Posted by MeridianLink | March 30, 2023

Meet High Consumer Expectations in Digital Account Opening & Increase Conversions

The following post is part of a series of blogs written by MeridianLink Partners who will be attending the MeridianLink LIVE! User Forum in May 2023. To learn more about the event, visit


Ways To Streamline Account Opening

Elevated interest rates and continuing economic uncertainty have prompted many consumers to reevaluate the offerings at their financial institutions, especially deposit accounts, putting pressure on institutions. Further, spending $30 billion per year on digital advertising, the financial services industry needs to prioritize not only capturing consumer attention, but also increasing online conversions. Making those dollars count by keeping visitors engaged throughout the digital account opening process becomes critical


With close to half of Gen Z, 43% of millennials, and 57% of Gen X preferring to open deposit accounts digitally, financial institutions cannot ignore the importance of fast and easy account opening. Not only that, but it should be easily accessible on all devices. One survey by Insider Intelligence found almost six out of 10 American adults opened checking accounts on mobile devices. To keep up with shifting digital preferences, financial institutions wanting to remain competitive will need to satisfy consumer demands for streamlined account opening.


Here are three ways to accomplish this:


Focus on Speed

Since account openings are the entry point for new customers and members, financial institutions need to maximize these opportunities with an eye on speed. Neobanks can offer account opening in 2-5 minutes, which has set the bar for consumer expectations. While not everyone needs to open an account in the time it takes to cook an egg, abandonment rates can go up to 60% after just five minutes. So financial institutions need to make digital account opening fast and easy to reduce abandonments and increase conversions


As financial institutions plan for faster account opening, they should consider how to connect customer service channels, since siloed systems can cause bottlenecks and slow down assistance. If a potential account holder struggles to find information through self-service, they may turn to live chat or audio channels. Retail banking customers expect to use about 2.7 channels when engaging with their primary institution. Guiding these digital visitors seamlessly through the account opening process and loan applications with the Glia Interaction Platform unifies all channels and provides the expedited account opening experience that consumers expect. 


Remove Friction

Since speed is an important component in opening an account, customers have no patience for roadblocks or friction. Even with the best websites and digital apps, online visitors may not easily find what they are looking for, especially when opening a new account. How smoothly those questions are answered determines the level of friction during their customer journey. Similarly, facilitating identity verification securely and easily during the process helps to remove this potential sticking point. Without frictionless ID verification, new account holders could get frustrated and give up. 


Having intelligent business rules to pinpoint signs of customer or member difficulty is the first line of defense to avoid application abandonment. These rules follow customer behavior on digital sites and indicate when help is needed. When effective digital routing is matched with these business rules, financial institutions can proactively engage with the applicant in real time to better steer them toward completion. 


One Glia bank customer reported that ​​20% of live interactions were prompted by their business rules’ identification of self-service issues for applicants. Once prompted, providing customer service reps with collaboration tools, such as CoBrowsing and Live Observation, enables context and guidance at these important points of need, before the potential account holder gets annoyed and abandons the application. 

Deliver an Effortless Process

BAI reports that the younger generations find it harder to open accounts online today than they did a year ago. With these potential customers driving digital expectations, the bottom line is that the entire account opening process must be effortless. Account openers will explore other avenues if the process is too cumbersome. 


When applicants find it easy to transition from one channel to another, such as from an SMS text to on-screen chat or video, they are more likely to cross the finish line. With a ChannelLess™ customer service solution, financial institutions can unify all interactions to ensure a seamless experience, lowering customer and member effort, and keeping them online through to conversion. 


When the process is effortless, not only are potential account holders more likely to finish, but they are also more likely to sign up for other offerings, expanding revenue opportunities. Gartner has found that 94% of consumers encountering an effortless experience are likely to repurchase vs. 4% who found the process difficult. Streamlining the account opening process can boost income and set financial institutions apart.


With the current competitive marketplace, financial institutions need to convert more online applications. Streamlining the digital account opening process using MeridianLink®, integrated with the Glia Interaction Platform, keeps potential customers and members engaged with guidance at critical points of need. This solution results in lower abandonments, greater conversion, and higher revenue, and keeps financial institutions ahead of the pack.

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