bank account opening customer journey

Customer journey mapping in banking: A 7-step framework for success

In today's competitive banking landscape, providing an exceptional customer experience is crucial. The way to deliver this is through understanding the customer journey, and this is where customer journey mapping comes in. By visualizing the customer's interactions and experiences at each touchpoint, banks can gain valuable insight and make informed decisions that help tether customers to their brand.

Key takeaways

Journey mapping helps identify areas for improving and optimizing the overall customer experience.

79% of companies say their journey maps have allowed them to become more customer-centric.

Traditional banks are under threat—digital-only banks are gaining favor, making CX even more important to differentiate.

What is customer journey mapping in banking?

The customer journey in banking begins the moment the customer starts interacting with your bank’s products and services. It provides a roadmap for how your customers interact with your bank. That can be in the simplest forms, such as opening a digital account or making a transaction. As loyalty builds, customers may come to your bank for mortgages and wealth-building products.

No matter the product or service, customers today expect banks to deliver seamless digital experiences through a website or app. Online banking has opened the door to digital customer journey mapping , where banks can see and analyze every touchpoint a customer makes along the way.

A retail banking customer journey map visually shows every step a customer takes—from the first interaction to capturing every engagement with your bank over time. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights such as:

What behaviors do customers exhibit

What customers are engaging with on your website or app

What actions customers take or don’t take

Where there’s friction or areas of struggle

Once these insights are visually mapped, banks can use them to improve functionality, fix errors and identify opportunities to increase conversions or decrease time-consuming roadblocks.

Example of a retail banking customer journey map

According to Hanover Research , 79% of companies say their journey maps have allowed them to become more customer-centric. Below is an example of a typical retail banking customer journey.

bank account opening customer journey

Image source

Why is customer journey mapping important for banks?

Customer journey mapping empowers banks to gain a deeper understanding of how their customers interact throughout their entire experience with the brand.

During the process, banks can identify and address inconsistencies or gaps in services with the goal of improving customer loyalty, retention, engagement and the overall customer experience.

According to Bankrate's key statistics on digital banking in 2023 , approximately 60% of consumers say they are very or somewhat interested in using a digital-only bank in the next year. The generation most interested in digital banks is millennials—a demographic traditional banks need to grow revenue.

In a highly competitive industry that’s undergone incredible digital transformation in recent years, one size does not fit all. Simply providing digital access to products and services isn’t enough. Customer journey mapping gives banks the opportunity to get a granular picture of the digital experience so they can differentiate and innovate to win over customers.

The benefits of customer journey mapping in banking

Customer journey mapping in banking is a gateway to gaining a deeper understanding of customers, making customer service a priority, improving customer retention rates, optimizing the customer experience, eliminating ineffective touchpoints and better predicting customer behavior.

Below, we’ve identified four of the key benefits of customer journey mapping for retail banks.

1. Improves customer satisfaction

Understanding the customer journey is imperative for banks to improve customer satisfaction. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights, such as pain points, and empowers banks to proactively address them. By streamlining processes and reducing friction, banks can significantly improve customer satisfaction levels.

2. Enhances customer loyalty

Just as a negative customer experience can drive customers away from your brand, a positive experience is directly linked to customer loyalty. Customers want to do business with a bank that makes their journey effortless and fruitful. By identifying and eliminating pain points, banks can create a seamless and enjoyable experience that encourages customers to stay with the bank for the long term.

3. Increases cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Core offerings such as checking or savings accounts may be the bread and butter for a bank, but to grow revenue, they need to cross-sell and upsell too. Customer journey mapping helps banks identify moments where they can introduce additional products and/or services to existing customers. By understanding the customer's needs at each touchpoint, banks can offer personalized recommendations that add value to the customer's banking experience.

4. Optimize channel integration

With the rise of digital banking, customers now interact with banks through various channels, including online, mobile, and in-person. Customer journey mapping enables banks to optimize the integration of these channels, ensuring a consistent and seamless experience across all touchpoints.

👀 Check out The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps for more benefits.

How to create a customer journey map in banking: A 7-step proven framework

Banking customer journeys are critical in today’s world, where there are so many touchpoints to connect with consumers and so many devices they interact on. Because of how important they are, we’ve pulled together a 7-step framework below to set your bank up for success.

1. Define customer segments

Begin by identifying the different customer segments that the bank serves, such as baby boomers, millennials and Gen Z. Each segment has different needs and expectations, requiring tailored customer journey maps.

Various segments may also bank differently. According to research , Gen Z is less likely to have a traditional bank account than millennials or baby boomers. The same study revealed that just 47% of Gen Z respondents, versus 75% of baby boomers and 70% of millennials, claimed to have an account with a traditional bank, credit union, neobank or technology company. Only 28% of baby boomer respondents, compared to 73% of millennials and Gen Z, indicated they had used a mobile banking platform in the last three months.

2. Identify key touchpoints

Map out the various touchpoints where customers interact with the bank, including digital platforms like websites and mobile apps or call centers. Highlight the key stages from initial awareness to becoming a loyal customer.

Examples of touchpoints are:

  • Advertising (including digital or print)
  • Social media
  • Welcome/thank you emails
  • Physical branches
  • Customer service
  • Influencer recommendations
  • Peer reviews
  • Customer onboarding
  • Physical and digital events

👉🏻Learn more about the different touchpoints in The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps .

3. Gather customer data and feedback

Engage with customers to gather feedback on their experiences at each touchpoint. Use surveys, polls and live chats, just to name a few, to collect customer feedback.

bank account opening customer journey

A voice of customer (VoC) program can help you gather customer feedback. When integrated with a digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform like Glassbox, you get data around the context of customer feedback, so you can understand:

What performance issues the customer experienced

What parts of your website or app customers interact with

Which audience segment they were from (depending on the tool you use)

This data gives you a holistic view of the customer experience and enables data-driven decisions.

👉🏻Find out how your bank can benefit from implementing a VoC program in The Complete Guide to Voice of Customer .

4. Map the customer journey

Create a visual representation of the customer journey, including all stages and touchpoints. This can be done using flowcharts, diagrams or specialized customer journey mapping software. Emphasize the importance of empathy and understanding customer emotions.

👉🏻Find customer journey map examples and templates in The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps .

