Step into 2022 Today with Digital Account Opening
Research by a leading analyst suggests that digital account opening is the most important technology for the fourth year in a row. However, many banks and credit unions have still not adopted digital because of resource constraints or reluctance for business case creation. With intensifying competition and evolving customer expectations, financial institutions must get started with their digital transformation journey. The time is just right to look for the right technology partner to digitize the account opening process—the customer’s first interaction with the financial institution—and start the coming year on a promising note.
Watch our panelists as they discuss the blueprint for a smooth and successful account opening process and why it is imperative to start now for a better 2022.
Key Points of Discussion:
- Understanding perceived challenges in the implementation of a digital account opening software
- Business case understanding and analyzing the “cost of no decision”
- Challenges with current core banking/online banking system integration and how to navigate them
- Insights into Newgen’s online account opening software and consultative strategy to get the financial institutions up and running in weeks
Pat Howard: Hello everybody. My name is Pat Howard and I’m a regional manager at Newgen and will be the moderator of today’s webinar. Titled, Step Into 2022 Today with Digital Account Opening. We appreciate your taking the time to join us and hope you’ll find the webinar both helpful and informative as you start or continue your digital journey. Joining me today will be Charles Schembri, who’s the senior vice president of retail banking at Suffolk Federal, Jim Marous, who’s a co-publisher of The Financial Brand and Ankur Rawat, who is the banking products director at Newgen. Please note that we will have some time towards the end of the webinar to answer questions, and they can be asked in the chat window.
As we are approaching the end of the calendar year and making our plans for 2022, research by leading analyst suggests that digital account opening remains the most essential technology for financial institutions for the fourth year in a row. It is often the first interaction that prospective clients or members have with your FI. Many early adapters have evaluated solutions and replaced them while others are just starting their digital journey. We will be discussing the latest trends and items to consider as you move forward with your digital processes. So starting off today, the first topic is, what are the digital account opening trends to watch out for in 2022? Jim, you want to start this one?
Jim Marous: Yeah. Thanks Pat. We’ve just done some in conjunction with Newgen on digital account opening trends. We’ve found some really interesting insights. Number one, we see that more organizations than ever are actually implementing opportunities for people to open accounts digitally, either on an online app or with a digital, a mobile app. What is interesting is while that went up, we also saw improvement from last year as to the amount of time that it took to open an account last year. It was right after the pandemic, a lot of organizations implemented the ability to do things but really not the capability to do them fast and simple. Which is really the key to digital account opening. What we found this year is a number of institutions really lessened the time it took to implement the process. So not only were there more organizations given the capability to open online accounts or mobile accounts, but the speed got better. That’s the good news.
The bad news is there’s still an overabundance of organizations that really, while they enable you to open an account digitally, they really don’t do it digitally. Which means it’s not fast, it’s not simple. The speed still is way too slow. If any of you have opened an account with Apple for a credit card, you realize it’s four screens. The first one you’ve verified the information is right about you. Number two, you give the last four digits of your government ID number. Number three, you give your annual income, the fourth one is simply looking into rules and regs and saying they’re okay. By the time you get done with those four screens, the account is open. We have to, as organizations, as a financial industry, we have to make it so that account opening gets down to this two to three minute range.
This is the only way somebody will open an account phone, which is really the preferred way of opening accounts. We see that with a number of companies. The solution to this though isn’t about making a faster phone apps, it’s about fixing your back office. It’s about converting your back office from analog to reducing steps, simplifying tips. Working with partners such as Newgen, to build solutions that allow you to speed up the processes that we’ve had in place for 30 and 40 years. The reality is when you really look at the overall trends, we also ask how many of you are working with third party providers? The good news is an over abundance of organizations have realized that the only way to innovate quickly and to get implementations on the street fast is working with third party providers, such with Newgen. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to implement at speed. And many times I’ll say, it’s better to make maybe a slightly imperfect decision, as far as your partner’s concerned than to wait 12 to 14 months for the perfect decision.
The reality is, by the time you make a decision in typical banking style in 12 to 14 to 20 months, the reality is you’re going to be 18 to 24 months behind. You cannot pick up the speed that you need to implement today. And Charles going to be talking about how this really has impacted his organization and the way he made his decision. But overarching, the trends are organizations realize that their account opening volumes are going down. They’ve got to speed up the process. Organizations also found out that 40 to 70% of people that want to open account abandon the process, because it’s not simple enough. We’re not going to get the people back in the branches to open an account. We have to come to them with the right solutions. Pat.
Pat Howard: Thank you Jim. Charles, what are your thoughts on that please?
