In this blog series we examine BPM from multiple perspectives and you can find my last post Part 3 – The Perficient Approach here. Part 4 of our series looks at specific challenges faced by investor services firms in the client onboarding process.
Unique Challenges in the Investor Services Industry
Did you know that a large, Tier 1 bank can spend more than $100 million a year on client onboarding, when you consider information technology and operations? Since onboarding is the critical, first client experience with a firm, why does the process remain largely manual, error prone, time consuming, and risky in terms of compliance with global regulations and the client experience? There are four primary reasons that client onboarding remains a pain-point for investor services firms:
- Complex Manual Process are largely paper-based and involve 300-600 questions, 5-10 workflows, 30-150 documents and 200-300 business rules.
- Re-keying of Data Increases Errors and multiple forms requiring manual data entry are common. This introduces errors such as incomplete or illegible responses and typos, adding cost and increasing cycle time.
- Relatively inflexible processes mean that new product introductions, changes in regulations and compliance policies, and organizational changes highlight shortcomings.
- Processes require significant training to correctly execute which means niche skills acquired over time and staff turnover contribute to operational inconsistencies and increased compliance risk exacerbated by changing regulations and requirements that vary by jurisdiction.
But if your firm is still doing well with your current client onboarding process why would you choose to revisit something that doesn’t seem to be broken? Three drivers in the industry will only magnify problems in your onboarding process and are catalysts for many firms to improve their client onboarding experience.
- Demographic and intergenerational shifts in wealth are occurring due to the increase in women investors, the rise in middle class investors from emerging markets, and the transfer of wealth from baby boomers to Gen Xers and Millennials. These newer demographics are used to “anytime, anywhere, any device” access and firms that cannot offer these capabilities are seen as antiquated among newer investors.
- Regulatory concerns dominate the industry where global banks have collectively paid fines in excess of $15 billion after being cited for violations of KYC and AML laws. In addition, excellent documentation processes must be in place to demonstrate your practices and charges to clients.
- Changing technology standards enable new ways to streamline transactional processes, share data, and eliminate operational handoffs and paperwork. All clients, regardless of age or demographic, expect a seamless, digital, onboarding experience and legacy systems cannot deliver a modern digital experience.
Perficient BPM Streamlines the Client Onboarding Process
Perficient’s Business Process Management solutions, including Trex for Investor Services, can help streamline the client onboarding process while lowering your risk for errors and omissions. Our BPM expertise can help firms address pain-points in the client onboarding process by:
- Streamlining manual processes by automating workflows and business rules. Perficient’s Trex BPM platform allows documents to be routed automatically to the right person at the right time and information is presented to the person processing work only when it is relevant to the task which makes processing requirements clear.
- Reducing and/or eliminating paper documents by storing information electronically in a secure environment. Documents are stored securely and can be accessed as needed by multiple people simultaneously, helping speed time to revenue. Also, search mechanisms help locate information that has already been obtained so you don’t ask clients for the same information twice. Robust disaster recovery strategies can be implemented to ensure documents are backed up and secure at all times.
- Ensure regulatory compliance by making sure that a consistent process is followed every time for every customer account and providing reports that can be used to show compliance and help with management tracking. Trex also includes a document checklist which integrates with a rules engine to ensure that the right documents are identified for each transaction, and errors and omissions are reduced or eliminated. Trex can also help with document lifecycle management by triggering work items when documents reach a certain age and by purging documents at the right time. Finally, by integrating with 3rd party databases, Trex’s rules engine can help identify customers with a high risk profile during the onboarding process.
- Providing a modern digital experience which meets the needs of evolving investors. Trex can integrate with mobile applications for advisors to provide information updates and helping speed turnaround for onboarding and transactions.
With the efficiency, consistency, and compliance offered by Trex, investor service firms can streamline their client onboarding process and automate back office processing to eliminate bottlenecks in their business processes.