5. Identify pain points and opportunities

With a customer journey map in place, banks can analyze it to identify pain points, bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. With this data in hand, banks can prioritize these areas and implement changes to enhance the customer experience.

It’s important to understand the issues and challenges banking customers face. We’ve outlined the most common ones below:

Complex onboarding processes: Overly complicated onboarding with many steps to complete provides a negative first impression that diminishes customer experience.

Poor user experience (UX): Confusing website or app navigation, slow loading times and unresponsive design can frustrate customers and cause them to leave.

Lack of personalization: Customers may feel that their bank doesn’t understand their individual needs, resulting in irrelevant offers and services.

Complex products and services: Difficulty understanding complex financial products and services can hinder decision-making.

Limited digital services: Banks that lag in offering digital services, such as mobile check deposits, digital account opening or online loan applications, may frustrate customers.

Cross-channel inconsistency: Varying experiences between online, mobile and in-branch services can cause confusion and frustration.

Ineffective communication: Customers may not receive timely or relevant communication from their bank, leading to missed opportunities or misunderstandings.

Inadequate customer support: Difficulty reaching customer support or receiving timely assistance when facing issues or inquiries can cause frustration.

Security concerns: Worries about data breaches, identity theft and fraudulent activities can erode trust in online banking.

🔥 Hot tip: Using a digital experience intelligence tool like Glassbox to identify points of friction at important touchpoints in the digital journey is imperative when trying to identify opportunities for optimization and improvements.

6. Use data to make necessary changes and improvements

Use insights to make data-driven improvements to the banking customer journey. Leverage information gained from journey visualization, AI-driven insights and business impact metrics to take actions that improve the customer experience.

7. Continuously monitor and update

The customer journey isn’t static and is continuously evolving. Monitor customer feedback, industry trends and changes in customer behavior regularly to ensure it’s working effectively. Having access to tools that enable banks to easily access the most meaningful insights is critical in a digital era, where the best digital experiences create loyal and engaged customers.

🔥 Hot tip: Typical data analytics tools can offer useful quantitative data, but digital experience intelligence takes insights far beyond these capabilities for macro and micro conversion points that matter most.

With a comprehensive suite of sophisticated tools, you can optimize the parts of the customer digital journey that will provide the most value to your customers and, in turn, your bottom line. Get more information about the tools you need to get ahead in the blog, Digital customer journey stages exposed: From awareness to purchase and beyond .

Examples of customer journey mapping in banking

Some high-profile banks are proficient in customer journey mapping. Whether striving to improve customer experience in a contact center or introducing new customer-centric offerings, these banks have this in common—they understand the value of customer journey mapping for retail banking. Below are examples of three banks doing customer journey mapping right.

1. Citizens Bank

bank account opening customer journey

Citizens Bank leveraged journey mapping to improve customer experiences with its contact centers. The bank used reviews and customer feedback for journey mapping. In the end, the mapping exercise led Citizens Bank to shift focus away from an internal metric of call handling time to a more customer-centric metric of improved first-call resolution (FCR).

2. Bank of America

bank account opening customer journey

Bank of America stands out for creating exceptional customer experiences and having a customer-centric approach. By mapping the customer journey at all stages—awareness, consideration, purchase, usage, loyalty and advocacy—the bank improved its mobile and online banking offerings, created a cash-back rewards program and introduced online appointments.

3. Wells Fargo

bank account opening customer journey

In its journey to customer experience innovation, Wells Fargo leveraged customer journey mapping to help customers better manage their finances. This process led to the introduction of a new app that helps customers keep track of and maintain more control over recurring payments for services they may no longer use.

It pays to understand your customers’ banking journeys more clearly

Customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for banks to enhance the customer experience. By understanding the customer's perspective and identifying pain points, banks can make informed decisions to streamline processes, optimize channels and ultimately provide a seamless and exceptional banking experience.

A digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform like Glassbox provides rich insights that show you the complete picture of what your banking customers are doing when engaging with your website or app—and, even more importantly, why they’re behaving that way. These advanced insights can be used to improve the banking customer journey. Learn more at .

1. What is customer journey mapping in banking?

A banking customer journey map visually shows every step a customer takes with digital platforms—from the first interaction to understanding everything they do while engaging with the bank over time. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights and pain points so banks can improve the customer experience.

2. What are the benefits of customer journey mapping for banks?

The four primary benefits of customer journey mapping are:

Improved customer satisfaction

Enhanced customer loyalty

Increased cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Optimized channel integration

3. What are the steps to implementing customer journey mapping for banks?

The seven steps a bank should take to implement customer journey mapping are:

Define customer segments

Identify key touchpoints

Gather customer data and feedback

Map the customer journey

Identify pain points and opportunities

Use data to make necessary changes and improvements

Continuously monitor and update

Lauren Barber

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B2C bank customer journey map + free template

A bank customer journey map can be a fruitful field for action plans and valuable insights that help to improve client experience in banking. But it also can be a source of headache for those who have never practiced journey mapping as a tool to visualize bank customer journeys.

That's why we're here. Let's break down the beauty of creating a customer journey map in banking, understand how to approach this process, and what to do next.

Why bother about client experience in banking at all?

Finance has always been there and won't go away. We keep our savings in banks, borrow money, use financial products, interact with banks via apps and in person, and so on. It's just the way we live. Today, there are lots of banking organizations out there. That means that the price of a mistake or a bad customer experience—a long queue in a branch near home, a buggy mobile banking app, contracts written for bankers or accountants, not ordinary people—is pretty high. After all, churn in banking is a real thing. People leave. With ease.

  • 1 But how to improve the client experience in banking?
  • 2.1 Ways to collect the info you need
  • 3 B2C bank customer journey persona
  • 4.1 Stage 1. Getting to the bank
  • 4.2 Stage 2. Arrival
  • 4.3 Step 3. Seeing the consultant
  • 4.4 Step 4. Opening a saving account
  • 4.5 Step 5. Support
  • 4.6 Step 6. Feedback
  • 4.7 Step 7. Cross-selling
  • 5 A few tips for creating a bank customer journey map:
  • 6 What’s next?

But how to improve the client experience in banking?

