Digitize Client Onboarding for a Competitive Advantage
Automation and paperless transactions are the future. Wealth management firms that want to stay ahead the competition need to consider the right investment for their technology budgets. Digitized onboarding programs provide a vastly superior experience for advisors and clients and save time and money for firms.
Client onboarding is a comprehensive term that encompasses account opening as well as prospecting and client questionnaires. Many software tools focus on new account opening since it is the most complex, time-consuming, and expensive part of onboarding.
Here’s how digital onboarding can benefit clients, advisors, and wealth management firms.
A Better Experience for Clients
New investors want simplicity. As younger, digitally native investors begin to inherit, earn, and grow wealth, they’re looking for solutions and advisors that can match their expectations of transparency, speed, and personalization. Firms that still use mostly manual and paper-filled processes, which can be frustrating and outdated, can lead to clients and/or prospects seeking advice elsewhere.
Digitizing the onboarding experience allows customers to use the technology they’re already familiar with: videoconferencing, digital document management, electronic signatures, biometric authentication, and more. A digital onboarding program also dramatically compresses the timeline for investors and advisors; manual processes that take weeks or months to complete are done in a day or two with the right systems in place.
Repeated requests for the same information becomes a thing of the past when a firm’s system can save and remember information about a client during subsequent interactions. Valuable information and changes aren’t lost in back and forth paperwork requests and email attachments when firms use cloud capabilities to store real-time updates to a client file.
As residual effects from the pandemic continue to disrupt in-person meetings and logistics, many clients prefer doing as much business as possible online. Building an onboarding experience that caters to those expectations leaves an excellent first impression that clients will carry throughout their relationship with their advisor.
More Time for Advisors
Advisors spend a lot of time completing tasks irrelevant to providing financial advice or services. A survey from Michael Kitces found that during a financial advisor’s average 43-hour workweek, they only spent 19% of that time with clients and 17% of that time doing business development. The rest of the time — the majority of it — is spent on non-client-facing work.
Onboarding a new client represents reams of paperwork and back-end processes that could be spent prospecting for new clients, researching or completing tasks for existing clients, and other tasks that further business growth. This leaves a big opportunity for technology and automated processes to free up valuable time.
Beyond just time, automation allows for better accuracy, quicker results, and greater transparency. Removing redundancies and creating systems that streamline communication and data transfer from client to advisors eliminates frustrations and misunderstandings that naturally occur when manual processes get in the way.
A Digital Advantage for Wealth Management Providers
The primary challenge for wealth management providers is investing in the right technology and integrating systems. Competition for investment dollars is fierce, and fintech solutions drive near-constant disruption, so firms often feel like they are perpetually catching up instead of getting ahead.
Digital onboarding experiences that integrate with existing systems allow firms to close the gap between initiating and completing the account opening process and fund client accounts faster. They eliminate manual data entry and redundant, outdated systems. And, they simplify the process for advisors and reduce the number of applications and systems they need to switch between to complete their work.
Digital onboarding platforms and processes save wealth management firms time and money while also improving the experience for advisors and clients. Choosing the right systems that offer these benefits will be key for firms looking to lead out from the competition.
With Docupace’s cloud-based platform, you can reduce errors and give advisors their valuable time back to focus on serving clients and growing their business.
Our system integrates seamlessly with leading CRMs, e-signature solutions, custodians, clearing firms, financial planning software, and more, so you can streamline operations without rebuilding your existing tech stack.