutions. This helps businesses accept more genuine, right-first-time customers and stay ahead of the bad guys.