First, you need to conduct proper research, identify your personas, and then build a bank customer journey map to identify experience problems and ways to fix them, then put them into action. To help banks better understand their clients and start delivering the experience they are looking for, we created a B2C customer journey banking template to use as a starting point or a source of inspiration. You can see it below:

b2c customer journey map for banking (template)

This template includes both a client persona and a map with a journey that the persona goes through. And you can easily create a similar map, and we'll explain how right now.

The research part

It can be easy and challenging to gather the data needed to segment your target audience, create customer personas, and visualize their journeys. It's easy in the sense that you likely have a lot of customer data within your organization. But it's also a bit tricky because it will take some effort, and perhaps, getting to know your customers even better.

Ways to collect the info you need

  • Ask your customers direct questions about their experiences, what's bothering them, and how satisfied they are with various aspects of your service. Use questionnaires and polls for this purpose.
  • Talk to some of your customers individually. You conversations can provide deeper insights into their experiences and emotions throughout their banking journey.
  • Invite small groups of customers to gather and chat about their experiences and feelings regarding your bank. This can give you diverse perspectives and valuable insights.
  • Visit the branches of your organization to watch how customers behave in person, or use tools like heatmaps and Google Analytics to observe their online interactions. This will help you see how they interact with your services in real time.
  • Study records from your call center to learn what kinds of questions and complaints customers have. This data can highlight areas where your customer service needs improvement, which is the very information you can put into your journey map.
  • Monitor customer discussions, complaints, and comments on social media platforms. Tools for social listening can help you track sentiment and trends.
  • Look at how customers move money, pay bills, and use your various banking services by analyzing transaction data.
  • Collect customer feedback through forms on your website, mobile app, or in your branches. Ask them about their experiences and what could be better.

B2C bank customer journey persona

With all of this data, you can divide your audience into groups based on specific parameters (e.g., motivations, frustrations, background, etc.) and bring them to life as personas. 

So, what does a persona look like? Take a look at the profile of Aline, our sample persona, below.

b2c banking persona

When building her profile, we paid more attention to how she behaves rather than her demographics. It was all about understanding why Aline does what she does. 

For instance, motivations and frustrations help us figure out what makes our persona want to use our product or service and what could turn them off. The goal of a persona can be different, which also influences how we should interact with them. For example, one person might come to the bank to keep their money safe by making a deposit, while another might be here for a loan to grow their business. We also think about our persona's tech skills because they affect the communication methods we should use. For instance, it doesn't make sense to expect a persona to talk on the phone if they prefer chatting online.

B2C bank customer journey map

So, we've got our persona, Aline, and now it's time to craft her journey into a visual map. Let's dive into what we've designed for Aline's experience.

We are going to start with the stages in our sample customer journey map in banking. The journey begins with our persona rushing to the bank after work with her kids to apply for a vacation loan.

Stage 1. Getting to the bank

bank customer journey map's stage

It would seem that the client has not yet entered, but their experience with your organization is already being formed.

Aline’s possible challenges:

  • Aline wraps up her work during the evening rush hour and has to contend with heavy traffic. She also needs to pick up her children from daycare and make sure she doesn't arrive late for her bank appointment. This can be really frustrating and stressful, and it sets a bad tone for her visit.
  • When she finally gets to the bank, she struggles to find a parking spot. 
  • The bank's entrance isn't very accommodating for wheelchairs or strollers. Aline, with her kids, has to navigate steep stairs or a narrow entrance, which is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
  • To make things even worse, there are no clear signs outside or inside the bank to help Aline find the loan department. This confusion adds extra time and frustration to this step of her journey.

Potential solutions:

  • The bank can invest in vibrant signage and directional indicators outside the office.
  • Reserved parking spaces for bank customers with children or accessibility needs can enhance the overall experience. 
  • Renovating the entrance with a ramp or automated doors can make it more accessible for all customers, especially those with kids in strollers.
  • Clear, user-friendly signages can swiftly guide clients to their destinations, reducing confusion and wait times.

Questions to ask yourself at this stage:

  • Is our building easy to find?
  • If a client arrives by car, will they be able to park at our building?
  • Can the customer be sure they will be accepted if there is little time left before the bank closes?

Stage 2. Arrival

bank customer journey map's stage

For a new client, the first visit to your branch forms a lot of stereotypes, and if they turn out to be negative, it will be difficult to change their mind afterward. But this stage also happens in the journey of regular customers, for whom comfort when visiting your organization matters no less. 

  • As Aline steps inside the bank, she's immediately confronted with a packed lobby teeming with customers. This can be overwhelming, especially when she has her kids in tow, and it might make her feel like she's lost in a crowd.
  • Aline soon notices extensive lines at the customer service and loan application counters. This can be disheartening, as she may anticipate a long wait ahead.
  • To make things more challenging, there isn't any bank staff to welcome or assist Aline as she enters. She's left to navigate the bank's layout all on her own, and this can be intimidating.
  • Aline, accompanied by her children, struggles to find a comfortable place to wait. The bank seems to be lacking sufficient seating, which makes her experience less pleasant.
  • Implement a robust queue management system that notifies customers of their expected wait times. 
  • Station bank personnel at the entrance to welcome customers, offer assistance, and guide them to the appropriate counters. A warm greeting can set a positive tone.
  • Create a dedicated area for parents with children, equipped with toys, books, or games to keep kids engaged while waiting.
  • Provide ample seating in the lobby area, ensuring comfortable spots for families. This improves comfort and convenience.
  • Is there a wardrobe for people to take off their outer clothing in the cold season?
  • Is it comfortable to be in the building?
  • Is there water available?
  • Is the queuing system easy to use?
  • Can clients sit comfortably or do they have to stand while waiting in line?
  • Will our office be comfortable for customers with disabilities and/or children?

Step 4. Opening a saving account

bank customer journey map's stage

Contracts are a serious thing. Someone treats them lightly and signs without checking out, but it’s in the interests of the bank, so the client knows exactly what they are signing. 

  • Aline could feel overwhelmed by a stack of complex documents and forms needed for opening an account.
  • If there are delays in processing her application, it might lead to a prolonged waiting period, causing frustration or uncertainty.
  • When Aline isn't provided with a range of account options tailored to her specific needs, she might get the impression that the bank isn't offering the best solution for her.
  • Additionally, Aline might lack knowledge about savings accounts, interest rates, or associated fees, and this gap in information can make it challenging for her to make informed decisions.
  • Offer clear instructions to help Aline complete the required documents and forms.
  • Keep Aline informed about her application status, interacting with her via phone, online chat, email, or push notifications. Regular updates and estimated processing times can reduce uncertainty.
  • Provide a range of savings account options and assist Aline in choosing the one that best suits her financial goals and circumstances.
  • Offer educational resources or consultations to help Aline understand savings account features, interest rates, and fees. This will empower her to make informed decisions.

