10 Finance Companies Show You Their Best Client Onboarding Strategies

April 4th, 2018
Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Client onboarding can be challenging, time consuming, costly and you are never guaranteed success. After reading this article you’ll know of some of the smartest onboarding strategies out there including how to help customers see it as a single process and giving them the anywhere and anytime access they want.

Related: Why Companies Manually Onboard High Value Clients to their Software

Resource: Want to Onboard your Customers over the Web and Make it Feel Special? Use Upscope co-browsing


Did you know that only 14% of users stay on a site after one day of trialing and 2.7% after one week?

So how do you ensure your clients will stick with you for the long run?

We’ve looked into how 10 finance companies onboard their clients and the strategies they use to retain them.

1. Cognizant’s guide wants us to know that it is all about the client!

Cognizant, a leading specialist services company that works across all industries from Healthcare to Finance hones in on how ‘Efficient Client Onboarding is the key to empowering banks’.

The theme running throughout Deepak Mohanty’s findings is that the focal point needs to be all about the client, finance companies need to move away from seeing onboarding as a routine process and need to move towards understanding what the client needs and wants.

“In response to regulatory trends and requirements, banks are shifting away from proprietary trading toward flow business. Investment banks and prime brokers must therefore focus more on how they onboard, understand and treat their clients.”

Read more on Cognizant’s Efficient Client Onboarding

2. Teamwork & the use of referrals is the key for Vance Wealth Group

John Vance the founder of Vance Wealth Group, a financial advisory firm, has experience in onboarding with a small team.

For him it was crucial that his team were able to carry out the tasks so he could concentrate on development of the business.

They believe that ‘client experience is built on communication, service, and personalized advice.’

‘’Most of our clients come from referrals, I wanted to make sure everyone coming through the door had the same experience as everyone else”

“Word gets around.”


Read more on Vance’s Client Onboarding Process for Financial Planners

3. Client Wise make sure they live up to the great expectations

Ray Sclafani, the founder of Client Wise, which specialises in coaching for financial professionals highlights the importance of setting expectations before onboarding begins.

“When you meet with a potential client (and again in an initial e-mail after the relationship has been formalized), lay out how the onboarding process works and what documents and materials are needed to transfer accounts, create a financial plan and start the relationship.’’


Read more on Client Wise’s 5* Strategies for Successful Client Onboarding*

4. Kofax understands how one second is the new one minute

Kofax is a digital service provider for customer onboarding, they discuss how in banking the need for quick and easy onboarding is essential.

“It’s important for your customers to see onboarding as a single process, no matter how many channels they use. To avoid losing customers, your onboarding strategy must offer leading-edge experiences that:

– Are consistent across multiple channels

– Avoid repeatedly asking customers for the same information

– Are near-real time and reliably accurate

– Keep customers informed"


Read more on Take Banking Customers Where They Want to Go

5. Out with the paper, in with the technology is KPMG’s strategy

Many financial companies and banks still use paperwork for client details and forms, the need for industries to keep up with the technology age is essential now more than ever.

We live in a society where we are used to giving out and receiving information instantly. Along with this we expect it to be carried out with excellent customer service.

Michael Henry, the principal at KPMG, a professional services company, understands the importance of a technology based approach to client onboarding.

“For far too long, client onboarding has been viewed as a back-office function, tangential to fostering a positive client experience… In offering this paper to the marketplace, we present ideas to make the technology-based approach logical and strategic.”


Read more on KPMG’s Transforming Client Onboarding

6. Accenture explain the importance of the client, advisor and firm relationship

Accenture, a Global Management consulting and professional services firm, practices the importance of the client, advisor and firm expectations.

“An effective onboarding strategy should respect the expectations of all parties involved in setting up the new wealth management relationship

Firms providing wealth management services know that getting the client onboarding experience right over the first 90 to 120 days of the relationship is essential. Performed properly, onboarding helps set the foundation for a deeper, more profitable long-term relationship.’’


Read more on Accenture’s Getting it right from the start: Taking a strategic approach to client onboarding

7. Pitney Bowes stress the need to know what your customers want

Pitney Bowes business insight’ knows that it is crucial to retain your existing customers through building a relationship where you know what they need and want.

‘’An effective customer strategy is crucial to gain an edge over the competition, and in both the minds and hearts of customers. It is a fairly simple formula — customers want to feel known and wanted by their financial institutions, while financial institutions want to know their customers to increase effectiveness, retention, and promote cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.’’


Read more on Pitney Bowe’s Next Generation Customer Onboarding

8. Twin Technologies help finance companies become multi software friendly

The need for customers to communicate on their terms is important now more than ever.

The 9am — 5pm office hour support needs to be replaced with instant, all hours availability for your clients if you want to keep up with the competition.

Twin Technologies, a design and software consulting firm that offers mobile design and development services understands all too well the importance of this –

‘’Today’s customers are accustomed to anytime, anywhere access. If they find themselves unable to interact with your business when and how they want to, they may never start the onboarding process. Consumers want to be able to interact on their mobile devices, and across a range of browsers and platforms.’’


Read more on Twin Technologies Client onboarding, best practices for the financial services

9. Acquiring the ‘right’ customers is Harland Clarke’s must for onboarding

When onboarding customers finding the right match for your business is essential, not only does this mean your services will help your customer but they are more likely to stay with you than switch to one of your competitors.

‘’Consumers usually only change financial institutions when they are dissatisfied with their current institution, have a life event (marriage, birth of child, etc.) or have moved.

The key is to develop a program that finds microgeographic areas where consumers are “in transition” and match these areas with local branches that have had success opening new accounts. This process leads to improved targeting and a lower level of attrition at the outset. It also brings in new account holders more likely to respond to onboarding communication.’’


Read more on Harland Clarke’s 10 strategies for onboarding

10. Zurich knows how the importance of onboarding gets overlooked

Zurich financial services found that –

‘Research conducted by the Aite Group1, in the US, found that only 30% percent of wealth management businesses regard the client onboarding process as an opportunity to create competitive differentiation’

‘89 percent of consumer began doing business with a competitor following a poor experience’

Read more on Zurich’s Client Onboarding


The need for the finance industry to realise that onboarding is the most important factor for client retention and success is essential. If only 30% of wealth management businesses believe that client onboarding can help them against the competition then it is your chance to do what others are not — act now and get ahead of the game!

11. A resource for onboarding customers and making them feel special

It is now possible, without any downloads required, to send your mouse cursor across the web to appear on your customer's screen and scroll, click and type for them.

As customers, we don't really want to be filling in forms. Having someone help us through it either by guiding us or filling it in for us, as we sip coffee and learn, is a great experience.

To provide that experience, use Upscope co-browsing and you'll feel like you're sitting next to your customer completing onboarding together.

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.