How to go digital in account opening and consumer lending

Person working on laptop computer

Consumers want fast, simple, 24/7 digital banking experiences

Consumers want to interact with financial institutions in the same way they experience other mobile and digital opportunities: from the phones in their pockets and the laptops and tablets they’re using at home.   

That’s true whether they’re checking an account balance or opening a new account or line of credit. Consumers don’t care about the complexity behind a process; they just want simple and quick experiences on the front end.

And now, financial institutions of every size can deliver on that desire. Turnkey solutions make it possible to launch mobile deposit and lending capabilities in a matter of weeks – and help banking organizations evolve into true, 24/7, at-your-fingertips banking partners.


Round-the-clock service and value

There are worthwhile incentives for financial institutions to “go digital.”

Over 20% of digital account applications are submitted on weekends or after business hours (based on internal analysis of data from Fiserv account solutions). Digital tools can help financial institutions deliver the instant gratification consumers are looking for, without expanding business hours or staff.

Digital origination also draws in new accountholders. More than 80% of digital checking and savings applications are from new applicants (based on internal analysis of data from Fiserv loan solutions). Digital banking is the front door for your financial institution, which you can open wider with added capabilities that create new opportunities and deepen existing relationships.


Digital essentials

To make digital experiences quick and intuitive, financial institutions should look to simplify processes, reducing the number of steps to minimize the chance for error or the need for manual intervention by your staff.

Speed is not a trade-off for risk management, however. Decisioning tools can be fast and flexible, and financial institutions can retain control over decision criteria and underwriting workflows to give applications adequate scrutiny. In fact, “going digital” can help financial institutions gather more data about their decisions and fine-tune credit policies and market approaches. 



To turn on powerful digital account opening and lending experiences, financial institutions need to prioritize:

  1. Real-time core integration. Digital banking actions should move straight into the institution’s core processing platform. That way, there’s no lag or disruption if an accountholder needs to speak with a representative in the call center or branch. The whole organization is in sync, with current customer information available at all touchpoints.

  2. Agile response. When financial institutions are able to pull information from background apps and integrations, they only need to ask applicants for new information. They can also tailor terms, rates and cross-promotions (based on business rules) so every digital visitor receives the best product/best offer based on their qualifications. 

  3. Simple signoffs. If signature forms are presented within the digital experience, the process gains momentum. Accountholders don’t have to switch channels mid-journey, though they have the option to do so.

  4. Decisioning capabilities. Consumers want to log off with a resolution in place, whether that’s a new account, new card or funded account confirmed. Decisions should be quick and clear, so consumers know exactly what to do and expect next.


What consumers expect

Bells and whistles alone won’t win customers and increase market share. Digital capabilities need to be customer-centric, too.

Accountholders expect three things when they open an account or apply for a loan online. They want financial institutions to:

  1. Know them. Consumers want financial institutions to recognize them quickly and only ask for new information. Pre-fill data if they’ve already entered it elsewhere in your system, and don’t make them dig through their wallets unnecessarily to answer questions.

  2. Value their time. Limit the amount of data and clicks it takes to complete an application. Only gather information that’s necessary. Combine information about products and offers so they’re easier to research and select.

  3. Make it simple. Consumers want to open accounts and receive lending decisions in minutes, not days. Account status, terms and next steps should be straightforward and clear.

When financial institutions build with these principles in mind, they can create positive experiences and onboard more accountholders, more quickly. 


Digital Account Opening

Fiserv offers a full range of solutions through a digital lending and account opening platform that is flexible to help you meet ever-changing consumer needs.

How to start

As a first step, define your financial institution’s digital ambition.

When it comes to lending and account opening, “digital” means different things. In one organization, it could be a static form that’s presented online and processed behind the scenes. Or it could be a “hands-free” experience, where an entire application is completed in minutes, without manual intervention.

To decide which level of digital your institution is ready for, look at your processes and ask these questions:

  • What steps are required to open and fund new accounts?

  • What are your risk and funding processes?

  • Are you willing (and able) to automate any workflows?

  • What information do you need to make decisions?

  • How will you protect the institution from undue risk?

  • Which savings and loan products are important to make available digitally?

  • How does a digital experience fit into your brand strategy?

Answering these questions helps establish your institution’s goals and risk tolerance. From there, you can build out essential skills that consumers crave.


Create a digital advantage

Keep in mind that templated solutions are available, so it’s possible to put an impressive digital experience into the market quickly. With an end-to-end digital solution, you can open accounts and fund loans faster, growing your portfolio without increasing acquisition or overhead costs.