Check yourself with the following questions:

  • Is the information in the contract clear and understandable?
  • Is an easy-to-read font used in the contract?
  • Can the employee briefly describe in simple terms each clause of the contract?
  • Is it possible to delay the signing so the client can read the contract at their own pace?

Step 5. Support

support stage

Clients often have questions: they may be far from financial subtleties, deal with bugs in a mobile banking app, the website usability may have some issues, etc. 

  • If Aline faces challenges accessing customer support, it can be a frustrating experience, especially when she has questions or concerns that require immediate attention.
  • Extended wait times for responses to her inquiries or issues may lead to impatience and frustration, making Aline feel that her concerns are not a priority.
  • If Aline's problem is complex, she might have a hard time figuring it out and solving it on her own.
  • Additionally, suppose Aline can only contact the bank through one way, like only using the phone. In that case, it might not match her preferred way of communicating.
  • Provide various customer support channels, including phone, email, chat, and in-person assistance, to accommodate Aline's preferred method of communication.
  • Establish clear response time standards for addressing customer inquiries or issues to ensure timely resolution.
  • Offer accessible and straightforward guidance for customers like Aline, who may need help with more complex issues, perhaps through self-service resources or personalized assistance.
  • Implement proactive communication to keep Aline informed about important account updates or changes, ensuring she feels well-informed and supported.

The questions below will help you find out the pain points at this stage:

  • Through what channels can customers contact our support?
  • Do we have a bot that can take care of typical issues and free up human labor for more complex issues?
  • What are the support hours, considering our customers may be in various time zones?
  • How do support staff behave if they don't know the answer to a customer's question?
  • How quickly does the client receive a response?

Step 6. Feedback

feedback stage

To find out about problems in customer experience, you need to communicate with the people you serve. Of course, you can check bank review sites and forums and search social media for clients' opinions, but you can simplify things and give the clients convenient ways to express themselves. 

  • Suppose Aline faces difficulties in providing feedback because of unclear channels or a feedback process that's not user-friendly. In that case, she may hesitate to share her insights.
  • Aline might feel that her feedback isn't valued or that the bank isn't responsive to customer input.
  • Concerns about the anonymity of her feedback could make Aline hesitant to offer candid comments or suggestions.
  • Aline may feel that her feedback is ignored if she doesn't receive acknowledgment or a response to her comments, which can be disheartening.
  • Create easily accessible feedback channels, such as online forms or surveys, within the bank's digital platforms and physical branches.
  • Develop a responsive system for handling and acknowledging customer feedback. Ensure that Aline knows her input is valuable and appreciated.
  • Offer anonymous feedback options to address privacy concerns. Allow Aline to share her thoughts without revealing personal information.
  • Establish a feedback loop where Aline is kept in the loop regarding the outcomes of her feedback. Such an approach demonstrates the bank's commitment to making improvements based on customer input.

Ask yourself:

  • Do our clients use social media? Are we present on their favorite social media platforms?
  • Do we have feedback forms on the website and app so clients can fill out them after talking to support, submitting a loan application, or even checking their personal accounts?
  • Do we respond to feedback, or does it gather dust?
  • Do we contact customers after processing their feedback and taking action?

Step 7. Cross-selling

Cross-selling stage

Additional services should be commensurate with the capabilities of your customers. For example, if a person in a difficult situation has taken out a loan, it makes no sense to promote favorable insurance plans or a new loan to them. It would be better to wait until the last payment is made and only then share new offerings. Or when your client buys a vehicle, it's only fair to suggest they get car insurance.

Learn more about such journeys in our article dedicated to car insurance journey map creation.

Alina’s possible challenges:

  • If the bank's attempts to offer additional services don't match Aline's needs, she might think they are too pushy or sales-focused, which could make her unhappy.
  • Aggressive sales tactics or excessive persuasion can make Aline uncomfortable and may discourage her from considering additional products or services.
  • When the offers are not tailored to Aline's financial situation or her history with the bank, she might not see the value in the proposed products.
  • Furthermore, Aline may be concerned about transparency and whether the bank's cross-selling practices align with her best interests, which can influence her decision-making.
  • Tailor cross-selling efforts based on Aline's financial history and preferences, ensuring that the offers are relevant and valuable to her.
  • Focus on providing relevant and timely information on the additional products or services rather than aggressive sales tactics.
  • Clearly communicate the benefits and terms of the proposed products, giving Aline the freedom to choose based on her understanding and needs.

Some things to consider when mapping out this stage:

  • Do we differentiate the promotional offers across our personas?
  • Doesn't our customer's email box look like a graveyard of sales offers?
  • How understandable are promotional offers for ordinary customers? Do we attach interest calculators to them?

That’s it. Our map template includes all these steps with the persona’s goals, expectations, thoughts, actions, and emotions. We hope it will give you a deeper understanding of the bank client's experience, and you will build a map based on your own case, identify customer experience gaps, and discover opportunities for improvement at all the journey stages.

A few tips for creating a bank customer journey map:

  • Be sure to use real data to base your bank customer journey map upon. Otherwise, all the ideas you will come up with during brainstorming won’t do any good.
  • Don’t do everything alone. You don’t need a team to launch a mapping project, but you certainly need one to collaborate on your map and finish it and get a buy-in from the top management.
  • Use images to illustrate your customers’ journeys, website screenshots, documents, and other content that add more dimensions to the map. 
  • To enhance empathy, use your customer’s quotes obtained during customer interviews, seen on the forums and review websites, received in surveys, and so on.
  • Update your banking customer journeys regularly. Personas’ goals change over time, some problems are getting fixed while new ones appear.

What’s next?

What's next after creating the map? It's the perfect moment to gather valuable insights about your customer experience and craft a plan for its enhancement. 

To do this, gather your team of engaged colleagues for a workshop , secure the support of key stakeholders from top management, and you're all set to go.

P.S. Need a banking journey template for business? Find it here .

