There are two types of business: the quick, and the dead.
No-one wants to wait to buy, to pay, to be served, to sign-up. If your software platform can’t offer fast digital onboarding to potential customers, they won’t wait around. You’ll lose their interest, lose their potential business, and you won’t have long to wait before your own business starts to suffer.
So there are two things you need to know. One: what is digital onboarding. Two: why is digital onboarding so important to your business? And for the sake of your business, you need to know fast.
Getting customers on board
Firstly, what is digital onboarding? Essentially it is the process of turning a potential customer into an actual customer. If you’re selling coffee, that’s as simple as serving the coffee and taking the customer’s payment. If you’re selling the services of your software platform, it’s more complex.
Because this is not a face-to-face situation, digital onboarding involves identifying your customer even though you can’t see them. Then once you have identified them, you have to verify they are who they say they are. This is not just for your own satisfaction, but for the financial security of your business, and to ensure your compliance with all the relevant financial regulations designed to prevent money-laundering and fraud.
Before the world became digital, these steps would have involved lengthy processes requiring hard-copy documents as proof of identity, sent by post for manual verification. Today they can be carried out quickly, with a variety of fast digital identity verification methods.
If your software platform has integrated digital onboarding (rather than outsourcing the steps to – for example – a third-party payment processor), not only can the process be shortened to a matter of minutes, from your customer’s point of view, it is also kept entirely within your platform and therefore within your brand. After all, there are few things more likely to make a potential new customer feel like an unwelcome guest than shunting them off to a third party within minutes of being introduced.
The process can be even shorter, even more seamless and even speedier if the integrated onboarding process is – like your own platform – API-first. Although some payment models (including Pay360 Evolve) offer this, not all do, so it’s something worth looking out for.
Speedy, secure – or both?
As a rule of thumb, the speedier the digital onboarding process, the better. However, there’s are two ways of achieving a faster process: the secure way and the riskier way.
The secure way is through an integrated payments provider with fast and efficient digital processes. The riskier route is to use a payment platform which happily accepts new customers first – after only minimal checks – and then asks questions later. Unfortunately this can mean that the customer may be dropped by the payments provider once full checks have been completed. Which then leaves you with the time-consuming and embarrassing task of ejecting a nearly-new customer from your own software platform.
A payments provider who carries out comprehensive checks upfront gives you the reassurance of knowing that – once a customer has been accepted – they won’t be removed from the platform unless they breach its terms and conditions.
A win-win situation
Fast and efficient digital onboarding is good for your business and good for your customers’ business.
For your customer’s business, your software platform is an essential building block, but it’s by no means the only one. They have a thousand things to deal with, most of them equally important, so the quicker that they can sort them out, the better. By shortening the time and improving the experience of onboarding, you’re winning more customers more quickly, and strengthening their loyalty through the speed and simplicity of the process.
For your own business, digital onboarding is the key to growth, to revenue, to reduced costs and reduced risk.
It’s important for growth because a potential customer who can’t onboard quickly will quickly become someone else’s customer. It’s important for revenue, because without customers there is no revenue (some payment providers – such as Pay360 Evolve – may also represent an additional source of revenue, with payment for every transaction processed.) And because you are offering a better value service to customers, you can also pass costs onto them.
Lastly, digital onboarding is important for risk reduction because it meets all the regulatory requirements, and offloads the risk onto the payment platform provider.
Now you know what digital onboarding is, you also know what it ideally should be. Fast. Efficient. Secure. Seamless. If you can find a payments provider who can offer digital onboarding which meets all those criteria, then why wait?