3 Ways to Create a Great Onboarding Process in Your Credit Union


Reputation is everything—and it’s something credit unions cannot risk. In-person, face-to-face interactions have been the mainstay of credit unions, especially because credit unions are membership organizations based on a particular geography or industry. However, as technology trends have been applied to facilitate and automate formerly manual processes, credit unions have faced the risk of alienating their loyal customers.

This applies to any banking or financial transaction but is especially critical during the customer onboarding process because it is the very first impression that the prospective client experiences before becoming a client. 

Let’s explore 3 ways to create a great onboarding process for your credit union.

1. Make it Logical - and Human

While credit unions pride themselves on delivering stellar customer service at the community level, customers today may prefer to conduct some of their banking and financial transactions digitally rather than in person at a branch. Since 2018, over 90 percent of banks in the United States have offered some type of mobile banking feature, and customers are increasingly becoming accustomed to using them.

However, customers also do like the human touch, and should not become confused or frustrated when engaging with an online or mobile experience. This applies to the customer onboarding process as well. Though account initiation might seem to be a process perfectly suited for a visit to the local credit union branch, there might be new members who for one reason or another — think the pandemic — cannot open an account in person. As such, they must do it from their phone.

Credit unions can reap enormous benefits by appealing to this group who would otherwise visit a branch. By making the onboarding process easy, logical, and most importantly, human, new customers will complete the necessary steps without delays.

Of course, credit unions will also need to have customer service at the ready in case there are any questions or confusion. To minimize this operation, a credit union can consider enlisting the services of a managed customer onboarding provider like Instnt, who can handle the entire process on their behalf, addressing new customers’ questions along the way and ensuring that the right customers receive the best experience possible.

2. Replicate the In-Person ID-Verification Process

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of onboarding a new customer is verifying their identity and protecting against fraud. A credit union or any financial institution cannot simply accept an ID number that a customer types into a blank field in a form and proceed with the onboarding process. A photo ID must be presented and must be cross-verified with another image captured by another modality.

This usually means that the new customer must be able to not only present an image of a photo ID taken during the onboarding process  — not an image saved (and possibly altered) on that user’s hard drive or mobile phone camera roll — but also have their photo taken by the onboarding software or by a member of the credit union’s onboarding team.

While this might seem awkward and confusing, it doesn’t have to be. Adding automation features to ensure that the photos match, in addition to streamlined systems to process data faster, will make the experience go much more smoothly for new customers.

Outsourcing these ID verification steps to a partner like Instnt, with expertise in managing customer onboarding and KYC and AML compliance, will enable the credit union to focus on doing what it does best: delivering superior service after these prospects have now become verified customers.

3. Embrace Industry Innovation

As a final way to ensure a stellar customer onboarding process, a credit union should simply let nature take its course: embrace technology advances and innovation making their way through credit unions and even within the greater consumer financial services industry in general. 

Ascertain features become standard across the industry, customers will come to expect them, making your digital customer onboarding even easier. There will be less friction and less confusion. New customers will complete the onboarding with fewer hiccups or messages sent to support. 

That the overall industry is implementing certain standardized features won’t make your digital experience less compelling; instead, it will increase its user-friendliness and adoption.

The Need for Managed Digital Customer Onboarding

Instnt is the first fully managed digital customer onboarding service for businesses with up to $100MM annually in fraud loss insurance. With a codeless integration on websites or apps, Instnt can reduce rejection rates by 50% without friction or fraud, grow top-line revenue, and lower operational costs by 30%. Get started today!


About the Author

Instnt's fraud loss insurance platform offers comprehensive protection for businesses for the entire customer lifecycle, from account initiation, and onboarding to subsequent logins, transaction processing, and the broadened accessibility of additional products and services.