P.P.S. More specific advice on financial journey mapping we put into the free Financial journey mapping whitepaper .

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The Customer Journey in Banking: Why Banks Need to Invest More in Digital Tools to Improve It

bank account opening customer journey

Technology has completely changed customer journeys within the financial services sector. 

Today, prospective buyers might open a new account online or using a mobile device, but finish the process in a branch or on the phone with a call center representative.

It’s crucial that financial institutions get to grips with these new parameters as it’s the quality of these journeys that sets the tone for the customer experience— the most common reason for opening and closing accounts. 

Ultimately, a bad experience affects your bottom line. Consumers who have a very poor experience aren’t likely to purchase additional goods or services. 

On the other hand, those who have a great customer experience are  91 percent more likely to purchase again. 

As customer journeys evolve, and the importance of  customer experience increases, financial institutions face a unique and modern set of challenges.

1. Creating digital customer experiences

In 2015, 67 percent of customers used three or more touchpoints to interact with businesses, up from 17 percent in 2000. 

Today’s customers want the flexibility to access their accounts across a variety of different channels. That might mean a visit to a  social media page, a call to a contact center, a download of  a branded app, or a visit to a physical location.  

Although the need for physical locations hasn’t disappeared, mobile connectivity is growing, and so are the possibilities it can deliver.

In 2018, 70 percent of retail banking customers said that they primarily accessed their accounts via mobile and 61 percent said they’d research a bank’s mobile capabilities before opening an account.

A comprehensive, in-app self-service platform for online customers, therefore, represents a better option than investing in new locations. A digital presence is essential if you want to  build effective customer relationships .

2. Building simplified, customer-centric workflows

Some financial institutions present customers with a battery of products and services leading to confused customers and increased churn. 

A great customer experience should be seamless, simple, and streamlined, with customer’s needs met at every step.

But creating a seamless workflow doesn’t start with the customer, it starts internally.

As McKinsey points out , many banks see complicated processes within their organization and try to solve them by adding more people to the workflow. This simply results in more confusion.

Banks need to simplify the steps within their customer journey.

In one recent report , over half of the companies surveyed indicated that organizational silos, including slow processes and a lack of willingness to change, are the top challenges to the customer experience.

Simple, streamlined processes are the key, and they start with employees.

3. Automating and personalizing experiences

New and emerging technologies like AI are already being brought in to improve customer engagement .

  • Wells Fargo has seen success with  a chatbot banking assistant on Facebook . Customers can interact via Facebook Messenger to check their account balance, recent transactions, and basic expenditures. This simple self-service solution boosts brand loyalty while eliminating the need for service representatives to answer basic questions.
  • Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has launched Ceba —a chatbot designed to assist customers with over 200 banking tasks including card activations, account balance checks, making payments, and more. Instant customer interactions eliminate waiting time. Instead, a personalized experience helps gather all the information they need in seconds.

But AI isn’t the only technological differentiator banks should look to. According to Atos , the ability to pay instantly or connect banks to other services via API may revolutionize the customer relationship by providing new ways for banks to meet and satisfy customer needs.

4. Understanding customer journeys

Using customer journey mapping—creating a roadmap illustrating acquisition channels and how they flow together—companies gain a better understanding of customer behavior.

According to research, only about two-thirds of organizations utilize a customer journey map. However, nearly all those who do say that it has delivered positive results covering a large range of benefits.

Visibility into the customer journey gives banks the opportunity to build a more complete digital experience for customers at every stage of their banking relationships.

5. Building a new banking roadmap

Customers want to open new bank accounts online, but  47 percent of financial services organizations won’t allow them to, if it’s their first, despite the demand. Instead, they’re forced to go into a branch or pick up the phone.

While there are challenges around security, fraud, and theft, customer data clearly shows a strong desire for digitizing parts of banking   

Financial institutions need to understand the gaps in their existing customer journeys and innovate around those opportunities. By isolating weaknesses in the onboarding process and building services around specific endpoints in the customer journey, financial institutions can increase customer satisfaction and the quality of the user experience.

We know that an excellent customer experience leads to higher purchases and greater customer loyalty. Addressing these challenges helps build a broader roadmap to capture and maintain customers as they move forward.

Rethinking the Customer Experience

If banks want to increase profits and market penetration and boost their bottom line , they must perfect their customer experience.

Today’s customers are looking for more than a place to keep their money. They’re looking for an institution they can trust. By providing a great customer experience, you can let them know that they’ve found it.

Here are 11 tools that banks can use to do just that:

1.  Mobile apps

Building an effective mobile app for smartphones might sound like an obvious way to enhance the digital banking experience , but it’s an opportunity that is often overlooked by smaller banks and credit unions. 

Right now, 97% of millennials use mobile banking to handle everything from paying bills to mobile deposit.

Fortunately, building an app for mobile devices is a relatively easy fix that even small banks can manage.

2.  Self-service kiosks

Chase has rolled out its “express branches” in several locations. These smaller, advice-driven branches are designed to help customers learn more about Chase and its banking services.

Self-service kiosks take care of everyday banking needs, so customers can open a savings account, check account balances, transfer funds, and review critical account information without the need for a teller.   

By using digital technology, Chase empowers customers to move through the pipeline at their own pace.

3.  Artificial intelligence

AI is one of the few digital powerhouses that have the ability to impact all levels of the banking system.

A  study by Accenture lists six areas where AI is predicted to have a big impact. Customer insights and multiple digital acquisition channels are among those areas. 

Artificial intelligence will no doubt help deliver change, but it’s up to banks to determine exactly how they want to use it.

4.  Voice optimization

Voice-based technology is experiencing rapid growth. Currently, global smart speaker sales are expected to exceed  $30 billion by 2024 . On top of that, 55% of households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2022.

While it might be too early to consider opening bank accounts purely by voice, financial institutions can incorporate natural language processing units to understand what their product is about, optimize content for voice-based search indexing, and ensure that it’s easy for voice tools to explain products to customers.

5.  Improved encryption

According to  a study by the Ponemon Institute and nCipher , only 45% of businesses have an encryption strategy applied consistently across their enterprise.

Improved encryption and security helps banks protect customer identities and financial data. Considering the massive financial leaks over the past few years, taking steps to prevent those kinds of headaches can only be a good thing.

