Developing an Effective Digital Account Opening RFP

By Alissa Fry-Harris

Published on CUES Skybox blog on December 14, 2016

Critical Criteria to Consider

Prospective customers and members have demonstrated clearly their willingness to choose financial institutions that offer digital account opening. Adopting a leading-edge omnichannel capability is the best option for banks and credit unions that aim at account growth.

To satisfy consumer demand, it isn’t enough to put out a digital “welcome mat.” The entire consumer experience matters—from being able to easily enter the virtual front door, to exiting with an active account and a sense of engagement with the provider.

A few recent industry research findings illuminate where we find ourselves today:

  • Most financial institutions plan to add a mobile optimized solution, but only 20 percent are there now.
  • Up to 80 percent of the attempts to apply for a new account via a mobile device fail, either abandoned before being completed or completed but never funded.
  • Friction in the process creates most of these failures. Processes are either too complicated, take too much time, require too much data entry or can’t be completed immediately. Some even require a branch visit, which too often doesn’t happen.
  • Most current digital account opening services do not match the convenience of best-in-class mobile apps, and do not take advantage of the capabilities of smart devices.
  • Mobile account opening solutions are seldom planned as part of a well-integrated, seamless customer/member experience.

Selecting the right technology means tackling several knotty issues effectively:

  • accurately understanding the specific demographics of your target consumers
  • specifying requirements accurately to meet their needs
  • sorting through widely varying potential vendors and solutions

Each of these steps is complex, and there are no short cuts or one-size-fits-all solutions. Institutions’ strategic priorities differ as well; one may seek to repair abandonment rates from a mobile solution they have tried, another may be targeting specific types of accounts or higher account holder satisfaction, while another may be focused on internal efficiency and scalability.

In some cases, an institution’s own internal organization may even be creating barriers to seeing the “customer journey” as a unified experience. This is the case when technology is selected within a silo dedicated to one account type or one sales channel, rather than seeing what works from the consumer’s perspective.

We’ve put together a “how-to” guide that includes 10 considerations we believe must be incorporated in the all-important requirements definition you use to request vendor proposals or weigh your options. Watch our on-demand webinar, “High Uptake Digital Account Opening: How to get there now,” to get access to a free copy of this guide.