Onboarding. It’s more than bank business babble.


The term “onboarding” has become so common, it’s virtually a catchall phrase for any communications between a bank and its newly acquired customers. We’ve found that many banks say they have an onboarding program, but a bit of investigation shows they are conducting a program piecemeal, and not reaping the real benefits.

Fiserve, the well-known financial technology solutions firm, has an excellent white paper available on their website: “Developing a Successful Onboarding Program to Drive Customer Loyalty and Profitability.” It’s worth the read and you’ll find it here.

At MD+A, depending upon the client bank, its staff and budget resources, and the state of its customer files, our process generally follows the steps outlined in the Fiserve piece. However, we recommend going further, using a robust activation campaign.

The needs of a new customer change dramatically over time. Customers should go into data “buckets” as their financial status goes up or down — they pay for college — they buy a new home — they plan for retirement, etc. Onboarding should evolve into carefully targeted activation. Banks should be building true relationships from the top down and vice versa. People are loyal to companies they believe are trustworthy and caring. If they feel you “know” them at every touch point, your up-sell or cross-sell messages will have more power. You’ll not only retain customers, but loyalty and activation programs can dramatically increase the value of a customer over the life of the relationship.

To learn more about some of the efforts we’ve put into onboarding and activation program, please email Chris Duval.