Everyone and everything, from an entry-level employee to an AI focused on workflow optimization, has a role to play in improving encryption and protecting data.

6.  Budgeting and wealth management tools

One way of improving the digital banking experience is to develop more tools to help people manage their wealth.

Simple does this by going beyond deposits, ATMs, and debit cards to incorporate a battery of wealth management tools and guidance for customers who want to manage their money more effectively.

These tools improve the customer experience by giving customers everything they need to restructure their finances without ever leaving their financial institution to do it.

7.  Support channel integration

When bank customers have questions, where can they go to get answers?  Are they stuck talking to a call center agent or forced to go into a branch?

Banks can add support channel integration to provide easy access to information. A smooth path to answers does wonders for the customer experience—a huge driver for satisfaction and retention according to one Ipsos study .  

Banks need to look beyond mere account functionality towards a more holistic approach, from delivering an omnichannel or multichannel experience all the way to creating an end-to-end banking solution for customers.

8.  Next-generation payment platforms

In the past, the focus of  omnichannel experiences has been front end, leaving the back half of the transactional experience—the spending—in the customer’s hands.

That might be a missed opportunity. Customers want greater flexibility when paying. That’s why payment platforms like Apple Pay, Zelle, and Venmo exist.

Last year,  Zelle announced $49 billion sent on 196 million transactions. Year on year payment values increased 58% and transaction volume increased 73%.

Giving customers more control over how they spend their money (rather than forcing a cash withdrawal or using a debit card or credit card) is a surefire way to transform the digital banking experience.

9.  APIs and open banking

Open banking is the practice of allowing third-party financial service providers access to financial data through an API.  

This makes it possible for banking customers to link their accounts with third-party vendors, who could then help them review financial data, transact products, or identify opportunities to manage their wealth more effectively.

Security risks have led to slow adoption in the US, but it’s a tool banks should consider when creating a more complete customer experience.

10. Financial education programs

While financial education programs do exist, such as those from  FDIC , banks aren’t engaging enough in this area. 

Banks looking to deliver a more complete digital banking experience should embrace the opportunity to help customers understand how their products can help manage wealth, thereby growing revenue through increasing customer loyalty.

Financial education programs help customers grasp the fundamentals of banking. They can even be used to uncover hidden needs around savings, investment, and small business banking, offering products to meet those needs.

11. Dedicated support team

The truth is, there are some things that AI and self-service just can’t handle.  

A dedicated customer support and success team ensures an end-to-end experience that keeps customers happy.

For customers with specific needs, specialized support teams (like small business banking) can add massive value.

Many banks leverage financial advisors to help with this, but the technological savvy provided by a dedicated support team is a huge boost for any organization.

Examples of companies innovating with digital tools

Now that we’ve talked about tools, let’s have a look at how major financial players have used some of them to drive the digital transformation of their customer journey and create great experiences.

Australian Securities Exchange

Australian Securities Exchange

While ASX isn’t strictly a bank, it is Australia’s primary securities exchange. With nearly AU$2 trillion in registered equities and nearly AU$5 billion processed every single day , ASX is no stranger to large and constant cash flow.

The Exchange runs on a system called CHESS, which handles the processes of clearing, settlement, asset registration, and other critical services. Built 25 years ago, it still functions normally, but lacks the added security and transparency of a distributed ledger.

Over the past few years, ASX has been working to replace CHESS with a blockchain-based ledger to help them futureproof the Exchange while accounting for user privacy and regulatory compliance.

This evolution in infrastructure may be invisible to everyday users, but as a foundational element of the Exchange, it’s an essential part of the customer journey.

BNY Mellon

A few years ago, the Bank of New York Mellon realized they could free up team members to focus on the customer journey by leveraging robotics process automation (RPA) and machine learning.

RPA helps automate repetitive and labor-intensive tasks across multiple workflows and systems. The software can be trained to emulate a user’s workflow or accomplish a specific task. Once that happens, users only need to intervene when exceptions arise.

The company takes this a step further by incorporating machine learning into the process to optimize workflows through pattern recognition. So robots learn the process via RPA and machine learning teaches the robots (and users) how to optimize those workflows.

This helps the company save money, but it also allows employees to spend less time working with their computers and more time focusing on customer feedback and products that potential customers might want or need.

Westpac New Zealand

Westpac New Zealand

Since 2014, Westpac New Zealand  has used augmented reality (AR) to give its customers quick insights about their money. Customers can place their bank cards under their smartphone camera and get a glimpse of their most recent transactions, make payments, and manage their spending.  

Using AR removes the need to go through an extensive login or sign-on process every time they want more info about the card in their hand. The bank stresses that this only works if the phone and card are registered to the same user, an important security measure designed to prevent fraud.

AR also brings digital information to life in the real world. Users can hold up their smartphones and quickly pinpoint the location of any nearby Westpac ATM or branch location.  

While it’s possible to do this through a series of apps, AR gives a complete mobile banking experience from a user’s smartphone by creating a link between their physical location and the digital space.

A new journey in fintech

It’s obvious that banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions have experienced some growing pains with the rise of digital banking.

To improve the digital banking experience then, financial institutions need to do more than ever before. With the right mindset and tools, unforgettable customer experiences can be created. 

Learn more about customer experience in the finance industry with our financial services customer experience optimization factsheet .

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Taking Digital Banking Beyond Customer Journeys - rectangle

Related Expertise: Financial Institutions , Customer Journey , Digital, Technology, and Data

Taking Digital Banking Beyond Customer Journeys

July 05, 2022  By  Jungkiu Choi ,  Mark Dynes ,  Yashraj Erande , and  Diana Rosioru

  • Customers are moving to digital channels faster than they have in the past. Our 2021 retail banking report found that online banking use rose by 23%, and mobile banking use was up by 30% over the previous year.
  • Digital banks and fintech insurgents are on the rise. There are about 250 digital challenger banks worldwide, with more on the way. Investment in fintech firms totaled $93 billion in the third quarter of 2021 alone.
  • Successful digital transformations deliver results. Our case experience shows cost reductions of 15% to 20%, improvements of 20% to 40% in efficiency and error rate reduction, increases of 20 to 30 points in customer satisfaction scores, and two- to fourfold acceleration in the delivery of new products and services.

