Almost three quarters of businesses would be more likely to choose a bank with a fully digital onboarding process.

Encompass Corporation surveyed 200 UK senior business decision-makers and 73% said that they would prefer regulatory checks to be carried out digitally. However despite this, 57% of businesses said they were still with a banking provider that requires paper-based onboarding.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led many businesses to increasingly opt for touchless or remote services, and with the lockdown measures in the UK leading to bank branch closures, such as HSBC which is due to close 28 branches this year, offering digitial alternatives to in-person banking is more important than ever.

According to Encompass Corporation’s research, 64% of survey respondents believe that this has highlighted the difference between traditional banks and digital financial service providers.

Banks such as Mettle, a digital-only business bank that allows customers to open an account remotely using in-app video and biometric technology to verify customer identities, have demonstrated that in-person onboarding is not always necessary.

Business customers are increasingly favouring digital options such as this, with 37 of business decision makers saying that their current bank’s onboarding process is too slow, with 58% believing that innovation is key when choosing a bank.

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By GlobalData

Encouragingly, 56% had noticed that their bank had improved aspects of its digital services since the start of the pandemic, such as offering online consultations, suggesting that banks are recognising the importance of convenient and streamline digital offerings.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently altered the way that businesses interact with their banking and financial services providers, increasing the need for online services and resulting in expectations of a much faster approach to onboarding and compliance checks,” said Wayne Johnson, CEO and co-founder, Encompass Corporation.

“Sticking with slow, paper-based processes for critical tasks such as Know Your Customer (KYC) checks will, in many cases, no longer be tolerated, especially with customers clearly expecting the highest standards of digital services from their provider.

“The time has come for banks to fully embrace automated, smart decision-making, enabling seamless compliance with changing regulation, which will reduce costs and improve customer service for the long-term.”

Read more: Can the challenger bank from Natwest prove its Mettle?