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Why digital onboarding is the future

Why digital onboarding is the future

By John Dobson CEO, SmartSearch

It has become a cliche at this point to say that the pandemic has changed everyone’s lives in myriad ways — but that doesn’t make it any less true. In particular, the various lockdowns and restrictions forced companies to increase their reliance on technology, and invest in tools that enabled them to do their jobs from the comfort of their own homes. To that end, digital onboarding is no longer just a nice-to-have, but a requirement of doing business in this post-pandemic age.

What is digital onboarding? Simply put, it is the process by which new customers can sign up or be registered for your company, product or service remotely. During the depths of the pandemic, when face-to-face meetings were discouraged except where absolutely necessary, digital onboarding became the primary way for businesses to bring on new clients and employees, as well as conduct anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) checks. Even as life gets back to normal, the ease and convenience of digital onboarding have ensured that it will remain a popular choice for clients and businesses alike.

With that said, it is important to remember that convenience should not outweigh security and compliance. There are several key functions that a digital onboarding service should provide:

  • Automatic KYC and AML checks
  • Ongoing updates for sanctions and PEP lists.
  • Multi-point verifications using reliable credit reference data
  • Electronic verification of government-issued documents, and
  • Biometric validation to confirm the person’s identity

Taken together, these functionalities enable businesses to manage their risk effectively and protect against fraud.

Of course, it is understandable that some businesses, particularly those that have lagged behind when it comes to digital transformation, would be skeptical of relying too heavily on technology and automation. But it is important to remember that there’s no guarantee that being able to check over the documents in person will be a more accurate method of detecting fraud than allowing a computer to do it — and it also takes significantly more time and resources to do in-person checks.

We also live in a world where it’s possible to set up a bank account on your smartphone in a matter of minutes — and people have come to expect that level of convenience from all their business interactions. Digital onboarding has therefore become a requirement for every organization hoping to operate successfully and effectively in the modern age.

Additionally, by making the switch to digital onboarding, companies have the opportunity to make it more seamless, secure and efficient, thus improving the customer experience and reducing the overall workload. As Andrew Beatty, the head of Global Next Generation Banking at FIS, points out, when it comes to technology transformation, it shouldn’t purely be a question of swapping out one system for another — instead, he says, “all organizations should consider how they can leverage advanced technology to enable things that weren’t even possible before.” With digital onboarding, and the aid of advanced technologies like AI, companies can speed up the identity verification process while improving accuracy

Finally, the growing popularity of remote work and flexible schedules has demonstrated the need for digital solutions that enable employees to work efficiently regardless of whether they’re in the office or at home. Digital onboarding fits in perfectly with this new landscape, as it enables companies to carry out all the necessary due diligence while offering workers increased flexibility.

Digital onboarding automates several existing processes: fraud checks, KYC checks, and sanctions checks, thus enabling businesses to verify in a matter of seconds whether a person is someone they want to do business with, or someone they should avoid at all costs. It’s more than just an easier way of onboarding someone; it is also an investment in technology that will keep your business safe, and reduce the risk of getting involved in something fishy — or worse, illegal.

About the author

John Dobson is CEO of SmartSearch, a leading UK provider of anti-money-laundering software. Its anti-money-laundering verification platform conducts individual and business searches, both for the UK and international markets with automatic worldwide sanction and PEP screening.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.

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