Many of the missteps that banks make can be avoided by building their digital transformation programs around a full front-to-back approach focused on customer value streams.

When it comes to digital transformations , financial institutions have the second-highest success rate after the technology, media, and telecommunications sector. But six out of ten financial services companies still fail to achieve their transformation goals. One reason, as our past research has shown, is that most companies, including banks, do not have all of the six requisite digital success factors in place. In addition, our experience with more than 100 cases involving more than 50 clients over the last five years suggests that too many financial institutions do not base their transformation programs on fully meeting their customers' needs.

Banks have become adept at focusing transformations on customer journeys —the process that customers go through to meet a need, such as opening an account, borrowing money, or securing help with transactions or payments. This is a great first step, but banks often fail to take the critical next steps required to redesign and digitize their organizations and operating models around customer value streams: the value-adding activities that support those customer journeys from end to end.

A value stream approach encompasses all the activities and interactions a bank needs to manage from the front (customer facing) end to the back end (process operations, risk, legal and compliance, and technology). Since this kind of full overhaul also requires agile ways of working to enable the necessary speed and flexibility, it can become a heavy organizational lift.

  • Working in a Retail Bank Will Never Be the Same
  • It’s Time for Institutional Investors to Embrace the S in ESG
  • Flipping the Odds of Digital Transformation Success
  • The Moment of Truth in Every Digital Journey

Banks have ample reasons to get their digital transformations right. Customers are moving to digital channels faster than they have in the past. Our 2021 retail banking report found that the use of online banking had increased by 23% and mobile banking use was up 30% over the previous year. Meanwhile, digital banks and fintech insurgents are on the rise. We reported last year that there are about 250 digital challenger banks worldwide, with more on the way. Investment in fintech firms totaled $93 billion in the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to BCG’s FinTech Control Tower .

Banks often fail to take the critical steps required to redesign and digitize their organizations and operating models around customer value streams.

But perhaps the strongest reason is the results that successful digital transformations deliver. For banks, our case experience shows cost reductions of 15% to 20% (through decreases in the current cost base or avoidance of future cost increases), improvements of 20% to 40% in efficiency and error rate reduction, increases of 20 to 30 points in customer satisfaction scores, and two- to fourfold acceleration in the delivery of new products and services.

In our experience, many of the missteps that banks make—such as putting solutions before problems, pursuing an internal focus, treating transformation as a tech issue, digitizing before improving the underlying process, and not adjusting the enabling operating model—can be avoided by going beyond customer journeys and taking a full front-to-back value stream approach. Here’s how.

The Banking Customer Journey

The customer journey comprises the series of interactions that begins when a customer perceives a need, such as resolving a service issue or buying a home, and continues until the need is met. It involves numerous decision-making events that customers encounter in their physical or virtual interactions with one or more financial institutions. Each interaction, in turn, sets off a chain reaction behind the scenes, which cuts across multiple parts of the banking organization affecting both the customer and the employee experience. This chain of activity extends across the operating model and bank processes, including functions that are not visible to customers, such as risk and compliance, technology, and change management and agile delivery. (See Exhibit 1.)

bank account opening customer journey

In each major line of business (retail banking, wealth management, small- and medium-enterprise banking, and commercial or corporate banking), banks typically handle about 50 customer journeys that can grouped into five broad “megajourneys.” (See Exhibit 2.) These include:

  • Helping the customer open a new account
  • Helping the customer borrow money
  • Helping to promote the customer's financial well-being
  • Helping the customer with transactions and payments
  • Helping to solve the customer's problems and issues

bank account opening customer journey

Successful banks start with the understanding that these journeys encompass the entire customer experience from beginning to end, and they organize themselves to address customer needs in ways that mirror customers’ perspective. They also leverage the resulting transformation of the bank from a product and service focus to a customer-centric focus to motivate people to go above and beyond the basic requirements for every customer.

Customer Value Streams

When banks seek to digitize, they often make one of four mistakes:

  • They make big investments in digital solutions that are focused on the customer experience, forgetting to wire the improvements through to the back end (process steps, regulatory policies, and risk assessment after the customer's application or request is received). This can lead to improvements in customer satisfaction, but the bank gets no benefit from back-end alignments and improvements—such as straight-through processing—and therefore limited ROI.
  • They make big investments in automating the back end, which lead to incremental gains but do not fundamentally resolve customers’ pain points or address their needs, or it takes too long to realize the intended improvements.
  • They invest in transforming and modernizing legacy technology but do not address the disconnects or misalignments between IT and business processes, resulting in partial or delayed impact.
  • They make fragmented investments across silos and end up more or less maintaining the status quo in a more digitized state or achieving only incremental improvements.

Front-to-back digitization of the customer journey requires developing a data- and analytics-powered digital experience that provides personalized engagement, efficiency, and convenience throughout the journey at low cost. Based on real-life situations, such digitized journeys anticipate demands and introduce touchpoints with offerings or suggestions drawn from the bank’s full portfolio of products, services, and capabilities. Properly managed, they involve interactions that leverage new technologies and insights about user behavior and add value on all channels for all users, be they customers, agents, or employees. Because the journeys cut across service channels and business divisions—which for many banks means breaking down siloed operations—digitizing them requires a transformation in how the bank does business. Hence the move by successful banks to organize customer journeys around customer value streams and agile ways of working.

Successful banks start with the understanding that customer journeys encompass the entire customer experience from beginning to end, and they organize themselves to address customer needs in ways that mirror customers’ perspective.

Value streams and agile are also vehicles for change. Incumbents, in particular, face embedded organizations, entrenched silos, and longstanding ways of working that slow and sometimes thwart digital initiatives. (See “The Challenge for Incumbents.”) To overcome such impediments, banks need to consolidate digitization initiatives by integrating cross-functional design and delivery teams and gain a single view of investments and improvements in current and reimagined products and services. They can then build critical new capabilities, such as data-driven customer engagement, as part of the digitization program and leverage them across the appropriate value streams. Management can prioritize the backlog of in-process digitization initiatives according to an objective, consistent assessment of their desirability, viability, and feasibility—an analysis known as DVF.