Charles Schembri: Yeah, I mean I think to echo some of Jim’s points there, speed agility, accuracy are table stakes when it comes to trends and also what is necessary to have a successful online account opening partner. We are in many cases, looking to evaluate and have evaluated our current online account opening process because a lot of the antiquated ways are causing a lot of manual work. And that back office efficiency is really where we need to spend our time focusing in on. Not only how do we help transform what is an analog process to actually be more digital, but how do we do that and create efficiencies along the way.
So the trends are exactly what Jim described. I would say to hone in on three, speed, agility and accuracy. And focusing on partners who can touch on all three of those. Jim talked about Apple. I think what consumers are are looking for today is to replicate their last experience and making sure that they have accurate, quick and easy experiences with whoever they’re engaging with. Especially a financial institution, we’re being compared to the Amazons and the Apples of the world. If we don’t have a process that is matching those experiences, we’re going to be left in the dust.
Jim Marous: It’s interesting Charles, that you mentioned around the whole digital account opening experience and using the efficiency aspect of it. I think also we have to remember that working with a partner that helps us alleviate some of those questions we have on, geez, how do we make it faster? How do we eliminate steps? How do we handle know your customer in the digital world? And that’s where a partnership comes in with third party providers. But we also have to realize that the scope of impact of making these decisions has never been greater. With digital account opening you’re no longer confined for your traditional market area.
If you find a right segment that you do really well, you can go across the entire United States or across the entire world. And we’re finding new ways to acquire customers when you have digital applications correct. If you have it right. And you don’t have all these people dropping off because it’s not simple and easy. I think what you find is you can go to a new market area, maybe it’s a adjoining one, as Charles has done at Suffolk, or it may be across the entire country. So I think we have to look at this. And again, I need to emphasize the fact that you need to do it now. You have to do it quickly.
Charles Schembri: Yeah. Jim, one thing you just said there is really important for us. So, Suffolk Federal Credit Union was historically a focused in Suffolk county in New York, on Long Island. And we’ve recently expanded our charter to include Nassau County. So that expansion opportunity is massive for us. Online account opening is really a means for us to reach a larger audience across the Long Island marketplace and also help address opportunities we have to engage with those new members and prospects, where we don’t have physical locations. So that’s on the horizon for us, potentially having those physical locations in Nassau County. This would allow us to get there much quicker and also start to engage today with digital means and also physical means as well.
Ankur Rawat: Yeah. And Charles, you already mentioned, and I would like to add to. That I recently attended this, the Avia conference. And one of the things that the bankers talked about was increasing the deposit, which is the driver for the next year as well. And while one of the way is to obviously have an online channel. There are banks, we’re actually looking at the digital only brands for themselves. So that is also a trend that we have been seeing in the market. We do have customers who have a traditional bank as well as the digital only bank. And what this allows them to do is that treat this bank, new bank as a faucet for deposits. And as soon as they need more deposits for the lending purpose, they can actually activate it and then vice versa. So this is one of the trends that we are seeing. And similarly, this has been backed by the research by insider intelligence report wherein they’re highlighting that 20% of the overall customers will be the digital bank holders by the next year.
Jim Marous: I think about the digital only bank. We also have to look and realize that we’re not just talking about checking accounts. Many cases, the checking account is no longer the lead product. We’ve seen companies like acorns and some companies. We like that payments or lending or savings may be the lead product. So when you get the account opening right, you don’t have to go by old processes and old policies as to what starts the relationship. You can start the relationship in many different ways. And when you have the digital account opening, right, it gives you that capability of doing it at scale.
Pat Howard: And I’d like to mention also that digital account opening also solves a lot of issues that the in branch account opening, the old days have taken 45 minutes to open an account, just don’t work for today’s client. So that’s another thing to consider in this whole process that you’re reworking the back office and the integrations across the board for all customer touchpoints.
Jim Marous: Pat, that’s interesting. Because in our research we saw that the growth of how many firms are implementing digital account opening. The growth on mobile was almost double or triple the amount of the growth in online, which what that told… Obviously everybody had branch. But what that growth notice was more organizations are saying, you know what? I need to focus on getting mobile right. And if I get mobile right, then I’m going to get online right. I’m going to get branch right. In fact, we’re even seeing some organizations now that are using mobile devices in the branches to open an account in a digital way, because it pretty much jumped the shark with regard to opening accounts. So just that we’re going to abandon the in branch computer based opening, and we’re just going to go right to digital, but have a new code that makes it so the employees can do it as fast as a customer could have done it themselves.
Ankur Rawat: Yeah. Yeah. And just not to elongate that discussion, but that’s a great point. And Jim, we were talking the other day as well. That the mobile first engagement mobile, first view is a preferable view. Nowadays, people are looking at bite sized screens instead of longer screens. So we are looking into that era. And again, we are incorporating that into our solutions as well. Yeah.
