The push to achieve a single customer view (SCV) has challenged onboarding teams to capture more KYC/AML data, and routinely review larger troves of existing data, to meet ever-evolving regulatory requirements. In this quest, four reasons for having a consistent client onboarding process stand out as promoting operational success.
1. Regulators Like Consistency
When the need arises to facilitate an audit or to demonstrate sufficient internal controls, an onboarding process that provides end-to-end transparency through consistency will go a long way toward satisfying a regulator. Consistency from handling the initial onboarding request, to conducting client due diligence and through opening accounts creates a process that can easily be retraced to identify errors, if necessary.
Step-by-step consistency creates a platform from which audit trails are easier to map and analyze. Such consistency in the process ensures that both internal controls and governmental regulations are appropriately applied which, in turn, builds confidence with regulators.
Having a uniform onboarding process in place also makes adopting substantive regulatory changes or making operational improvements along the way less challenging. This ability to deploy changes quickly and widely with minimal disruption to onboarding helps preserve overall transparency.
2. Faster Time to Revenue
Consistency leads to speed and reducing onboarding time generally means revenue is generated faster. One-time data entry whenever possible in the process is vital for reducing errors and saving time. Consistent onboarding should not just be viewed as an efficient way to produce a SCV from an operational standpoint, but is should also be recognized as a way to boost business performance by creating a truly integrated database.
An integrated database enhances the customer experience by making pertinent data accessible at all customer touch points. Delivering this enhanced customer experience promotes selling across consumer channels resulting in a competitive advantage.
While many financial institutions recognize onboarding as a way to boost competitiveness, few actually track revenue that is specifically tied to onboarding improvements. It may be worth measuring this competitive advantage in terms of ROI.
3. More Efficient and Less Expensive Training
Maintaining an efficient onboarding system through a high level of consistency translates to reduced costs for employee training. Step-by-step consistency greatly simplifies the process of onboarding new onboarding personnel! A pre-defined set of information searching rules which is followed by all analysts will accelerate this process and reduce errors early in each employee’s tenure.
With respect to on-going training, the goal should be to design one in-house course and to periodically test the entire onboarding team on one set of internal procedures. This approach is more cost-effective than trying to train and test individual members of the team separately on different onboarding functions.
4. Enhanced Performance Measurement
The team training approach described above produces better on-the-job performance since everyone is effectively cross-trained on all onboarding functions. This end-to-end approach allows for a standard metric to be applied when reviewing and measuring each employee’s performance since the onboarding process should be consistent from person to person.
If performance reviews indicated that each member of the team is consistently implementing the onboarding process, then a deficiency in the overall efficacy of the system would reveal the need for changing a specific protocol or improving capabilities from a technology standpoint.
JWG conducted a survey for BankingTech.com (http://www.bankingtech.com/220522/survey-kyc-action-plans-2014/) in which respondents ranked “client onboarding and due diligence” as the function under the second most pressure from regulatory KYC initiatives. The “compliance and regulatory reporting” category was ranked slightly ahead as being under the most pressure. Of course, the ability to sufficiently comply with reporting requirements is only as good as the underlying data collected during the onboarding process!
Ultimately, implementing a highly consistent onboarding system will be viewed favorably by regulators, increase the revenue cycle through an enhanced SCV, reduce training expenses and provide better performance measurements.