First Impressions Count  

Improving the account opening process for Millennials and digital banking customers

​Little things can add up. A new study shows that Millennials and digital customers see room for improvement in retail banks’ account opening processes. Where were the gaps? And what small steps could banks take to create a better experience?

Serving Millennials and the digital customers of tomorrow

Millions of consumers open new accounts every day with online stores, cable companies, mobile ridesharing apps, and of course, with banks. Now imagine one such consumer—a Millennial named Max—opening a new account at a popular online shopping site. On the same day, Mia—another Millennial—opens a new account at a bank. Who do you think had a better experience—Max or Mia?

If you thought Max, you are likely wrong.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the account opening process at many banks seems to have become burdensome, due to heightened regulatory demands and compliance and control pressures. Banks today collect more customer information than ever before, follow a greater number of steps while onboarding, and ensure strict controls throughout the customer service life cycle.1 Meanwhile, the ease of opening a new account on digital platforms—in online commerce, ridesharing services, and even person-to-person (P2P) payments and online lending, is resetting customer expectations, particularly among Millennials.

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