Pat Howard: Our next topic has to do with times people are hesitant to move forward with their digital processing due to many reasons, including low application volumes and fear on losing out on human touch. That keep them from moving forward. I wanted to see what your take is on that and what do you think is the cost of not making a decision and staying in the traditional analog waves? Charles, if we could start off with you on that one, please.
Charles Schembri: Yeah. I mean I think this is a really important area to cover here because if the last few months or year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that we need to adapt. We need to adapt to consumer’s preferences and behaviors. And they’re not coming into physical locations as much as they were in the past. The inability to act right now is going to cause as I said earlier, organizations to be left behind if they don’t adapt to digital technologies in digital ways. So that doesn’t mean you need to eliminate the physical aspect of digital online account opening. I think if anything, you need the physical to guide you in how you address the digital, right. So one of the things that we’ve en engaged with, the Newgen folks with, is looking at online account opening in branches and in physical spaces. Also using our expertise in physical spaces to design and lay the architecture for what will be the online account opening.
So that was an important part in our process in choosing a vendor was to make sure that we can not ignore the physical, but sort of ingrain the digital within some of the physical components of our interactions with our members. So critically important to not only see that, but also to ensure we’re not waiting for some time in the future to make a decision. The time is now for us, especially as we, as I said earlier, our expansion efforts are underway. We’re picking up members and building relationships in that new Nassau County expansion. So this is really a very important means to an end for us. And as I said, including physical in the digital is really critical here.
Jim Marous: It’s interesting Charles, in the research we found that the biggest inhibitor to digital account openings wasn’t budget. It wasn’t lack of people. It was culture. That we keep on thinking, while we don’t want to admit it a lot of times, that the consumer’s going to come back to the branch. That’s the preferred way of opening. Our research shows that it may not be the preferred, but it’s your default. In other words, we make it so hard for them to open an account digitally that by default, some proportion goals will come to the branch. The problem is, as I mentioned earlier, we’re still seeing about a 60% attrition rate of people that start digitally and then abandon the process. And when they do that, I’m going to tell you right now, we know where they’re going. They’re going to the biggest financial institutions or the FinTech firms as opposed to yourselves.
So we’re losing. I mean if you want to figure out how to budget for a new account opening partnership, like with Newgen, the way you budget is the amount of new accounts you’ll generate simply by avoiding the abandonment right. What’s even more important though, is when you look at this overall. My wife was in retail and retail’s already had to address this, that you have to avoid the digital being the enemy of the human. And the reality right now is if I wanted to open up an account digitally and I stumbled, let’s say I tried to open it mobilely, and it just didn’t go the way I wanted to. And I went to the branch. I will almost guarantee that 90% of the organizations are on the webinar today, that person’s going to start the process over. Make the customer feel, or member feel really good about it.
They’re going to go, you know what? Let’s start from the beginning. I want to make sure you get to it correctly. They will intentionally abandon that process. Why? Number one, you’re paying them to. You’re going to give them an incentive to make this a branch opening, as opposed to a digital opening. Number two, which is very important, is that employee feels threatened by the digital possibilities. I suggest very strongly, we need to ingrain the digital capabilities within the human aspect, especially in the branches and customer care areas. How do we do that? Number one, make them a part of the process. If a person opens an account on a digital app, many times, they’re not going to be cross-sell as cross sold as effectively. They’re not going to be referred to the next best product as well. Most organizations are having a real challenge to this.
This new account person, as soon as they open it digitally, should be immediately turned over to maybe a teller or a customer care person and said, here are the services this person most likely is going to want to open next, can you help them? This is exactly why they’re working at the bank or credit union, the role that they’re playing. They want to help customers and members. So we give them the tools to say, you’re not being limited in the digital process. You’re being supplemented. You’re being given better insight, better data, so that you can be, you can actually humanize the engagement process.
This also makes it so you’re going to get more customers and members, because you’re going to be talking around the fact that yeah, openly, digitally, but immediately, Suffolk got back to me. And they helped me through the process to say, how do I do a remote deposit capture? How do I do bill pay? How do I actually use this account to the greatest value? So we need a humanized digital, as opposed to think that their counterpoints that are working against each other.
Charles Schembri: Yeah. I’ll just add to that and say, we’ve believe strongly that it’s the marriage between physical and digital and that we are including everybody in this process. Right. I think that’s a critical part of the success of the engagement with Newgen and also just our internal goals as an organization to make sure that we move forward together. So I couldn’t agree more. And I think showcasing that you have now an extra 15 minutes to engage with other members or to start to do other things that are more value added. Because now you have this time back because you went down from a 15 or 20 minute process down to a three to five minute process. That’s an astounding amount of time that you can add value and start to bring in more cross cells retention and acquisition efforts.
