IndusInd Bank: Making Customer Onboarding a Win-Win Proposition

IndusInd Bank Making Customer Onboarding a Win-Win Proposition

A brand is defined by its customers’ experience. Going by that principle, India’s IndusInd Bank is clearly one powerful brand. Proof of this is the remarkable onboarding program the Bank has implemented for affluent customers. This digital onboarding journey helps new customers navigate seamlessly – from initiation to account set-up, all the way to the first 90 days of engagement with the bank. As such, IndusInd Bank was adjudged the Winner for “Outstanding Digital Customer Experience – Customer Onboarding” at the Digital CX Awards 2020 by The Digital Banker.

The prestigious summit and awards, running on its second year now, received 200+ nominations for various awards categories. Its panel of judges include subject-matter experts known for their integrity and unbiased adjudication from companies such as Forrester, EY, Fuji Xerox, Bain & Company, Wipro Digital and KPMG.

“At IndusInd Bank, we constantly strive to leverage on the latest technology in order to bring forth path breaking solutions for our customers. The successful execution of the digital on-boarding program is a testament to this effort. This award reaffirms our vision to create and transform key customer journeys and make them more Seamless, Easier, Faster and Transparent,” said Sumant Kathpalia, MD, CEO for IndusInd Bank.

Mr. Sumant Kathpalia MD, CEO for IndusInd Bank
Mr. Sumant Kathpalia MD, CEO for IndusInd Bank

The Goal – transform the Customer Onboarding process

IndusInd Bank Limited is India’s new generation bank established in 1994. The bank offers commercial, transactional and electronic banking products and services. As on 31 December 2019, IndusInd Bank has 1,851 branches/ banking outlets, and 2,721 ATMs spread across India, with representative offices in London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In 2018, the bank had embarked upon a mission to evaluate and re-engineer key customer journeys based on the principle of SEFT – an acronym for Simple, Easy, Fast and Transparent. One of the customer interaction journeys that the Bank prioritised to transform was the customer onboarding process, especially for Affluent clients.

In the past, the onboarding process was tedious and complex, as it involved process handshakes and handovers between multiple functional units ranging from frontline sales to branch operations to local processing hub and finally, a central operations unit. These multiple checkpoints in the customer journey were causing some degree of drop-offs or failed conversions due to manual interventions and delays. This was also creating a non-standardised customer experience which was dependent on a paper-based process and the quality of interaction with employees at the branches.

The goal was to create an onboarding program that provides customers with a frictionless digital journey – based on the principles of SEFT – from program discovery to account setup to engagement and account activation, all within the first 90 days of the relationship.

Based on industry data, a tedious experience makes almost 20% of the potential customers abandon the account opening process midway.

Keystones of the Project Implementation

Customers don’t decide to start a new banking relationship just for the sake of novelty. Hence, the bank’s immediate goal was to provide a delightful onboarding journey when a potential customer expressed an interest to do so.

Based on industry data, a tedious experience prompts almost 20% of potential customers to abandon the account opening process midway. In a bid to create a great first impression (and higher conversion), the Bank embarked on a project to implement a digital onboarding program for its affluent customers and launched the initiative in 2019.

Based on the successful implementation, the bank is now moving towards onboarding 200,000 new customers per month through digital onboarding in this year.

They have successfully implemented a robust omni-channel onboarding program across channels, which has increased conversion rates significantly. The seamless Digital-Human onboarding has also created new business opportunities within the first 90 days of a customer’s onboarding journey. Some of the key features of the program include:

  • Enabling prospective customers to initiate their relationship journey with IndusInd Bank seamlessly across multiple channels – mobile, tablet or desktop.
  • Improving customer experience with intuitive navigation of the journey through smart form factors.
  • Avoiding unnecessary re-routing of customers to back-ended or branch-based physical channels as it acts as a journey-breaker.
  • Build compliant and reliable online identity verification that eliminates paper-based KYC.
  • Incorporating autofill of existing customer information to avoid asking the same questions from existing customers who have been using other products of the bank like standalone Credit cards / Investments.
  • Providing instant account “Number of Choice” (e,g, customer’s date of birth or mobile number) so that the customer can start using the account.
  • Providing the customers the ability to reach out to their RM and Service Manager via a direct link in the Mobile App – so that everyone knows their Relationship Team.
  • Inviting customers to explore other program benefits and services through digital campaigns which have embedded links for independent activation or assisted digital activation. Clicking these links triggers an actionable for the RM / Service Manager to help the client via an assisted digital journey.
  • Using intelligent analytics to target campaigns on cross-selling sticky products and engagement hooks like term deposits, health / home protection, credit card.
  • Simultaneous digital messaging to the customers’ Service Manager if the customer encounters any hurdles in product activation or raises a service request. The Service Manager, upon seeing the notification, presses into action to help resolve the client’s issues and take the customer forward in the onboarding journey.
  • Allowing customers able to bring their family members as well as business relationship onboard the program as a household group and enjoy the program benefits across all accounts.
  • The result is an absolute win-win – for the customer and the bank. Because of the successful implementation of its omni-channel onboarding program, there have been remarkable benefits, in terms of customer experience and business opportunities.

Benefits for Customers:

  • The A/C opening is now much more seamless, faster and error-free as the application process goes through input of client information digitally via Mobile/ Tab / Desktop based platform. The process ease has helped bring down dropout ratio of customers during account opening to almost NIL.
  • The validation process of customer’s identity moved to a biometric or mobile OTP based verification using the country’s central unique identification database system. This eliminated the need for paper-based proofs of identity-reducing the returns or rejection of applications by nearly 50% thereby bringing down customer hassle of re-submitting documents.
  • A/C opening turnaround time has been reduced from 2 days to few minutes.
  • After A/C opening, the focus has shifted to sending relevant communication to customers to help them start using their account through digital channels. An intelligent rule-engine sits on top of the legacy banking systems and using API integration, checks for customer’s profile and/or transaction behaviour. Using advanced decision science based on data, the bank sends communication to clients basis a more targeted approach. Customers now find the communication more contextual and relevant, making them read and take desired action.
  • Besides the seamless digital engagement, whenever a customer gets stuck in the process of using their account program’s features /available services, there is a team of service managers ready to help them instantly. This has helped the bank reduce drop-offs and complaints by 50%.

Benefits for the Bank:

  • The onboarding journey encouraged many prospective customers to open a hassle-free account with the bank who earlier were anxious about the lengthy documentation process. New affluent customers onboarding rate increased by 20%.
  • The customers who onboarded digitally maintained 30% higher relationship balances in their accounts.
  • Household penetration into digitally onboarded customers is significantly higher than before
  • Digital channels usage and other product conversion rates during the bank’s onboarding process have increased appreciably since this implementation.
  • This has eliminated the need for a very large manual back-end operations setup for the bank.
  • Early NPS trends indicate better results than before the onboarding implementation.

Based on the successful implementation, the bank is now aiming to onboard 200,000 new customers per month through digital onboarding in this year.

The successful execution of the program has helped the bank significantly enhance the volume and quality of new customers per month. It has also improved client stickiness, relationship deepening, and transaction intensity for new clients.

“Winning this award means a lot to us. It is not just gratifying but also encouraging for us, to continue our endeavors on this path of transforming our customers’ key journeys ever more fervently,” said Samir Dewan, Head of Affluent Banking & Customer Experience for IndusInd Bank.

Read more about the winners at the Digital CX Awards 2020 here.



Download the magazine print version of this article here.

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