Digitise the account opening process with Docusign

As today’s financial institutions move into the digital age, they also need to strategise ways to pass benefits from their technology advances on to customers. The account opening process is a perfect opportunity to make a good impression with an excellent customer experience. In general, the abandonment rate for opening an online account is 19%. That’s already high, but the abandonment rate increases for application processes that take more time to complete. Instead of frustrating new customers with time-consuming, paper-based processes, here’s a look at how Docusign can help create a fast, simple workflow for opening new account

Step:1 Capture customer data digitally 

To open a new account, standard process entails a customer to complete a face-to-face meeting with an employee from a financial institution. To start, the employee collects ID documents to verify the new customer’s identity. Then, the customer answers requests for personal information (and waits patiently while the employee keys it in) or uses an on-location device to enter that data. Once complete, the information has to be printed out and completed with a wet ink signature. 

Docusign Guided Forms cut out all the needless steps of that process. Rather than showing up at a branch and giving personal information to an employee, the new customer can provide information on their own devices from almost anywhere. They are prompted for personal information in an intelligent step-by-step system that reuses information when possible and automatically adapts to ask new questions based on previous answers. When all the questions are answered, Docusign’s system automatically generates a signature-ready agreement that can be completed instantly using eSignature. 

This streamlined digital process is faster, more customer-friendly and less prone to errors. Compared to in-person account openings, this digital process reduces time to complete new applications by 60-75% and reduces the rate of incomplete or Not In Good Order (NIGO) paperwork from 35% to less than 2%. 

Step 2: Verify the customer’s identity 

Unlike businesses in other industries, financial institutions have relationships beyond the consumer to manage. Specifically, they have a series of regulations to follow to make sure that they’re doing business properly—this includes verifying the identity of their customers. 

To improve verification efforts, banks and wealth management firms have a few ways to double check an individual’s identity. Here are some common methods used to verify identity and consent: 

  • Phone authentication: For this method to work, an individual must answer a phone call or receive an authentication code and then enter that code into another system. This proves that the person accessing important banking information is the person with access to the phone number associated with that account. 
  • SMS authentication: Similar to phone authentication, but the recipient only has to open a text message to receive an authentication code that grants access to the banking system. It also proves that the person attempting to gain access to the banking information is the person in control of the phone number associated with that account. 

Financial institutions that use Docusign also have another powerful authentication option: ID Verification. With this solution, customers can upload images of official IDs—driver’s license, passport, national ID card, eID and more—to prove their identity. During the process of identification, institutions can extract information from these IDs (name, address, photo) and store it in a system of record for audits or other verification purposes later. 

Step 3: Accept terms and conditions 

After the customer’s information has been collected and their identity has been verified, both parties still have to sign an agreement to make the relationship official. That document, the terms and conditions—spells out the specifics of the relationship between a financial services firm and the new customer, including fee structures, penalties, services and other important details. 

With Docusign Click, any business can capture legally-binding customer consent to terms and conditions/disclosure documents with a single click, lowering risk and improving customer experience. Click does more than just capture consent, it also records date, time and other critical data to provide a detailed audit trail. This can be useful for finding information about which users agreed to certain versions of a clickwrap agreement. By using Click, financial institutions can securely store, search and manage all clickwraps in one place, reducing the risk of noncompliance with ESIGN, eIDAS and other legal standards

Step 4: Route documents for automatic approval

A modern system of agreement uses today’s best technology to streamline the account opening with automations. After the new customer’s final signature, a financial institution still has to send documents through a series of internal signers to complete the process. 

With Docusign,any business can create an agreement chain and includes an unlimited number of employees as part of this chain. Those employees can be given signature ability, view-only permission or assigned any other necessary role. Documents can be sent to an entire group of stakeholders at once or assigned a specific order in which to view or sign documents. Using eSignature, those documents can be completed in minutes and passed to the next stage of the process. 

Docusign helps a team build this process with a convenient signing order diagram that provides a visual representation of envelope distribution, including branched or conditional routing options among internal and external parties. These contract routing capabilities can be specified according to activity. For example, a bank may want to create unique envelope routing processes to manage opening a new account, issuing a new debit card, applying for a new credit card or applying for a small business credit card. For any type of transaction, the paperwork routing can be customised to ensure quicker, more accurate processing.

Docusign eSignature allows financial institutions to remove human delay from the process, automatically kicking off each step once the previous step is completed. It also provides visibility into the signature chain for each necessary party so no one is ever unsure of the status or unable to determine which stage an agreement is in.

Digitise Account Opening

It’s time to digitise account openings 

Despite all of the benefits of a digital account opening process, only 20% of today’s financial services institutions have fully digitised this process. Institutions still using paper-based processes suffer from a range of problems and bottlenecks, including:

  • Rework due to manual errors 
  • Inefficiencies transferring data
  • Lack of visibility into signature status 
  • Delays in starting projects.

It all adds up to a poor experience for new customers, forcing them to endure unnecessary delays and confusion about processing status.

How Santander is accelerating the account opening and onboarding with Docusign

With a focus on improving the customer experience, Santander embarked on a transformation to digitise their inefficient, manual processes. Prior to this digital transformation, a new customer would be required to fill out one of 39 editable PDF onboarding forms before printing, signing and returning it to a local branch. This unnecessarily manual process took customers an average of 12 (and sometimes up to 25) days to complete.

With Docusign, Santander was able to digitise these steps, replacing the unwieldy 39 PDFs with one dynamic, online form. Once a customer submits that initial form, it triggers a succession of back-office processes required to approve and open the new account, like checks

for financial crime and anti-fraud. In many cases, parallel processing helps to complete all onboarding steps so that once the customer signs, their account is open. They’ve seen a reduction of 83% in time taken for new customers to open account.

Read our latest eBook: Digitise Account Opening and Onboarding with Docusign and find out how you can streamline your account opening and onboarding for better customer experience.  

Learn how you can streamline your account opening and onboarding for better customer experience.  

Read our latest eBook: Digitise Account Opening and Onboarding with Docusign
Stephanie Liais
Senior Product Marketing Manager