Ankur Rawat: Yeah. And just to add to that, I think just going to the question itself, in terms of the inhibitions of the difference institutions in terms of adopting the digital layer. So Jim, as per your point, right. So just adopting the digital itself will increase the completion rates, but not only that, once you have the digital, you are also as Charles earlier alluding to, you have now access to a bigger market in the area. And also you are kind of attracting the millennials, Gen Z customers as well, who are just growing up, reaching that age of the financial strength, right? So you’re kind of losing on if you are not extending your platform to the digital account opening.
Jim Marous: Well it’s interesting too, because the data you collect in the digital account opening is actually greater than you would’ve been able to do on the human side. And when you combine other sources of insight, when you combine where did the customer go before they opened the account digitally? Where do they go on your website? Where do they go on their phone? How do they come in? What were they searching for? That’s information we never made available in the branch opening process. When you put these things together, digital is actually the greatest possible front door for relationship building if you put the pieces together. The simplicity of digital, the comfort level and trust of humanizing the digital process and the data and analytics that can really drive the entire process. So you’re really giving key points and tools to branch employees, your customer care employees. As to what do we help this customer with next? What do we help this member with next?
Pat Howard: Thank you, everybody. Some financial institutions and being in my role here there’s often, they have competing projects for resources to handle the project management or going digital and digital account opening. What do you suggest, how other institutions approach this to make it happen. Jim, as you mentioned you have to do it now. There’s no tomorrow, the public especially as the people start to retire with their wealth. A lot of the… I know I have two sons, one in the late twenties and one in the mid twenties, and they would think about going into a branch. So how do you suggest that other financial institution’s approach this? Ankur, we’ll let you start off on this one please.
Ankur Rawat: Sure, sure. Thanks, Pat. And I think this is one of the things that we all always hear from some of the institutions that, Hey, it’s such a big project and we don’t have the resources for it. There are several other priorities, right? And as we have seen in the industry itself, the digital account opening is the number one priority for the last four years, right. As for one of the goals. And secondly, we always tell our customers as well as the other organizations that Hey, getting started is the most important thing to do as Jim also alluded to earlier. That hey, you may select a vendor. But it’s better to select a vendor now than to wait 12 to 18 months and trying to find the best of the solution, trying to have that as the top post priority, right?
So you lose that time and the requirements, the trends might have changed. So it is very important to start right now. Okay. Get started. And secondly, we are not saying to boil the ocean, right? The industry experts are not saying that, Hey, you should have everything automated on the day one. The idea is to probably break this into a smaller chunk of pieces and then have a continuous burst of innovations in the digital account opening. So you can really take, let’s say online consumer account opening first. And then roll it out to the branch account opening as well as next to go, you can actually have the business account opening and the branch account opening.
So you can actually break the bigger chunk of project into the smaller chunks and then take it up accordingly. And additionally, with Newgen, what we do is we come with best practices. We do have lot of know how the best practices, what has worked for our customers in the past. And we bring that to the table, thereby eliminating any kind of exploration or experimentation that you want to do. And we suggest all of these best practices to you. Along with that, any integrations that we are doing because of the heavy experience with Newgen, we are trying to reduce that effort from the institution side.
Jim Marous: Yeah. As I mentioned before, if there’s one priority you need to have in 2022, if you approve the front door to your organization, we’re seeing lower and lower account acquisition numbers because we’ve made it difficult. Part of it because of COVID but even then as consumers became as Charles mentioned, as consumers became more aware of what was possible, the consumers patients level for clunky, for things that are not seamless, that are not simple, that don’t show empathy has really gone down. So first and foremost is, I would just say, where do you put your money today? Put for new account opening. Now somebody say, I need to upgrade my technology. I got to look in innovation. The reality is you can fund many of these initiatives by giving your digital account open right. If you aren’t having growth, you can’t implement this.
In addition, for those of you that say, you know what? Maybe we do it internally. The reality, I’ve seen it. A lot of other organizations seen it. Charles has seen it. Doing it internally will take a lifetime. The reason being we’re not going to be able to get out of our legacy thinking around how account opening is going to happen. Getting a partner to work with you allows you to get a third party in there that says, no, we’ve seen better ways to do this. We’ve seen better ways to do this. Oh, by the way, we’ve seen organizations have tried it the way you were going to mention, but that became a really dangerous and took forever to resolve this. What you’re looking for it’s a GPS of implementation. You’re looking for an organization that can show you the way to look at best in class experiences.
And this is why you work with a company that works in the financial services space company. A company like Newgen. So many financial institutions, they can say here’s what we’ve seen is to be the best in the marketplace, from what we’ve seen. This speeds up the process. This makes you can implement it faster. It’ll take some detours that you would’ve had happen and it actually makes it so you can have a better impact. That quick win that can not only fund the digital accounting process, but as Ankur referred to, you can expand this to other services as well. Charles, you, I know we’ve discussed it on another call, but what went in the decision with regard to why you didn’t do it yourself for instance.
