Can Banks Accelerate Terms & Conditions & Enhance Compliance at the Same Time?

David Abbou

Banks and financial institutions set up a variety of processes to get customers to consent to terms and conditions as quickly as possible to strengthen customer relationships and grow revenue — But inconsistent ways of how T’s and C’s are currently managed only delays completion of these processes, while creating repetitive and frustrating work for both banking customers and employees.

From routine requests to high-value transactions, legally binding consent of terms and conditions are a key requirement for banking customers, who regularly seek to open, modify, or upgrade several banking products, such as:

  • Applying for a new bank loan or credit card
  • Upgrading an existing account
  • Requesting a balance transfer
  • Adding services such as online bill pay and mobile banking solutions

What all of these processes have in common is they require that the customer review and consent to terms and conditions under that agreement in a way that’s legally binding.

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Terms & Conditions for Banks: A Compliance & Experience Problem

Over the years, bank contact centers and BPO managers servicing banks have looked for ways to make sure terms and conditions are communicated clearly and effectively to the customer – both to avoid disputes and ensure both legal and regulatory compliance.

They’ve also considered how to make terms and conditions a quick and easy part of the process for customers to complete so that they can move forward and approve transactions.

But how these terms and conditions are communicated — as well as which channel these forms are sent tocreate a bottleneck for business processes, open up compliance risks and lead to customer frustration.

A prime example of this is having call center agents read out terms and conditions over the phone.

Verbal Terms & Conditions Are Failing Both Banks & Their Customers

Banks today often resort to having call center agents read lengthy and often complex scripts of terms and conditions to customers. For example, a T&C script for opening a product, transaction, or service can run many minutes.

But it is very difficult to clearly communicate terms and conditions over the phone. Here are some of the main reasons it fails both the agent and customer.

Agent/Administrative errors are inevitable

Call center agents are routinely asked to refer to multiple terms and conditions scripts depending on which product is being sold or modified. Handling high call volumes and performing repetitive tasks means errors are simply inevitable. These errors include important parts of scripts being skipped or mis-read, or agents simply speaking them unclearly. The customer as a result misunderstands the terms and conditions they need to consent to, which can lead to disputes and escalation in the future. Agent errors can also complicate auditing and version control of these scripts.

Poor calling experiences ask too much of the customer

Customers are simply looking to get to the end of terms and conditions being read to them and move on. Trying to listen and grasp every word of a long and wordy legal disclosure makes for an uncomfortable experience for customers who may be taking the call while on-the-go or multitasking with other activities competing for their attention. Many customers can be distracted during the phone call, and misunderstand important parts of the T&C script or simply not hear them clearly, in many cases elongating the process.

In many cases banks today still choose to send the customer terms and conditions for certain products via email or even snail mail — that further elongates the process and risks customer hesitation due to lack of clarity. Worse yet, they can simply forget about, stalling the journey indefinitely.

Whether a mistake is made by the agent or the customer, reading out terms and conditions over the phone:

  • Adds friction to the customer journey
  • Prolongs turnaround and completion times
  • Fails to guarantee compliance
  • Increases the risk of customer disputes down the road

Banks Are Missing the Opportunity of eConsent Through Wrong Channels

Today, banks are increasingly looking at how to digitize the process of completing terms and conditions. This digitization means that scripts are easily assembled and presented to customers.

Instead of clogging up employee time and resources by reading scripts over the phone, customers are alternatively directed to a secured webpage or portal to view and agree to T’s and C’s.

Unfortunately, while this simplifies the creation of the digital T&Cs, the delivery of this remains a problem. Asking customers to visit online portals or websites when they are already on a call, forces them to jump channels, and waste effort on seemingly tedious tasks.

Because completing these terms and conditions is neither instant nor in the right format – on their mobile phone – customers are not able to instantly read and accept them – and completing a seemingly easy transaction suddenly becomes cumbersome. Completing this process becomes even more complex when considering that many banking products require multiple terms and conditions during each interaction.

Whereas one streamlined e-consent can complete these processes efficiently, requiring customers to repeatedly log into portals and review one set of terms and conditions after the next can lead to frustration. Whether it’s a new credit card or loan, customers today have many competitors they can choose to give their business to — and receiving a poor experience can simply lead them to drop out of the journey altogether, never to complete the transaction.

The Power of Instant T&C Approval on Mobile Phones

Removing unnecessary pain for banking customers requires integrating terms and conditions within one entire and seamless digital workflow. Banks and financial institutions today can take advantage of Digital Completion technology which allows them to accelerate and streamline all customer-facing steps.

Instead of subjecting customers to tedious and hard-to-understand terms and conditions scripts read over the phone, customers can simply receive a text message and tap on a link from their cell phone, which launches a simple and user-friendly mobile digital session that guides them through all terms and conditions that need their approval.

Agent-Guided Clickwrap guides customers through all T’s and C’s in real time. Checking them off and completing them is as easy as a tap of the finger, just as they are used to with the consumer apps they use the most.

Banks and financial institutions simplifying completion terms and conditions with a Digital Completion solution see immediate improvement to their:

  • Improved customer audit trails for terms and conditions
  • Faster Turnaround Time
  • Improved customer satisfaction and NPS
  • Improved compliance

Digitally completing terms and conditions speeds up completion times by allowing customers to agree to them on the channel and device they’re most comfortable with.

Allowing customers to provide consent from any location removing a common barrier to closing a sale. And using automated workflows ensure that the correct Terms and Conditions are displayed to the customer, avoiding human error, reducing non-compliance, and simplifying agent processes.

Instant consent also frees up banking employees and call center agents to focus their time and efforts on completing transactions that add to the bottom line.

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