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Fintech Nexus Webinar Recap: 3 Strategies for Stronger Onboarding Trust

Kaushal Ls
February 15, 2024

For financial institutions and banks, the process of identity verification is – from a security standpoint – the most important checkpoint in the customer journey. Onboarding is the gatekeeper that ultimately ensures that transactions are legitimate, the organization can safeguard against fraud, and that they are adhering to compliance with regulatory requirements. Yet if onboarding gets too cumbersome because of layers of identity checks, you risk turning off users.

In the recent Fintech Nexus webinar, “Building Trust: Scalable Strategies for Consumer and Business Onboarding,” Prove’s SVP of Product, Pamela Novoa Ralli joined Mira Srinivasan (Chief Risk Officer, Bluevine), Bill Walsh (Chief Customer Officer, Sunbit), Philip Taliaferro (GM & SVP, Lendio), and Peter Renton (Chairman & Co-Founder, Fintech Nexus) to explore the best framework for trusted customer onboarding process in the financial services sector. The group addressed the differences between the expectations and needs of financial services organizations that serve consumer-focused and small/medium business (SMB) organizations. 

As you’ll hear these experts explain, onboarding operates differently according to the customer type, but it still plays a pivotal role in shaping the customer experience. Whether it's the seamless integration of a new consumer or a business entity, understanding the nuances of onboarding in B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) scenarios is crucial if an organization wants to balance the goals of reducing friction during onboarding while keeping the business safe.

Identity verification – the process and the subsequent application of its results – is a unique challenge in the onboarding processes, and the complexity is notably distinct when comparing B2C and B2B scenarios. In B2C onboarding, the focus is on a single individual and their personal identity. This involves verifying and ensuring the legitimacy of an individual's credentials, such as name, address, and identification documents. However, even in the seemingly straightforward process of individual identity verification, challenges arise due to the rise of identity theft, fraudulent activities, and the need for a secure yet frictionless onboarding experience.

At the same time, B2B onboarding introduces a unique set of challenges as it involves onboarding an entire company rather than a single individual. Unlike a person, a company lacks a singular identity; it's a complex entity with various stakeholders, each with their own roles and responsibilities. This complexity is further compounded by the fact that multiple individuals within a business may be involved in the decision-making and onboarding processes. Verifying the legitimacy of a business entity becomes crucial, necessitating the verification of not just individuals but also the company's legal standing, ownership structure, and financial stability.

The challenge with B2B onboarding lies in finding a delicate balance between ensuring the security and legitimacy of the business entity while also streamlining the process to prevent friction and delays. Authentication procedures must navigate through layers of complexity, considering factors such as the company's legal documentation, tax identification numbers, and the verification of key decision-makers. Fraud and customer experience teams have to find a way to strike the correct balance that achieves trust between businesses, service providers, and regulatory bodies, all while maintaining the efficiency required for successful B2B transactions. 

Among the topics explored in this discussion of differences between B2B and B2C onboarding considerations were the following:

1. Consumer Drop-off vs. B2B Engagement

  • Consumer Onboarding: For consumers, the top concern is drop-off. The final version of the onboarding process is critical as any aborted attempts can lead to lost customers. Reducing drop-off rates is a key focus.
  • B2B Onboarding: In the B2B space, businesses have usually conducted extensive research before onboarding, so they already know with whom they want to do business, how they’re going to engage, and the essential elements required to make that all happen. The challenge lies in addressing their frustrations, which can result in errors, extended time to revenue, and potential false declines.

2. Environmental Dynamics

  • Consumer Onboarding: Consumers often shift between online and in-store experiences. Challenges arise when customers want to transition seamlessly but encounter obstacles like the inability to scan documents in person.
  • B2B Onboarding: The business environment demands efficiency. Streamlining the onboarding process for B2B entities is critical, considering their need for swift and error-free transactions.

3. Invisibility of Application Process

  • Consumer Onboarding: The ultimate goal of consumer onboarding is to make the application process entirely invisible. This entails a frictionless experience, ensuring that customers hardly notice the transition from interest to fully onboarded.
  •  B2B Onboarding: Overcoming frustrations and challenges in B2B onboarding involves not only providing a seamless experience but also minimizing errors and reducing the time to revenue.

The webinar goes into detail about the the intricacies of onboarding in both B2B and B2C scenarios is essential for businesses aiming to create seamless and customer-friendly experiences. By addressing unique challenges and tailoring onboarding processes to specific needs, companies can enhance customer satisfaction, reduce drop-off rates, and foster long-term relationships in an ever-evolving marketplace.

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