Charles Schembri: Yeah. I mean you’re touching on some really critical points in our exploration. We went through a detailed RFP process as most organizations do. And what we were looking for was clearly a capable partner that has the knowhow, the expertise, and also all of the key pieces of the puzzle that go into online account opening from a deposit perspective, a loan perspective. And other ancillary integration partners that are critical in not only standing something up for 2021 that’ll, are serve our needs today, but we’ll serve our needs well into the future. So part of that process was trying to anticipate the future needs of our member base and our demographic of consumer that we serve in Nassau County and beyond. And Suffolk County and beyond. And try to match ourself up with a partner who could meet those needs in the speed, the agility, the integration partners, the knowledge, the knowhow. And really getting started, right? With putting our best foot forward with the right partner.
One of the things I will say is that just touching on an earlier question is, you may not think you have the resources. And you may not have all the dedicated resources but you’d surprised yourself and what you actually have internally that can pair up with the expertise of an organization like Newgen. I’ve seen this work not so well in the past where there’s small cohorts of people taking on this massive project. What you need to do is not necessarily shore up massive amounts of resources, but use what you have available to you. Use the people who are on your front lines. Use the people who are on your, in the back offices. In your contact center, who are getting high volumes of discussions about what works, what doesn’t work and where the pain points are.
So I think it’s again, bringing that person-to-person or human element back into the digital sphere of this project to make sure that you’ve got the right people. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you think you have the right resources at first. You probably do, you just don’t know. So getting started is critical. And as everybody has said, Newgen’s expertise on this stuff, it is very profound and important.
Jim Marous: One more thing on that too, Charles, is we’re seeing just in a discussion today. Don’t let size of your organization be an inhibitor to taking action. The best third party solution providers out there can work with any size organization to get the results you need. Just going to be a scaling issue. Number two, get excuses such as well, our data is really in bad shape. Our technology’s not up to date. We haven’t updated our technology. Any of those… Or about your core provider. Any of those excuses can be resolved by working with a targeted account opening provider that can get you there. And the reality is these are all valid excuses, but I’ve seen it because we had the financial brand form for many years prior to COVID. And we saw that vendors were talking to vendors more than they were talking to institutions.
The reason being, we were all trying to find a way to better work with each other. So I’m sure Ankur can talk to this and love to hear what his view are. There’s not a core system they’re not familiar with. There’s not a partner they haven’t worked with in some way in the past. They, the ability to move the partnership forward is based on how well organizations work with each other. That stand in the way in your organization and you think are going to make us so you can’t do it. The reality is you’ll look back at some point and say, geez, this wasn’t as hard as I thought and the key, and I’m going to keep on bringing this up, get it done in the first quarter of 2022. Opposed to putting it down and saying, oh, we’ll get this done in 2022. The reality is most organizations won’t even do it 2022, if it becomes broad of a goal. So do it quick and make sure you partner. Ankur, I made have stole some on your thunder but yeah.
Ankur Rawat: No, no, no. Absolutely. No. Jim, you mentioned it rightly well. And just taking a segue from that, we recently held our customer advisory panel in the group. And one of the things that some of the customers did mention there was the ability for Newgen to take over the integration efforts from their side. So once they just introduced us to their integration partners, like co banking, ID verification. We just took all of the work off of their plate and we just integrated with them. So they were really complimenting in terms of the Newgen work and doing the heavy lifting for these organizations. So you are very rightly right in saying that during pandemic we did connect a lot of other institutions and the vendors as well as the banks.
Pat Howard: Great. Thank you everybody. Well, often it’s the first step in digital transformation. The ultimate meeting of the account opening process certainly can transform things and make a meaningful difference for your members and customers. But there’s more to that. How can financial institutions ensure a consistent experience across all products? Including retail lending, small business lending, commercial lending, in addition to account opening and other areas. Charles, can we start off with you on this please?
Charles Schembri: Yeah, sure. So I mean I think that the goal for most organizations is creating a consistent omnichannel experience, right? And the first steps of doing that is to ensure that you’ve got all of the channel partners engaged in this process, right. You can’t create that omnichannel experience or that similar experience across different channels without having everybody in the room, so to speak. I think it’s critical, as I said earlier, to make sure that you’ve got the right subject matter experts engaged and their teams engaged in this process. Make sure that you’re questioning why you do what you do today. Not solving for today’s problems with short term solutions, but thinking longer term to those problems and issues. And making sure you’ve got the right people in the room.
So I can’t stress it enough that the stakeholders that need to be at the table and involved in this process from day one through completion, need to all be in lockstep across the board. That’s going to help to create this frictionless experience that will allow for somebody who’s calling into your contact center or walking in the front doors or in their living room on a mobile device, experience the same thing. Just as if they were walking in the doors and having that personal experience. So that to me is really the most critical part.
Pat Howard: Thank you, Jim?
