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Branch Walk-ins vs Digital Onboarding:
What Led To 3X Growth in Customer Portfolio?

Financial institutions are constantly looking for ways to streamline customer onboarding and drive growth. Usually, branch walk-ins were the primary method of acquiring new customers. However, the digital revolution has ushered in a new era of online onboarding, offering convenience and speed.
So, imagine this: You need a quick loan. Now, where would you rather go – to the bank in person or just handle it online? I bet I can guess your choice! Yep, most people these days prefer the digital route. And you know what? That’s why the bank’s customer base is skyrocketing!
But does making onboarding process digital convenient is enough? No, it’s more about Building Trust around Personalized Service.

The Digital Onboarding Advantage

Branch walk-ins have long been the cornerstone of customer acquisition for financial institutions. They offer several advantages such as Face-to-face interaction, personalized services, Cross-Selling Opportunities

Their only limitations are the time constraints, where customers need to physically visit the branch during operational hours, which can be inconvenient for busy schedules. Besides, not everyone has easy access to a physical branch location. This can be a barrier for customers in remote areas.

This is where digital onboarding takes a leap forward and offers a compelling value proposition for both customers and financial institutions:

  • Unmatched Convenience: Customers can complete the onboarding process anytime, anywhere, from any internet-connected device. This flexibility caters to busy schedules and eliminates the need to visit a physical branch during limited operating hours.
  • Frictionless Experience: Digital platforms can streamline the application process, often utilizing pre-filled forms and automated verification steps. This reduces paperwork, minimizes errors, and significantly accelerates account activation compared to traditional branch visits.
  • Limitless Scalability: Digital onboarding eliminates the geographical constraints of physical branches. Customers across regions can be reached and on-boarded efficiently, fostering exponential growth potential for financial institutions.

Beyond Convenience: The Power of Digital for Customer Acquisition

The benefits of digital onboarding extend far beyond just speed and ease of use. Here’s how it empowers banking and NBFC’s to acquire new customers more effectively:

  • Reaching New Customer Segments: Digital platforms open doors to demographics that might not traditionally frequent branches, such as tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z or customers in remote locations.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: Eliminating the need for physical infrastructure and manpower associated with branches translates to significant cost savings for financial institutions, which can then be reinvested into further technological advancements or customer service initiatives.
  • Data-Driven Personalization: Digital platforms allow for the collection and analysis of valuable customer data. This data can be leveraged to personalize the onboarding experience, offering targeted product recommendations and promotions that resonate with individual needs and financial goals.

The Strategic Role of Branches in a Digital Age

While digital onboarding takes center stage, physical branches still hold value in a customer-centric approach:

  • Hybrid Onboarding: Branches can evolve to support the digital onboarding process. They can serve as walk-in resolution centers for customers who encounter technical difficulties or require additional guidance during the online application process.
  • Building Trust Through Human Interaction: For some customers, particularly those unfamiliar with digital tools or hesitant about online transactions, the ability to connect with a representative in person can be crucial for building trust and confidence. Branches can offer specialized support for these customers, ensuring a smooth transition to digital banking.

The Winning Formula: A Customer-Centric Approach

The key to maximizing customer acquisition and portfolio growth lies in a customer-centric approach that leverages the strengths of both digital and physical channels. Here’s how:

  • Seamless Omni-channel Experience: Financial institutions should create a unified customer journey that allows customers to effortlessly switch between online and offline channels. This empowers them to initiate the process digitally and then seek in-person support at a branch if needed.
  • Investing in User-Friendly Platforms: Developing a user-friendly, intuitive digital onboarding platform is paramount. The platform should be accessible across various devices, offer clear instructions, and incorporate features like progress tracking and real-time support to ensure a smooth and positive experience.
  • Data-Driven Optimization: Continuously analyze customer data to identify areas for improvement within the digital onboarding process. This data can be used to refine the platform, personalize the user experience, and address any pain points that might hinder completion rates.

Conclusion: The Future is Digital-First

The digital revolution has fundamentally reshaped customer expectations. By prioritizing a digital-first approach with a strong foundation in user experience and data-driven optimization, financial institutions can unlock exponential customer growth, build trust, and foster long-term, loyal relationships in the ever-evolving financial landscape. W

Remember, behind every loan application is a person with dreams and aspirations. Let’s make their journey smoother, one personalized loan at a time.

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