For any businesses or non-commercial organisation wanting to reach out to potential customers or clients via a digital onboarding experience, there really is only one chance to get account opening right. Failure to do so will result in an individual associating a brand – whatever it may be – with a bad experience. Even if they stick with it (perhaps because they have very little choice), their initial misgivings about the service will stay with them.

First impressions really do matter

If a digital service provider has little or no competition – perhaps because it is a government department – the account opening experience may not be too much of a problem; if a new user is trying to claim benefit, for instance, they will stick with the process because it’s in their interests. However, in the commercial world, starting a relationship with a customer in the right way is perhaps more important today than it ever has been. With more businesses across all sectors reaching out online, first impressions have never counted more.

A survey in 2020 by financial consultants revealed that 73% of its respondents said that their account opening experience was the one thing which would “make or break” their future relationship with a business offering digital onboarding, goods and/or services. Not only that, but more than three quarters of these same respondents replied that they would actively look for competitors’ offerings in the case of a less than perfect account opening experience.

Security is the key concern

While it might be assumed that younger consumers would expect these very high standards, in fact the survey found similar results across all age groups. This is due, in large part, because young and old alike want to feel that their digital identity is safe in the hands of their new online partner.

When given a choice between security, flexibility and seamlessness, 90% of all the people surveyed opted for security. Obviously, the latter two factors are extremely important to any provider of digital services; however, this survey (conducted at the start of the Covid 19 lockdown), highlights just how highly online consumers place digital ID security.

Financial services a major worry

Online services cover three major areas; financial services, retail and online marketplaces. While security concerns are uppermost across all three of these, it is in financial services that they override all other concerns at every stage. Unlike sellers and marketplace services, customers expect financial services providers to actively reduce cybercrime. This expectation is above and beyond just looking after an individual’s online ID.

Also unique to the financial services sector is the public’s patience when it comes to the onboarding process. While speed and seamlessness are held to be very important when registering with marketplace sites, for example, customers would rather that financial service vendors are thorough rather than quick when onboarding.

In particular, the experience of real-time ID checking, using video and certified liveness techniques, is very reassuring for customers onboarding to financial services platforms.

In fact, research showed that 80% of first time users are less likely to abandon during onboarding if these checks are carried out, and 84% will have more trust in the brand. Those are very high numbers indeed, and proof that ID security is valued very highly in today’s online world.