These days, applying for a bank account or a loan is extremely easy. Most banks, whether small or large, have an online webpage where applicants can easily submit their details, KYC documents, e-verification, etc.

With the promise of user-friendliness and ease in mind, I applied for a bank account online. I submitted almost everything as the bank portal asked, and because I was in my office, I didn’t have some of the necessary documents on hand, which I later sent to the bank via post. Everything about the application process was straightforward and easy and I was pleased with the experience. Surprisingly, almost eight days later when I followed up with the bank’s customer care about the status of the account, he replied that the application was still processing. Upon enquiring about the exact stage of the account, the customer care representative said the account was stalled with the back-office department and he couldn’t track their system. Two days later when I called again, they asked me to send the documents again.

This is where the whole customer journey fell apart. Suddenly my impression of an easy and pleasant customer experience collapsed, and I was left picturing endless emails with no accountability, chasing customer care representatives for a follow-up, and even thinking about the next closest bank on the high street.

The Big Mistake: Focus on the Frontend

Banks today have invested heavily in an easy and “fancy” frontend channel while forgetting the real devil behind the scenes—a broken process with multiple disjointed systems filtering into various stages of the “onboarding process”.

The “onboarding process”—I feel that is the wrong term. Instead, banks should call it an “onboarding service” and view it as an end-to-end service—knitted over a common platform, communicating tightly with all channels and internal systems, and continuing the journey until an account is opened, a loan is disbursed, or an application is fully rejected. Initiating an online application is not the complete customer journey. Fulfillment of the customer application, ensuring all compliances, handling of all exceptions, making the necessary approvals, and most importantly, end-to-end tracking is the complete customer journey.

An end-to-end automated journey not only provides better customer service but also builds tight controls on regulatory compliances.  A few months ago, I read about a large European bank that had been penalized by a national regulator for lapses in their operations by not meeting compliances in the customer onboarding journey. One of the key lessons here is that disjointed systems attract gaps, both for customer and internal operations. These gaps act like hollow pits where compliances fall, followed by penalties, customer dissatisfaction, and a loss of business.

What Customers Want

Customers look for a great end-to-end customer experience. This requires more than just KYC (Know Your Customers), CIP (Customer Identification Program), and a single face to the customer. Great customer experience requires that banks develop a contextual understanding of prospects—i.e. their requirements, situation, and exceptions—to be pre-emptive and proactive in engaging with them.

The Newgen Approach: Focusing on End-to-End Service Automation

Our automation approach for banks is configured (not developed) over a low code application platform, enabling banks to break existing silos and automate processes that cut across departments, functions and systems seamlessly for both transactional and customer context. Our unified platform, coupled with ready to use “service automation accelerators” (for onboarding, retail and business loan origination, trade, etc.), enables banks to connect people, processes, and systems in their ecosystem and deliver customer-centric, agile, and responsive end-to-end service.

Newgen’s automation model, with integrated tight controls and seamless service, disallows unnecessary interventions and gaps. This prevents fraudulent practices and compliance failure risks, giving our clients the peace of mind, they require and giving their customers the experiences, they deserve.