The stakes have never been higher for the financial services sector, as banks attempt to transform their CX to offer the technological innovation that customers demand. All while they also fight off disruptors, manage costs, and win the war for talent.

To make things more difficult, banks must also match the pace of accelerating regulatory change, which demands they have a better understanding of their customer base. Failure to comply can bring with it punitive costs and potentially existential reputational damage.

In this article we’ll look at why when you combine customers’ demands for brilliant customer experiences, with the industry’s pressing regulatory challenges, there’s only one option that works: game-changing CX with the compliance playbook built in.

Let’s start with the bad news. The cost of compliance and fines for regulatory breaches are a pressing issue for the industry. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed fines totalling more than £500 million in 2021, and while last year was, by comparison, an improvement, 2022 still saw £215 million worth of fines issued, with 16 more fines levied than the previous year.

The cases of both Coinbase in the United States, which was forced into a US$100 million settlement with New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) for AML (Anti-Money Laundering) failings, and Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Ltd, which was fined £7.6 million, demonstrate how important it is to invest in robust compliance systems that can save money and brand reputations.

Why is compliance such a headache?

Steering a course through the ever-changing regulatory landscape takes time and resources, and can make CX onboarding harder for Know Your Customer (KYC) activities like documentation collection, validation and checking services, which are all growing in complexity. Against this backdrop, few banks are offering seamless onboarding. Instead for too many banking customers, processes are disconnected, manual, and siloed, with the result that CX is poor. Onboarding is one of the most cost-intensive parts of customer acquisition, where failures can result in lasting damage to reputations and bottom lines. It’s estimated that around 5.7bn euros are wasted Europe-wide each year through unfinished banking applications, with 68% of customers abandoning onboarding mid-attempts.

Why digitalization and automation can only be part of the answer

Automation should give capacity back to the company investing in it, but it’s questionable whether the true benefits of digitalization and automation have yet been fully realized by many banks.

There has been lots of work done in this area, some of it accelerated by the global pandemic, and there are definitely some areas where adoption has been successful: areas like data and documentation collection, continuous KYC (ongoing monitoring to detect changes in ownership), transaction monitoring and screening for ID&V (Identity and Verification).

There have been plenty of successes, with simple UX document collection portals and integrated KYC screening tools making it faster and cheaper to onboard digitally. Overall though, the results are still not consistent and often onboarding processes can feel disconnected from the actual customer journey. For customers themselves this might result in them being suddenly dumped out of the onboarding process and unable to get back into it without starting again.

Despite the technological improvements mentioned above, there are still elements of onboarding that are too complex or challenging, whether it’s due to needing human intervention to check paperwork, or an inability to integrate newer digital onboarding workflow with existing older systems and processes. As a result, clients – and by extension their customers – are still suffering.

But it all comes at a (literal) cost

There is also the ongoing need to resource onboarding processes properly, while the war for talent means it’s harder to hire talent with KYC (and compliance) skills and experience, making it tougher to stay on top of regulatory requirements.

As businesses are also being squeezed to reduce their costs against a challenging financial outlook, they are asking how they can offer customers value while still keeping up with their evolving expectations and the industry’s regulatory requirements.

Even if you can get the right people in place, it’s also tricky to predict demand and its resourcing accordingly. Organizations need ways to access the skills they need – potentially at short notice – without the long-term risk posed by higher payroll costs.

You need a partner who specializes in seamless CX whilst making sure all of the required compliance checks are done correctly. A single-minded focus on your customers can be a game-changer that differentiates companies from the competition in a crowded marketplace.

Let’s see what that could look like.

Game-changing CX – join up the journey and make it frictionless

While banks have a lot of data on their customers, the complete picture is often fragmented and these effects can be worsened by siloed departments. The impact can be felt by customers in the form of disjointed onboarding, a result of financial service firms that see the customer journey from the company’s – rather than the customer’s – perspective. There is often no view of the whole customer and so opportunities are missed to understand customer behaviors, propensity and risk profiles.

Working with a partner that helps you understand your customers better, through end-to-end data systems that create a joined-up customer journey, can move the needle on reducing onboarding dropout rates. All of which creates a strong brand reputation that results in happier, ‘stickier’ customers.

At Webhelp, we use the data gathered to provide our clients with a 360-degree understanding of their customers, enabling them to predict behavior and leverage insight that might be currently missing. Customer data is analyzed and viewed holistically to examine where the journey might be broken or touchpoints can be optimized.

The right blend of human talent and supportive technology can enable financial services providers to harness new capabilities, use behavioral science to improve adoption, predict consumer behavior changes, and drive continuous improvement. In addition, the data and insight gained can enable organizations to understand, and even anticipate, customer behavior and needs, and take proactive actions in response.

Game-changing CX – guarantee the best CX talent, as scalable as you need it to be

Making sure that your organization has access to the right talent is key to delivering value to customers. We see plenty of fintech clients choosing to outsource compliance operations or tasks to a third party like ourselves, or relocating it to nearshore or offshore to reduce the overall cost, while potentially retaining a core of expertise in-house for higher-value actions.

Crucially for our global clients, they are working with a partner who can leverage a global talent pool so that customers can be supported in their primary language, help them build customer trust and improve their brand reputation.

We de-risk the resource and help solve their recruitment challenge by allowing clients to flex demand and turn their workforce requirements on and off accordingly, rather than managing their own in-house resource.

​​The requisite pace of hiring poses a key risk to meeting regulatory compliance and it can be a common pitfall of working with a BPO. It’s why, when we are working to resource a client, we always ensure we maintain regulatory compliance adherence and avoid the risks of non-compliance and the resulting fines.

Game-changing CX – getting the balance right between automated and human expertise

Automation can only ever be part of the solution. Real-time automated checks always need to be backed up with human analysis and investigation of data, because – especially in very regulated operations – you simply cannot risk missing something. Whether you’re a bank or an insurance company, you’re audited by the regulator and so it’s not something you can afford to get wrong.

Whether it’s the Head of Compliance in an organization or the Money Laundering Report Officer, they will need to put in controls that give them greater agility, flexibility and quality.

When a system is entirely automated, it’s hard to change those processes once a product has been integrated into an overall workflow. Exceptions become hard to handle, particularly in daily operations on top of existing workloads. That’s why having a human behind the scenes who’s able to go into a middle office or back office and handle those exceptions, can be very helpful.

How you can start building game-changing CX

At Webhelp, we start trying to improve CX for each client through data-driven discovery to uncover and quantify issues – and understand their root causes.

It starts with insights from customer feedback before analyzing the volume, cost and CX impact of the contacts and activities in a customer journey. We typically begin by analyzing demand and effort to identify activities that are low value to both customer and organization.

We can then join events and contacts together to quantify overall customer effort across a mapped journey that helps us identify the typical paths that customers take. It also helps us quantify failure demand at a customer level, to further aid prioritization of improvement efforts.

Our customer journey analysis identifies key pain points and suggests improvements along with new reporting KPIs for each stage, whether that’s from app open rates to days between-open-to-first-transaction.

It means that we can create what appear to be, externally, 100% frictionless processes. All of it is supported by technology with 24×7 teams and rapid-performance SLAs. Delivered by expert agents whose resourcing can be scaled to match our clients’ growth strategies.

We balance the need for seamless, end-to-end CX, whilst making sure all of the required compliance checks are done correctly, so that we build and execute bespoke, frictionless operations to match our clients’ regulatory obligations and standards. All of these are balanced between what can be automated and what best works with a human eye and years of expertise.

If you’d like to find out more about game-changing CX (with your compliance playbook built in) that could transform your customer experience  – then let’s talk.

Contact Us