Abandonment of Online Applications for FIs are High: Time to Flip the Script

Studies show that for every one time a customer visits a branch, the same customer will access the bank’s app between 50 and 80 times. Financial institutions that aren’t having engaging conversations with their customers via digital channels are losing out on a major opportunity.

Industry surveys indicate that in the finance sector, online forms are abandoned more than 75 percent of the time. And that’s just on the web. On mobile devices, the rate is even higher – 86 percent! But the right technology can improve online account opening rates (OAO) by as much as 50 percent.  Here’s what you need to know.

The Challenge with OAO

Clearly, abandonment of online applications is an industry-wide problem.  And it’s no mystery why – the OAO process can be confusing and time-consuming – and consumers are often left scratching their heads as to why the process is so long and friction-filled. Afterall, they can do almost anything online pretty quickly. Why is this process so hard?

Often, the consumer going through the OAO process has chosen a product from a description or feature matrix – they don’t actually know if they are applying for the right one, especially when so many financial institutions have literally hundreds of products available. Then, during the application process, they are asked additional questions designed to uncover cross selling opportunities, which causes many to just abandon the process.

In fact, a study by Convertica showed that security concerns, form length, advertisements/upselling and unnecessary questions were the most-cited reasons users gave for abandoning forms.

Flipping the Script

How can financial institutions help users to apply for the right product more often, and abandon the process less frequently? They can reduce confusion and fear through Intelligent Guided Conversations.

A simple link titled “Help Me Decide” or “Which Product is Right For Me?” can drive users to dynamic conversation guides that effectively recommend the right product or products with no cross=selling – just a relevant recommendation that meets their unique needs. This makes the “Apply” button a whole lot less scary and confusing.

Having an intelligent digital conversation with the online user can make all the difference and:

  • Understand the user’s needs
  • Make intelligent recommendations, rather than pushing products
  • Gain confidence and trust with the user as the conversation progresses.
  • Ensure the right account is opened
  • Reduce abandonment by impressive margins as users gain confidence in the process

Why it Works

Aside from getting better data, so the right products are recommended, guided conversations also build a relationship between the institution and the user.

To start, users are confident in the account they chose – mostly because they have invested time in selecting the account and understanding why it was recommended to them. After investing that time, and coming away with a higher degree of confidence in the product, they are going to be more committed to see the online application process through.

Guided conversations also start the relationship-building process, which isn’t always easy to do via digital channels. Rather than feeling sold to, users feel heard and engaged, because they feel that the institution took the time to understand their needs.

As a result, they feel understood, and have greater confidence in the institution and its processes. In turn, this translates into a higher likelihood of them not just completing the online application, but also opening multiple accounts.

financial institutions improve online account opening performance

Digital Conversations Are An Important Opportunity

Consumers expect to do their research, and engage with all sorts of businesses via online channels, on their own time and their own terms. If 76 percent of visitors to a financial institution’s website and 95% of mobile users who initiate an account application abandon it before they are finished, the institution is leaving a ton of opportunity on the table.  With the right tools, banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions can turn online engagements into long-term relationships.

Successfully guiding online and mobile users to the right solutions and products will help reduce abandonment and begin a meaningful conversation and relationship.

Ignite Sales is here to help financial institutions provide powerful and experiential services on all channels for FI customers, members, and businesses. We welcome the opportunity to partner with your financial institution to create an experiential service that combines all of the elements needed for powerful engagement. Give us a call >

Attending the Financial Brand Forum? See us in our partner Vericast’s booth, Bristlecone Ballroom, Booth 54, ask to see a demo of Account Advisor powered by Ignite Sales.


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