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Speed is becoming the key competitive differentiator for banks and financial institutions to onboard and delight customers who are constantly on-the-go and juggling busy work and personal lives.

This means catching up with them from wherever they are and on the device that’s with them 24/7 – their mobile smartphone: 85% of Americans today own a smartphone, and 57% spend 5 hours or more on them every day.

Intuitive, simple and fast banking experiences have become the expectation for these consumers – be they signing up for a new account, applying for a loan, or looking for a quick resolution on a service issue. This new digital reality has been rapidly accelerated since the Covid-19, with a post-pandemic survey showing that 79% of customers want their bank to provide them with more all-digital processes, while 55% plan to visit branches less often in the future.

Mobile Banking Critical to Fulfilling Customers’ Need for Speed

Fintech services like Nerdwallet and neobanks like Dave are a couple of many digital challengers that have invaded the banking industry, focusing on bringing consumer demand for Amazon-like ease and speed by enabling not just onboarding and self-service options, but also the ability to process loans and high-value transactions.

To compete, traditional banks are acutely aware of the need to answer this challenge – and the call from customers. It’s no wonder that customer experience technology and mobile banking topped the priority list in our recent survey of banking professionals across national and community banks and credit unions.

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Indeed traditional banks have invested substantial time and money into multiple point solutions to help accelerate loan originations and servicing.

 

But are these investments paying off?

Customers Still Being Forced to the Branch Despite Mobile Banking Investments

Despite all of the investments poured into digital banking and mobile app projects, only 11% of banking professionals indicated that this is the main way they are processing new loans, while just 27% said they can complete new loans via their website. For the majority, completing loans still requires the customer to make the trip to the branch.

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Just as troubling? Customers can’t have their request to open a new loan resolved via a mobile. Only 4% of professionals state that all of their loan originations process can be completed from their bank’s mobile app.

Even for comparatively simpler servicing requests such as change of address or adding a cosigner, just 11% indicated their mobile apps can resolve those requests.

Low Mobile Adoption Means Slow Completion Times for Banks

Mobile adoption is so inseparable to quick completion times – and the absence of this was also reflected by banking professionals when asked how long it takes their bank to process new loans. The vast majority, over 55%, shared that completing a loan origination process takes them 2 or more days. Only 21% are able to process loans for new customers in 6 hours or less.

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Mobile Apps Fail to Reduce Touchpoints & Customer Frustration

Days-long processes try the patience of customers today – especially with so many viable digital alternatives. So do high-effort interactions that force them to engage with multiple touchpoints just to become a new customer or open a loan.

 

Yet despite banks’ digital investments being bounced across several channels is still the customer experience norm. A leading 44% of banking professionals indicate that 3-4 touchpoints are required to complete the loan origination process, with a further 33% requiring 5 or more. Just 21% said loans can be processed in 1-2 days.

 

Multiple touchpoints generate work and friction for banking customers and employees alike and stand in the way of financial institutions’ ability to deliver on their customers’ needs quickly and efficiently – risking the loss of these customers to the competition.

But why are they still so necessary despite all of the resources banks have devoted towards rolling out digital channels and mobile banking apps?

Digital Silos & Legacy Processes Doom Banks to Friction-Filled Customer Interactions

Despite great investment and strides made with banks’ backend core systems, siloed digital systems fail to address the all-important experience of the customer, necessitating multiple touchpoints regardless of how a customer initiates their request to apply for a new loan.

These siloed systems stitch together customer-facing steps, but they’re not capable of being integrated seamlessly. That disconnect is passed onto the customer, and therefore they must still go through multiple and very separate experiences just to satisfy all that’s required for essentially one process.

For example, most banks have invested in re/”>eSignature software to help customers digitally sign for a new loan application. But since the eSign solution is not integrated smoothly with other business workflows, it’s only capable of handling one of several actions needed by the customer – signing a loan application. What about other critical steps such as ID Verification, document collection, and consent on terms and conditions?

Esignature apps simply don’t cover these next steps. Other siloed solutions pieced together to complete the customer journey are also not designed to take it all the way in one unified digital workflow.

This prolongs and complicates digital and mobile processes for banks. Just as problematic is these siloed solutions’ reliance on outdated legacy processes, such as cumbersome PDF forms that defeat the purpose of mobile. The minute a banking customer needs to leave a banking app to download a PDF form, the chances they end up completing that form digitally drop markedly.

Reading and understanding long and cumbersome agreements in a clunky PDF form on your 6 inch smartphone screen? That’s a customer experience no-go. Most customers will delay completing the process – many opt to print off those forms which means they’ll need to find a fax or scanning machine to send them back.

Multiple siloed systems, bound by outdated legacy processes result in broken journeys that prolong turnaround times while generating paperwork and frustration for both customers and banking employees.

Accelerating Mobile Banking ROI with Agent-Assisted Loan Origination

How can banks accelerate loan originations while enhancing customer service? We asked banking professionals which channels most enable faster loan completion in one day or less. Mobile was the most cited channel, which was followed by a phone call with a contact center agent.

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Marrying these channels with a Digital Completion solution helps banks guide them swiftly through all requirements needed to complete their application – while also giving them live agent support to assist them with any questions they have regarding the terms and conditions of the loan or any specific documents they need to provide to process the application.

Completing every customer-facing action in one seamless mobile session allows banks to eliminate the multiple steps and channels that can be so infuriating for their customers. It also eliminates the frustration and productivity drain of paperwork for employees, enabling them to process loans faster and maximize ROI while cutting costs.

And delivering mobile banking in-tandem with live agent assistance provides a transparent and efficient journey for customers, and gives them the confidence and peace of mind that traditional banks need to boost satisfaction and loyalty.

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