The Advantages of Digitizing Client Onboarding
Digital client onboarding is the future for wealth management firms. While some have embraced paperless onboarding processes to save time and money, research shows that gaps still exist between wealth managers’ and clients’ preferences and the realities of onboarding at many firms.
Client onboarding is the process of introducing new clients to a wealth management firm with the goal of a long-lasting relationship. Wealth management firms understandably require clients to fill out many questionnaires and forms before the work of advising clients can begin. This leads to some unnecessary challenges.
Going digital with client onboarding can streamline client interactions, create more time for wealth managers to work with clients, and give clients options they actually prefer.
Streamline Client Interactions
One of the most obvious advantages of digitizing onboarding is streamlining client interactions. 37% of wealth managers view the account opening process as the most cumbersome part of client interactions. Paper forms are often repetitive and difficult to track. Advisors also spend a surprising amount of time ensuring paperwork is completed and filed when the process is done manually.
Crucially, paper onboarding is also prone to mistakes and missing information. With digitized client onboarding, paperwork is submitted correctly the first time and available in real-time. Additionally, not in good order (NIGO) rates can be reduced to low single digits, saving clients and financial advisors stress.
At the end of the day, digitized onboarding is faster and more accurate than old-fashioned paper systems. Electronic processes allow new account paperwork to be electronically signed, recorded, processed, confirmed, tracked and transmitted within minutes.
Spend More Time With Clients, Less Time on Paperwork
If you ask most wealth managers and their clients what work really matters, it’s not onboarding paperwork. Filling out repetitive forms and chasing down signatures are a waste of time when digitizing onboarding paperwork could give advisors more time to serve their clients.
Of wealth managers surveyed, 59% agreed that the time they spend on account opening paperwork cuts into valuable client facetime. And, this time adds up — financial advisors spent less than 20% of their time meeting with clients. A paperless process would free advisors to spend more time with clients.
Digitized onboarding cuts down repetitive data entry as well. Integrated systems provide real-time access to client information when integrated with client relationships management platforms (CRMs). Paperless systems allow wealth managers to get right to work when a new client is onboarded and keep up to date with changes.
Giving Clients What They Want – A Digital Experience
In addition to saving wealth management firms time and allowing them to focus more on serving clients, digital onboarding is rapidly becoming the norm. Younger generations of investors, Millennials and Gen Z, expect digital offerings from their firms. However, the convenience and ease of digital wealth management have begun to transcend generational divides, and even older investors prefer these tools.
The majority of clients would prefer digital-only account opening, but that preference isn’t currently reflected in the options available to them. Although only 40% of firm accounts are opened via digital-only methods, 65% of customers would prefer it. This means there’s a 25% gap between what clients want and what firms are offering.
Digital client onboarding gives wealth management firms a competitive advantage over firms that stick to a paper process. More efficient paperless processes save clients and advisors time. More accurate paperwork populates CRMs in the cloud so financial advisors can work with real-time information from anywhere. This is more important than ever as tech-savvy clients expect digital offerings like onboarding, performance dashboards, and self-service financial education.
Docupace’s cloud-based platform can enhance your customer experience and save your financial advisors valuable time. Are you ready to learn about Docupace’s paperless client onboarding solutions? Request a demo today.
Ryan George is the Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace. He is responsible for the company’s brand awareness, early-stage sales pipeline, content strategies, customer and industry insights, internal and external communications, design, and events. George actively engages in leadership roles in both the financial services and marketing communications communities. He a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invitation-only, fee-based organization of senior-level communications and public relations executives, the CMO Council and the CMO Club.