The main challenges of digital onboarding and how to overcome them

By Veritran - Oct. 3, 2022 - Category : Digital Onboarding

Digital onboarding should be a customer-friendly process, but there are some challenges to overcome to ensure it meets the demand from users for it to be accurate, short and simple

The customer experience starts from the moment they download the banking app. But before they can start enjoying the benefits being offered by the financial institution, they have to pass through remote or digital onboarding.

This is where the balance between regulatory compliance, authentication and onboarding comes into play.

To achieve this equilibrium, it is essential that the technology be user-centric and provides the applicant with information and reassurance throughout the process.

Properly managed, acquiring products remotely provides a satisfying, frictionless experience for the customer. Here, we will consider three challenges that must be overcome for a first-rate digital onboarding.


As digital collection of consumers’ personal data grows, people have become more wary about their information being in the hands of third parties.

An onboarding process with insufficient information creates friction. If a customer does not receive adequate guidance on how and what their personal data will be used for, they may not feel entirely comfortable sharing it, which could delay access or, worse, lead to abandonment.

Proper onboarding should therefore be clear and provide step-by-step instructions. The goal is to achieve fast, intuitive and efficient access to the platform, so that must be factored into the design of the interface and the journey.

Leveraging onboarding on a platform that allows for quick testing and changes also helps achieve these objectives.


Another major challenge in executing a successful process is the time it takes the customer to open a bank account from start to finish.

Onboarding that takes the customer takes days, multiple failed attempts with biometrics tests, or — worse still — that starts on a mobile and ends at the branch, can lead to dissatisfaction and annoyance. The process can be very laborious as it involves various documents, a large amount of data and different departments along the way.

An effective onboarding should cover, in the space of a few minutes, the whole cycle of authentication and identification, personal data collection and initiation on the platform, in order to prevent the contract being abandoned.

It is important to keep communication channels open and available during the process. To that end, conversational AI can be used to automate customer document requests. Intelligent virtual assistants can aid them throughout the onboarding process. They can also answer any queries and hand over the more complex questions to human agents.


In the financial industry, not authenticating a customer can lead to scams and fraud, so verifying their identity using digital tools must be done very carefully and taking into account the system’s vulnerabilities.

In that sense, we must ask ourselves what tools provide the necessary layers of protection for safeguarding the user's identity. Passwords have become a thing of the past because fraudsters have developed creative ways to circumvent these controls. In fact, they are likely to employ single-use or newly created phone numbers and emails to carry out their schemes.

However, utilizing biological patterns or biometrics emerges as a fundamental solution to onboarding. Consumers in Brazil and Mexico, for example, say they are concerned about the security of passwords — such as PINs and passcodes — and see biometrics as a safer, faster and easier-to-use solution, according to a Visa study.

Unlike other security systems, biometrics is adaptive and can be based on physiological or behavioral identifiers, and each offers a range of options for institutions to choose from.

Biological biometrics uses the physical or morphological characteristics of an individual as a unique element of identification, such as fingerprint, hand shape, vein pattern or iris. Behavioral biometrics, on the other hand, tracks geolocation, consumption patterns and recurring transactions and raises the alarm when these patterns are changed abruptly.

Both give institutions a substantial competitive advantage and there is not a more competitive security option on the market today.

It is important to remind users that their personal data will be handled appropriately, discretely and confidentially and also that this information can facilitate access to products and benefits. Consequently, they will be more inclined to give their consent and try remote onboarding, leaving branches to handle other more specialized queries.

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