Jim Marous: Charles, I’ll add to that that the organization. Yeah, Charles, they are the best and you referenced it. Brought everybody to the table. So let’s say we’re working on checking account new opening. Most organizations have brought everybody to the table said, number one criteria is get rid of everything we have in the current. Everything is up for negotiation and can be taken off. Start from a blank sheet of paper, as opposed to starting from where we are now. Because what happens in banking? We add later, we don’t subtract later. So start with a blank sheet of paper. Number two, you brought up very well. Involve everybody within the organization that the stake in product lines, because what you end up doing is building a better new account opening process for all product. Better digital loan process, better digital credit card process, better digital investment process.
And you may come up with some type of universal app. Thirdly, make sure you involve people that you usually try to avoid your last minute, which includes legal and compliance. The reality is if they buy into the process, if they’re part of the building process, you won’t all of a sudden build something that’s fantastic. That somebody shoots down. And most importantly, you need top management for the port to say, you need to get this done within this timeframe. And it needs to be under this number of minutes, as far as getting it done. If you don’t have top management commitment to completely disrupting the process, you won’t [inaudible 00:37:05]. We worked with an organization seven years ago now in Poland, [inaudible 00:37:10]. And they took their account opening process from what was now 17 minutes in most organizations in the United States. They took it down [inaudible 00:37:20].
But in addition, they built new components into their digital accounts that included an always access [inaudible 00:37:29]. Could actually just push a button and get credit. So there’s other elements and other benefits that come out of this. But the reason why they did it is that management said, no one’s come out of this room until we have this, this and this. And it was a very high bar. And they said, you solve it as to how you get there. [inaudible 00:37:50] we have a very big organization we’re familiar with in the United States that said the only way they were able to do it is take it all off the table. Say we will not let the customer do anything. And we have to open our mind to what we can do for them and not think in the old analog way. Ankur, what is some of the [inaudible 00:38:11] the hurdles that put people challenges you’ve seen with regard to people put in place or the potential of expanding, just a new account opening process to something greater.
Ankur Rawat: Yeah, yeah. And Jim, I lost you there just for a while, but I do understand the context of your question. So while you have taken the bigger picture in terms of bringing all the people together, I think from a technology vendor perspective, what I have seen is to ensure that you have a consistent experience. Again, one of the situations could be you have a digital online loan application from one vendor and then another digital account opening solution from another vendor. Now in that case, it’s very difficult to have that kind of consistent experience for the customers because at the end, if they… You want to bundle the offerings, if somebody has to go for a credit card at the same time, when they are choosing a checking account, it’s simply not possible. Secondly, even if you do tend to integrate these systems and then switch when cross-selling a credit card to a new customer, then again, the experience that they would carry would be different, right?
What we propose and suggest is having a single platform for all these solutions. For example, one of the banks in Boston area, which is implementing Newgen solution, they’re already using a lending platform from Newgen. So they’re online loan applications for the businesses would come from Newgen. Now they’re also implementing now our online account opening solution. The benefit that they would have is that the data that has been already entered for a loan application is already available. So we are able to cross utilize that in take in terms of bundling the products, as well as cross-selling. And the customers now, they don’t have to re-key in all the data that they have already captured in the loan application.
They would rightly go into the funding page, all the [inaudible 00:40:15], all of the checks would already be done. And the business account opening and the business loan application would be completed within few minutes. So that’s the power of utilizing the same platform to provide a consistent experience. The UI branding guidelines, all of those will be consistent. But at the same time, you have the power of reducing the turnaround time, as well as reusing the data that has been already captured.
Pat Howard: Great. Thank you everybody. The last topic we have today is for Charles and that has to do with, why did you make a decision to replace your existing solution? And why did you choose Newgen? What did you find different about Newgen’s digital account opening solution built on Newgen One’s digital transformation platform that was different and led you to the path you’ve chosen?
Charles Schembri: I think the answer really lends to a culmination of a lot of what we’ve discussed and the expertise that Newgen has. I think, we, as I said earlier, went through a rigorous RFP process. Newgen being a part of that, took the process very seriously. Given that they have the expertise in this area and have done this for many, many other customers. The seriousness that they approached this situation with an understanding that this was a massive project and undertaking for us with some hesitations, with some concerns. Some of us having done this before in the past with some battle wounds and scars, trying to figure out how do we partner with the right organization who can help us ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes that others have made in the past.
And that’s really what it came down to was the team has showcased their specialization. The team has showcased their commitment to guiding us through the process, making sure we have the best experience from an integration partner perspective. From a thoroughness and completeness perspective, the engagement and service from the project teams thus far has been fantastic. And really, it boils down to what we’ve been talking a lot about today, which is speed, agility and accuracy. And we felt that Newgen was the organization that could deliver best on that. Given how they engaged with us through the entire process from early conversations through actually signing off on the contract. So a lot of that was really part of our consideration set. I will say this is for many organizations, one of the most involved processes that they will go through aside from a core conversion or something of that nature.
