Don’t fear the loss of onboarding, think digital

Don’t fear the loss of onboarding, think digital

Just how much time do we spend online? Rather a lot, it would seem. According to We Are Social’s latest study, the world’s internet users will cumulatively spend a mind-boggling 1.25 billion years online in 2020.

To put that into perspective, the first fossil records of complex life forms date from the start of the Cambrian explosion – only 541 million years ago. And if we go back all the way to 1.25 billion years ago? Scientists believe early plants were only just starting to photosynthesise

Broken down, this almost incomprehensible number equates to the average internet user spending 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day. Whilst fleeting by comparison, it nonetheless means that (when time is allowed for sleep) we’re now spending more than 40% of our waking lives online.

Accessing a huge range of services and carrying out our day-to-day tasks using the internet has become the norm. We shop online, bank online, play online, and socialise online. The lines between the offline and online world are increasingly blurred: fashion brands are launching capsule collections within computer games, and DJs are even hosting concerts that draw in 10 million in-game attendees. As the digital world continues to flourish, consumer expectations as to what can be done online, and just how easily, grow. And they’re not just comparing you to your direct competitors – they’re comparing you to every single business they interact with. Why then do so many businesses still have manual onboarding processes, even for services that will then be accessed entirely online or through an app?

Manual reviews inherently ask for a great deal from new customers – during their first meaningful interaction with your business, they’re forced to painstakingly enter their information (often more than once), go offline to gather proof-of-identity documents, post their precious originals or pay to have them certified, and then wait for anything up to 34 weeks {link to manual reviews blog} before they’re fully onboarded. Considering the fact that 54% of US consumers said they’d rather spend the day in wet socks than repeat themselves, it’s unsurprising that ¾ found that the reality of interacting with businesses fell short of their expectations

Not only does onboarding digitally enable automated review processes, saving both time and money, it allows you to do so without relying traditional data sources. Across the globe, many individuals lack recognised identity documents such as driving licences or passports, or have failed to build traditional data footprints like credit histories. What many do have however, is an online footprint – and one that builds a far more accurate picture of their identity than traditional sources ever could. 

At the point when potential customers would usually be rejected, they can now instead consensually link their social media profiles to allow their identities to be verified. Furthermore, these processes can be used alongside facial biometrics and real-time document and address validation to provide fully compliant KYC checks. Nor are the benefits of social verification limited to onboarding – the data can provide unparalleled insights into your customers’ preferences and interests, allowing you to personalise your interactions with them and better nurture your relationships. Do they, for example, respond best to straightforward statistics, or more emotive text and images? Are they a salaried homeowner, or self-employed renter? Do they love to read, or are they passionate about sports? Are they loyal to specific brands, or do they prefer second-hand and recycled goods? Are they early risers or night owls? The more you know, the more likely you are to meet or even surpass their expectations – and, when consumers only reach out to businesses 1-5 times a year, it’s more important than ever to make your interactions count. 

Many industries are failing to take advantage of the huge opportunities our ever-evolving world provides – instead, innovative new start-ups are appearing in droves to fill in the gaps. But all is not lost: by embracing new technologies and updating their processes even the most traditional of businesses can ensure they remain both competitive and profitable. And in this case, fortune really does favour the brave – disruption in financial services alone could amount to £100bn of revenue in the UK by 2030.

How can we help?

Acuant Identity’s Alternative and Social Data is a unique solution which enables instant KYC checks across the global. Acuant Identity’s Alternative and Social Data is a consent-based solution meaning it’s fully GDPR compliant and meets all market regulation needs.


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