It’s no secret that customer acquisition is a key prerequisite to topline sales growth. In a recent white paper, ‘Omnichannel Customer Acquisition 2.0’, Bob Meara, analyst at Celent, reiterates that offering a 2.0 capability is increasingly important for financial services to reach digitally driven customers.

The problem is that although FIs have made considerable progress in accommodating what account holders are asking for, other industries such as e-commerce or digital travel are setting the bar higher every day. The ugly truth is that, according to Meara, today “omnichannel customer acquisition remains largely aspirational for most North American financial institutions.”

What is omnichannel customer acquisition and why it matters? 

Celent defines omnichannel customer acquisition as the “front end” of a customer onboarding process consistently delivered across all channels. At least four characteristics distinguish second-generation approaches (heavily digital) from first-generation customer acquisition schemes (more geared towards traditional branch experiences.)

  1. Customer-centric workflow across all channels.
  2. Optimum use of mobile capabilities.
  3. Insight into the customer journey.
  4. Low-friction engagement mechanisms.

Omnichannel customer acquisition matters as multiple channels — digital ones specially - are influencing the way consumers interact with their banks and financial services providers. In other words, banks need to close the deal whenever and wherever customers make the decision to onboard.

Experts’ clear message for banks is to move pass the early days’ rudimentary mechanisms for account and loan origination which, although deployed online, still required customers to come to the branch for in-person KYC checks and to submit paperwork. To do otherwise is inconvenient for potentially profitable prospects, and disadvantageous for institutions wanting them as customers, assures Bob Meara in the white paper.

Leveraging mobile capture to move from aspirational to real omnichannel customer acquisition

Mobile technologies create real opportunities for financial institutions to capitalize on cost-effective and engaging customer acquisition methodologies.

Bob Meara highlights the unsung benefits of using mobile capture to optimize the omnichannel customer acquisition experience:

  1. Reducing friction in the data capture step by extracting data directly from IDs and other documents presented by the prospect. Using machine learning, Mitek’s mobile auto capture technology, MiSnap, extracts relevant front-side ID information and rear-side barcode scans. “Using those documents to reduce data capture friction kills two birds with one stone,” highlights Meara.
  2. Outsmarting faulty Knowledge-Based Authentication with ID document authentication. KBA is said to be less and less effective with every new data breach. The Celent report stresses that, even if KBA remains effective, banks need a reliable and consumer-satisfying alternative such as identity verification based on IDs authentication.
  3. Real time ID verification. Using a variety of approaches, real time ID verification aims to establish that a government-issued ID presented by a prospect is genuine. Current image analytics power fast, easy, and accurate ID verification via mobile devices.
  4. Creating another factor of authentication with facial biometrics. Some identity verification applications offer the additional assurance that prospects presenting a valid ID are doing so with their own ID, not a stolen one.
  5. Proving liveliness to mitigate risk of spoofing. Advanced solutions ensure not only the facial match between the person presenting the ID and that featured in the portrait photo on the ID, but also show that the ID’s holder is a live person, not a static image that could have also been stolen.

You can download ‘Omnichannel Customer Acquisition 2.0’, a Celent’s white paper, and get deeper into your planning towards the second-generation of omnichannel customer acquisition.


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