Financial institutions have only 14 minutes and 20 seconds to digitally on-board customers

John-Erik Setsaas

Signicat, a pioneer in trusted digital identity, today revealed that on average it takes consumers just 14 minutes and 20 seconds to abandon financial services applications. The findings, taken from Signicat’s Battle to On-board III report, show that financial institutions – including banks, insurers and credit card issuers – are losing more than half of their potential customers (55%) if applications take longer than this to complete.

The third edition of Signicat’s regular study is based on a survey of 3,500 adults across Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and Sweden on their on-boarding experience with retail bank accounts, insurance and credit cards.

As financial services becoming increasingly digital, institutions are struggling to keep up with consumer expectations when it comes to applying for financial services. The most common frustration points when applying for a service is the amount of personal information required (31%) and the length of time it takes (28%).

The result is that consumers regularly abandon these applications, and it doesn’t take long to lose most potential customers:

  • 12% have abandoned after 5 minutes
  • 40% have abandoned after 10 minutes
  • 70% have abandoned after 20 minutes
  • 86% have abandoned after 30 minutes
  • 93% have abandoned after 60 minutes

Given that around one in three (29%) applications take more than 20 minutes to complete, many providers are not meeting this challenge and are losing customers as a result.

To stay competitive and meet this challenge, financial institutions and insurers need to use existing digital identity credentials, like those from eID schemes such as BankID and iDIN or have intelligent document scanning and validation technologies integrated into the offering. Using biometrics is another area for improvement, with 34% of respondents believing providers are not taking full enough advantage of biometric data to speed up the onboarding process.

“Competition from challenger banks and fintechs is moving the benchmark for success

John Erik 2017-04-b
John-Erik Setsaas

when it comes to on-boarding. More than half of potential customers are now abandoning applications after 14 minutes and 20 seconds, not very much time to get all the KYC information required. Providers are wasting thousands of marketing pounds and euros just to get customers to the on-boarding stage only to lose them,” said John Erik Setsass, VP of Identity and Innovation at Signicat.

“Financial service providers need to explore new technologies, especially digital identity, to meet this challenge—those that do will win the battle to on-board.”