Client Onboarding FAQs

Frequently asked questions on client onboarding, the first step in onboarding new clients for financial institutions.

Learn About Client Onboarding

Client Onboarding is the first step involved in onboarding new clients for financial institutions. To open a new account, financial institutions require clients to undergo a Know Your Customer review.

This involves submitting KYC data and documentation to prove that the client is who they say they are and validates their sources of funds.

For more information on Client Onboarding, read this in-depth case study about Mizuho Americas’journey to group-wide synergy for institutional client onboarding.

The more complex the client, the more challenging client onboarding becomes. Client onboarding can be a lengthy and frustrating experience for clients. One of the biggest bottlenecks of client onboarding is Know Your Customer and Customer Due Diligence (KYC and CDD) processes. This involves collecting, processing and validating a significant amount of KYC data and documentation designed to ensure that the client and their sources of funds are legit. 

KYC reviews are incredibly time-consuming, with research from Fenergo’s KYC Trends in 2022 report revealing that a single client review can take up to 60 days for 40% of banks to complete.

Client onboarding is the first step in a new relationship for a financial institution and its customer. As first impressions last, creating a client onboarding experience that is fast, digital and smooth can unlock future revenue potential as clients are more willing to go through the product onboarding process again to onboard new products and/or solutions. On the flip side, a negative first client onboarding experience could turn prospective clients off the process – either abandoning the initial client onboarding experience altogether or turning them off future onboarding experiences.

McKinsey (2022) estimates that global banking revenues will increase by 9% year on year up to 2025, with corporate clients making up a sizeable portion of this increase. Therefore, it is crucial that corporate banks have a smooth, streamlined and digital onboarding process to manage this increase in business and claim more business through a differentiated client experience.

A great client onboarding process can deliver a significantly improved client experience that can translate into a significant competitive advantage. It can also deliver improved operational efficiencies with tangible cost savings and unlock future revenue potential with existing clients.

Financial institutions will measure client onboarding against the following key metrics:

  1. Time to onboard – how quickly a client can be onboarded
  2. Time to revenue – how quickly a financial institution can book revenue against the newly onboarded client

Read the commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on A time & cost study of client onboarding for complex institutional clients.