The key to understanding the value in the expense is that this is a transformative business process. That will help you and your organization propel light years into the future from where we are today with existing online account opening. So all of that, seeing the future state and also understanding we need to build a product for the future, Newgen came to the table to deliver that.
Ankur Rawat: Yeah. And just wanted to build upon your response, Charles. So you did mention speed, agility and accuracy. And on the agility part, that’s where Pat, we take a pride in terms of helping our customers with their unique requirements, right? So online account opening or digital account opening typically is a pretty standard process with the same milestones in the journey. Right? But when the push comes to shove, what we have seen is that the key requirements, the unique requirements of each institutions are different, right? And they want those to be implemented. For example, I’ll give you a real life example. One of our customers, they ask a question that, Hey, for some of these servicing requests, why do my customers, my members have to come to the branch, right? Can we not embed that as part of the online journey?
Now this was for a certificate of deposit, CD account, right. And the servicing aspect was in terms of selecting the dividend payouts, selecting what happens to the CD after it mid shows. So what we did was we were able to incorporate that as part of the online journey itself so that the customers can sell it. What happens to the dividend payout? Do they cash it out? Do they transfer it to one of the checking accounts that they’re opening and what happens on the maturity? Do they again, get a full check or do they renew the CD or they, again, transfer it to one of the checking accounts. So these are the real life examples where in the complexity and the benefits related to that feature are immense for our customers. And that’s where the agility of Newgen platform comes into picture. Wherein we don’t say no to these requirements, we incorporate these and learn from these. For our future customers as well.
Jim Marous: It’s interesting when we talk about the need to implement these ideas, we have to realize that banking as an industry has changed dramatically. I mean I go back obviously many years, but I go back where the branches that were across the street and across the corner on the four intersections. And the reality is our [inaudible 00:46:14]…
Ankur Rawat: Jim, we are, we’re losing you.
Jim Marous: … petition now. If I ask every institution on the call to help, two hundred and some of them. Who do you consider your competition? It’s going to be the biggest organizations. It’s going to be those that already get digital account [inaudible 00:46:31]. Correct. Now we have to realize that is the determination as to success.
Pat Howard: Well that completes our topic session of the webinar. And we’re now start asking questions, which you can, once again, enter in the chat window. Any questions you have. The first one Jim, is for you. And it has to do with the average expected time for somebody to complete an application through an online account opening. And I guess that might also change whether it’s a consumer or a commercial account as well.
Jim Marous: Well I’m not sure if I’m coming in as well. I think I’ve had some problems with my Wifi or whatever, but it should be under five minutes. [inaudible 00:47:24] sign signals. But it is got to be under five minutes to be in the realm [inaudible 00:47:29] competitiveness is. And actually it’s got to be faster for the mobile device. It’s got to be shorter. Because the patience of a consumer with their mobile app is a whole lot less. With regard to the different types of accounts, I mean, it does scale up. I would [inaudible 00:47:51] commercially small business is very close to the personal accounts, the consumer accounts. And [inaudible 00:47:58] account because you’re [inaudible 00:47:59]. It’s not a whole lot different. Yes, there there’s a little bit more patience, but most commercial accounts are going to still use the branches from our experience.
Pat Howard: Thank you. The next question is for Charles, and that has to do what factors should an FI take into consideration for selecting an online account opening platform?
Charles Schembri: For us, it was really related to our goals, right? And what did we want to achieve as an organization? Right. So this is a very large consideration for the organization. And I think it… You have to go into this type of a project and engagement with key outcomes that you want to see and achieve. With the project for us, I can say definitively, it really boiled down to how do you meet the needs of consumers in markets where you don’t have physical locations. And you want to deliver best in class experiences in a easy environment. To use, right? It comes down to ease of use at the end of the day. And I think our goals were different than some other organization goals might be.
But for us, it was about expansion and reaching new members and prospects. So it’s really about goal setting. As Jim said earlier, it’s critical to ensure that the executive team and all other parts of the organization and business leaders are working in concert to ensure those are the in fact goals, that the organization has set forth. And working towards achieving them. If those are achieved by online account opening and with the right partner then you’ve got your path forward.
Pat Howard: Thank you. This next one, we’ll start off with you, Ankur many banks have online account opening, but still are unable to improve their deposits and customer base. What are some of the reasons for that happening?
