How To Automate Manual Reviews for Growth and Compliance


It’s the scourge of so many businesses: Your marketing team works hard to attract and convert customers. Potential users are attracted to your website and mobile app. They’re intrigued, decide to sign up and are excited about making a purchase or funding their account. Success!

Not quite: Many of these customers are turned away, up to 40% in some cases. They get a screen telling them that their account must undergo “manual review,” triggering a delay in the approval process. Even if the manual review approves these customers, there’s a good chance they will never follow through. They've already moved on to one of your competitors.

What Is a Manual Review?

Many businesses rely on online systems to onboard new customers and account holders. When the prospect enters their information into the system and presses the “Submit” button, the system may run some checks to help determine whether the transaction and the customer are legitimate. If red flags are detected, the application or transaction may be sent for manual review. 

During the manual review process, an employee or third-party contractor reviews the application or transaction to determine its legitimacy. Once the manual review is complete, a final decision is delivered to the customer, who, if approved, can continue with the onboarding or sign-up process.

The Problem With Manual Reviews

While manual reviews may seem necessary, particularly in an age of ever-increasing fraud and corresponding compliance standards, there are significant drawbacks to their use. These include

  1. Inefficiency

    Manual reviews take approximately five minutes to process. However, bad or missing data can increase this substantially, making it extremely time-consuming for the financial institution. This, alongside the heavy-lift to train staff, cuts into their day-to-day operations. Customers may also get frustrated and impatient waiting for a review to process and may switch to a competitor if it takes too long. 

  2. Accuracy Issues

    Human error remains a concern. The possibility of a fraudulent account passing the manual review process is still present, as is the possibility that manual review will result in the rejection of a legitimate customer. Not to mention that these reviews are often subjective and rely heavily on the biases of the individual conducting the review. 

  3. Cost

    The cost of hiring, training and paying employees or contractors to conduct manual reviews is significant. This is especially true if you’re using various orchestration software platforms to fight fraud.

  4. Customer Alienation

    Another major problem with manual reviews is that it can alienate users. A 2020 study by Sapio Research showed that 33% of customers simply walk away from businesses that question their transactions. In many cases, these are legitimate customers who will now take their business, and their money, elsewhere. Even worse, Gladly’s 2018 Customer Service Expectations Study showed that 67% of dissatisfied customers will tell others not to do business with you.

Automating the Review Process

While manual review has significant drawbacks, its purpose remains relevant: It’s important to stop fraudulent transactions. Your organization can’t afford to lose money due to poor compliance standards. What you can do, however, is optimize your automated-review process. Make review a function of your website or app so that legitimate customers enjoy seamless transactions while your financial institution stays protected.

The Instnt Alternative

Does automating the manual review process sound like an impossible task? It isn’t. At Instnt, we offer a fully managed and integrated process that seamlessly reviews customer applications, reduces fraud and improves the customer onboarding experience. You tell us what compliance checks you need, and Instnt AcceptTM will perform them. Plus, we stand behind our service with up to $100M in annual fraud loss indemnification. Contact us today to schedule a demo.


About the Author

Instnt Inc. is an AI managed customer acceptance platform founded and operated by serial entrepreneur Sunil Madhu, founder, and former CEO of Socure. Instnt is on a mission to bring frictionless inclusion and continuous identity assurance experiences for businesses and their customers through proprietary artificial intelligence technology, open standards, and a collaborative effort in the identity governance industry. Instnt powers various financial institutions, lenders, fintechs, banks, and credit unions across North America. For more information, please visit