Banking Client Onboarding for Success:

5 Pieces of Wisdom

Here’s the problem: you’re frustrating your clients.

It’s no wonder why clients leave during the onboarding process. They never know where they are in the process, they receive multiple phone calls from you asking to provide the same information over and over, and it takes far too long for them to start utilizing their products and services.

The inability to see where a client is in the onboarding process forces employees to collect the same information multiple times, and input that information into multiple systems. These challenges all manifest into the same detrimental consequence: clients jumping ship and abandoning the onboarding process.

A 2016 survey conducted by Signicat, “The battle to on-board: Why 40% of consumers abandon banking applications,” investigating consumers’ experiences applying for financial products with traditional banks revealed surprising results that speak for themselves.

Customers surveyed.


Consumers who have abandoned bank applications.

Abandonments due to length of time.


Customers that classify in-branch experience as dissatisfying.

Here’s what you can do…

1. Use automated business processes or workflows.

We often see financial institutions treat banking client onboarding as a series of transactions, rather than a complete process. The problem with this is that breaking up the process causes disjointed communication across departments, more errors, and a longer onboarding time.

If you experience this, my advice is to empower your staff with automated business processes. One way to do this is with a case management system. Case management systems provide workflows that automatically perform or trigger tasks. The workflows even reach outside of your department into legal, marketing, fraud, etc.

Here are some features of a case management system:

Let’s say you have a Relationship Manager with 70 active accounts and their company starts a new marketing campaign geared towards customers in the Midwest. Pyramid eXpeditor allows users to personalize the user interface to fit their changing needs, so the Relationship Manager can configure her priorities to highlight the top 20 accounts that apply to the campaign.

Then, her boss needs the team to focus even narrower for the rest of the week – just on Michigan leads. Instead of asking IT to change the priorities and user interfaces or send emails to her team, she can configure her team’s view to provide that ad hoc, temporary prioritization. Her team immediately sees the new priorities and adjusts their task load appropriately. By empowering the supervisors and managers, they can adjust to the necessary business agility.

speech-bubblesTraditionally, if an employee needs a second opinion or assistance on how to follow a policy for a particular transaction, he would make a phone call or send an email to his boss or colleague. The downside to this is that these communications are outside the system, not prioritized, and lose the context of the transaction. So, when another knowledge worker picks up the transaction, she cannot see why the case is inactive and has to take three steps backward. Pyramid eXpeditor for Case has the ability to track these conversations (i.e. record email, phone and verbal communications) with comments so anyone who looks at the case can be immediately up-to-date on its status, prior challenges, and outside communications.

Bookmark (gray & cyan)Add intelligence to documents by adding bookmarks. Bookmarking is when users save bookmarks on specific parts of a document (such as all the signatures in a closing document, or a key financial ratio, or disbursement rules in a trust) for one-click access to it in the future.
tagUsers can add visual tags to documents to characterize the document within the process (i.e. in closing, needs signature, in review).

2. Adopt Paper Signatures’ hip cousin, Electronic Signatures.

The signing ceremony tends to be a major bottleneck in the onboarding process, that’s why the second piece of advice is to adopt electronic signatures. Here’s why…

  • Average hours to receive manual, paper signature.
  • Average hours to complete electronic signature.

It's flexible for clients and businesses.

Clients do not have to be in the office to sign documents, providing flexibility and speed – especially when there are multiple signers in different states. Clients can sign on any device through click-to-sign, live handwritten signature capture, fax-back signing, and more. Businesses benefit from the flexibility to customize the UI to match their brand or white label the entire signing ceremony.


It's secure.

A digital signature protects signed documents so no one can alter it without detection.

It's easy to manage.

Staff and management can monitor customer transactions to see who signed and what transactions are coming due while alerting them of any transactions that require immediate attention.

Put our electronic signature partner, eSignLive, to the test.

3. Make onboarding a mobile process.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. People are on their phones all day, so why not bring banking client onboarding there?

Your solutions should be compatible with phone and tablet screen sizes. This makes it so supervisors can react to key performance indicators, sales teams can get alerts for approved transactions and exceptions holding up processes, and users can execute face-to-face digital signings on a mobile device.

For tasks that are better on a larger viewing area such as uploading documents, updating and reviewing onboarding statuses, performing e-signatures, and reacting to ETCs and SLAs, users can leverage their tablet.

So when a manager walks from one meeting to the next, she can view transactions that are in danger of being late, prioritize them, and send them to staff members to work on all before she walks through the door of her next meeting.

Imagine fixing a problem before it becomes one.

See how Union Bank reduced onboarding times by adding mobile capabilities.

4. Use data to gain visibility and take action.


RMs have two main priorities: Manage customer expectations and remove impediments. A difficult aspect of your job is that you can control the process, but you cannot control your customer.

Straightforward visual dashboards make this challenge a little easier. RMs can see individual estimate to complete dates of onboarding clients and tasks to keep the client informed. Additionally, dashboards provide complete visibility into any exceptions, so you can proactively work with clients to resolve them.


Because your focus is on onboarding pipelines and SLAs, you want a solution that breaks down your view into the business items you care about: estimate to complete, bottlenecks, workloads, campaigns, items not in good order, etc. A comprehensive view of these metrics will help you manage your teams effectively despite daily changing priorities.


One of the most significant insights that analytics reveal to an organization is trends that touch on some of these questions:

Does my organization need some business process re-engineering?

How well-oiled is my machine?

Do we have recurring exceptions?

How are my teams performing?

How did that last campaign work out?

E. S., & A. J. (2014). Analytics in Banking (Rep.). Retrieved 2016, from Everest Global, Inc. website:

5. Get your head in the clouds.

The “cloud” is simply a method to deploy a software solution. The traditional method is on-premise: an organization owns the hardware and software and maintains the system in-house.

When an organization utilizes the cloud, it essentially “rents” secure space from a cloud provider. There are three ways to deploy a solution on the cloud.

  1. Public: Sign in to the solution with a user ID and password. Microsoft 365 is an example of a public cloud solution.
  2. Private: A hosting provider sets up your hosting servers and only your organization can touch them so there’s no co-mingling.
  3. Hybrid: Basically whatever you make it. For example, an organization might store documents on-premise but their workflows are in the cloud.

Why are financial institutions moving to the cloud?

  • It’s easy to deploy
  • It removes administrative tasks that handicap onboarding
  • It frees you to focus on activities that will help your business sell and grow

Learn more at the links below.

What is Cloud Computing?

31 Questions to Ask Your ECM Cloud Provider

We knew we would be more successful partnering with Pyramid Solutions – and we were right. Pyramid Solutions’ onboarding solution is easy, simple and it works well. What more could you want than that?

Marvin Watts

Executive Vice President/Operations and Servicing Manager, SunTrust Mortgage

Want to chat?

Now that you’ve read through five pieces of wisdom for successful client onboarding, it’s time to do something. Stop frustrating your clients. You can learn more by clicking on any of the links throughout the page, exploring our website, or by contacting one of our banking and financial services experts.