Ankur Rawat: Yeah. So that’s an interesting question, Pat. So typically we have seen that online account opening in itself definition is varied, it can mean different things. So for some institutions, maybe a couple of years back, it just meant having a page, an online form for the application, right. It was just a form. And even before that, it was a PDF, fillable PDF that people used to download and then upload it, send it back to the bank. Now what we are really talking about here is an online account opening or a digital account open experience, which is frictionless, user friendly and intuitive. Okay. So which is reducing and kind of motivating the customers to fill and complete the application, which is intelligent enough to automatically pre fill. Lot of the data reduce the friction of customers having to enter their first name, last name, address all of that if somebody is using a mobile device and we are providing the capability of extracting the data from the ID proof, driver’s license.
Now, those are very unique, small things that are available within Newgen solution. But that’s what true digital account opening means. And just extending that to the back office piece itself. So a lot of times what happens is that you may have a great digital experience, but when a lot of these applications, which are, have to be reviewed before the account is open. Go into the back office. If you don’t have a great back office, a system which can handle the exceptions, which can automatically tag the exceptions, highlight what is wrong, and then sometimes even automatically resolve the exceptions. Then it defeats the purpose, right?
So you need to combine the digital account opening as well as a great robust back office process, because you don’t want to follow up again, call the customers for additional information. Which they might have missed earlier, or which was incorrect. You want to have a great customer experience by deepening the relationships rather than just doing the follow ups. So I think it’s just having a true digital platform, plus a great back office experience for the employees as well. Jim, your thoughts on that? Any, if any.
Jim Marous: Yeah, you said it really well that if you don’t link the processes together. If you use old process, combined with new, the reality is just it putting a process together with duct tape and chicken wires, they say. And it’s not going to work well. Charles said really well. You got to rethink everything. You got to put everything on the table. Because if you don’t, if somebody has an area that they hold tight, they won’t let go of the way they’ve done it, that person needs to be brought up to speed as what is the requirements in the world. The person’s going to have a better chance of losing their job because the competition than they will because of a digital automation process, a robotic automation process. The reality is we still need that person, but we need them in a different way. So again, if somebody holds onto their legacy way of doing things, it’s going to blow up. It just isn’t going to work. They’re not going to fit together as you said.
Ankur Rawat: And Charles, any thoughts from your side on this? I mean even after despite implementing so-called online account opening, sometimes the results are not there. So any thoughts on the reasons behind that from your side?
Charles Schembri: I think it’s, you guys are covering it all really well here. The reasons why it doesn’t go well is for all the reasons why we’ve sort of, I’ve stated we chose Newgen. And that is we understand the value of the capabilities in the member facing platform that you guys are creating. We also understand that the value in the back office platform that you’ve you have created. It is that is really going to be critical to have that marriage between front office, back office and also creating stellar experiences for our member. That’s critical, right? When you don’t take all of that into consideration, when you don’t have a holistic view on this process. When you don’t have the right integration partners or capabilities, things fall apart. And I think that’s critical to the success of this program and project here, is that keeping open dialogue, lines of communication between Newgen and your integration partners.
The front office and Newgen. The back office and Newgen. The front office, back office and Newgen. So it’s really about collaboration, consistent collaboration, consistent communications. And also, as I said earlier, learning from other folks mistakes, right. We benefit from that now, and many of us have been through it. So we know the roadblocks and the barriers. So it’s just being attentive and not rushing through this. It’s taking your time and making sure you’ve got the right people at the table.
Ankur Rawat: Thank you.
Pat Howard: One last question. And this is for, on you Ankur. It is will Newgen be joining a five serve, open banking marketplace? They are touting it as a way to reduce cost from both the core and the provider.
Ankur Rawat: Sure. I think we can explore that. We can take a note of it and explore internally within the marketing division that we have, if we are joining that or not. But yes, we truly work closely with all of these core banking vendors, as well as other partners. Understanding what they have to offer, which we can utilize to partner with them and deliver satisfaction to our customers. So we’ll explore that.
Pat Howard: Yeah. And I think I may be wrong here, but that’s a fairly new program. I attended a conference called the prominent premier partnership conference, which is the Fiserv premier core users. A billion dollars in assets and above. Around three weeks ago. And Fiserv didn’t announce that, and most of the banks there were not aware of it until after the vendor sessions were over. And it was closed down to just the Fiserv and the clients. So, correct me if I’m wrong, whoever set that question in, but I feel that’s a pretty new program. We do have clients utilizing all the Fiserv, the core systems, premiere, precision, DNA, and so forth that we’ve integrated with currently. But certainly we are always looking to expand our markets and our partnerships.
I think that was the last question. So I’d like to thank everybody for attending today. I hope you found it informative and helpful. Charles and Jim, thank you so much for participating, and I wish everybody a very great rest of your day. And we will have recordings of this session available for you to get a copy of. If anybody has any additional questions, please put them in the list and we’ll follow up after the conference. Once again, thank you everybody, and have a wonderful rest of your day.
Ankur Rawat: Thanks everyone. Thank you. Bye.
Charles Schembri: Bye.