The Challenge for Incumbents

Properly organized, value streams and agile ways of working deliver capabilities and features that are optimized for customer and employee needs as well as for process cost and controls. Rethinking the digitization business case on the basis of end-to-end customer journeys realigns the bank’s resources into multifunctional teams around the resulting value streams. The digitization levers—automation, artificial intelligence, lean operations, digital sales, and data and digital-technology platforms—can be deployed in a coordinated manner, value stream by value stream, until the bank’s organization and operations have been thoroughly transformed.

The value stream approach unlocks cost and experience improvements not otherwise possible. And the value can come quickly. For example, the small-business unsecured lending value stream for one Asian bank registered improvements of 800% in applications, 400% in approvals, and 500% (in dollar terms) in credit lines approved—all based on its first minimum viable product (MVP) release. Another bank found that a new app generated more than the equivalent of a full month of its sales staff’s total business after release of the second-generation MVP.

You Have to Be Agile

One of the six key success factors for digital transformation is adoption of an agile mindset. Agile companies address roadblocks quickly, adapt to changing contexts, and drive cross-functional, mission-oriented, “fail fast and learn fast” behavior into the wider organization. They deal with individual challenges without losing sight of the broader goals.

BCG has published extensively on agile ways of working and their strong link to digital transformations. (See “BCG on Agile.”) Writing about the rise of digital banking in Asia-Pacific in 2021, we observed that successfully building and scaling a digital bank requires a focus on three pillars that stimulate customer engagement and ensure critical business agility: customer obsession, scalable and flexible technology, and agile organization and governance. The third of these has become critical not only to digital operations but to the transformation itself.

BCG on Agile

Agile and agile transformations, agile in financial institutions.

There are a couple of key reasons. First, evidence indicates that digital banks work best when run independently, allowing them to focus on their own success through rapid decision making and execution. Second, organizational structures should enable collaboration between digital talent—including IT staff—and bankers. An agile structure echoes the growth strategies of successful technology firms. An iterative process of testing and execution underpins a flexible and efficient organization, but the bank must capture this approach in the governance framework of systems, controls, and processes. A clear division of roles and corresponding decision rights and responsibilities among business functions legitimizes and balances interactions.

Like digital transformations themselves, achieving agile at scale requires that companies address their full operating model. Now more than ever, they need to extend agile deeper into their business and culture. And while agile values are consistent—including a strong customer focus and empowered cross-functional teams working with autonomy toward aligned goals and working iteratively in short “sprints” to allow for transparency and reprioritization—each bank needs to adopt the agile approach to its own operating model. For example, OP Financial Group, Finland’s largest financial institution, followed seven guiding principles when adapting its operating model to an agile approach. (See Exhibit 3.)

bank account opening customer journey

The impact can be substantial. We have seen banks achieve a 10% to 20% increase in customer satisfaction and return on digital investment, two to four times faster time to market and new-product development, a 15% to 25% reduction in development costs, and a better than 90% improvement in employee engagement.

Still, far too many banks continue to follow a waterfall approach to product development or process improvement. Here, the full specs are set at the start—often based on imprecise or ill-defined goals; the product or process is designed, developed, and tested sequentially, with many handovers; and delivery (which can take 12 months) is often delayed and the project over budget. In the end, requirements have changed, the product or process is out of date, or the customer doesn’t get what he or she really needs.

Digitizing Front to Back

The best way for banks to undertake front-to-back transformation is to operate at the intersection of the four major pieces of the puzzle shown in Exhibit 4.

bank account opening customer journey

First, customer journey digitization. This is about delivering a “Wow!” customer experience through world-class interfaces and workflows. The major effort should be getting the workflow process right from the customer perspective using human-centric design principles.

Second, scalable tech-ops, or ensuring that the process doesn’t stand on bamboo shoots. Our best clients have leveraged cloud technologies and advanced-technology architecture to power customer journeys. Cyberfusion—unifying security and related functions—and digital-fraud prevention are a big part of this. Good technology infrastructure is flexible, scalable, and reliable.

Third, intelligent systems: using data science to ensure that the processes and operations are smart. Every time a customer goes through a journey, the system becomes smarter about two things: the customer and the process. This continuous improvement requires creating a data lake infrastructure that can absorb process DNA and customer DNA to generate insights.

Fourth, the right governance and policy guardrails. The customer journey, technology, and market intelligence should all flow through risk policies and governance policies and procedures that the institution is comfortable with. These guardrails are established and then codified into the rule engines, models, workflows, deviations, escalations, flags, access privileges, and so on.

All four pieces of the puzzle are required for a truly sustainable front-to back transformation, and they must be pursued with expertise, rigor, and effective change management discipline. In our experience, successful banks transform their operations one or a few value streams at a time, following a multistep process for each one. We outline this process below.

One of the six key success factors for digital transformation is adoption of an agile mindset.

Establish the purpose and objectives. Each bank is different, but most will set goals for their transformations that reflect what they want to deliver for both customers and the bank. For customers, the goals will involve reinventing journeys for greater satisfaction and improved experience (faster turnaround time, optional branch visits, or greater transparency on processes, for example). Common goals for the bank include increasing customer satisfaction across the interactions that make up the journey (typically measured by net promoter scores), improving the cost-to-income ratio (through operational process efficiencies and automation), and building the enterprise’s agility and digital capabilities to improve speed to market and execution.

For most banks, the key ingredients of success will include the following:

  • Reimagined Capabilities: Identifying and addressing capability gaps and improving processes, approach, and culture. This includes acquiring zero-based design capabilities and in-sourcing digital tools that enable agile development cycles, such as collaboration tools, design systems, and common code libraries. All these moves can help shift the bank towards a lean and agile organization, establish automated development processes, and eliminate work and redundant capabilities throughout product development and value delivery to customers.
  • Bold Business Outcomes: Establishing targets based on the art of the possible rather than incrementalism; replacing siloed, functional-service-level agreement metrics with full front-to-back measurements of success. For example, targets can include reducing turnaround time by more than half, reducing error rates by more than half, and doubling or quadrupling digital sales.
  • Simplified and Automated Processes: Reducing work and rework across sales, operations, and service; centralizing, simplifying, eliminating, and standardizing work before implementing automation; and eliminating management errors at the back end by fixing front-to-back communication and alignment.
  • Improved Risk Controls: Building risk and compliance into design instead of adding them later, organizing to allow risk and compliance and business teams to jointly solve problems, and implementing robust, user-friendly, efficient controls. Operations risk controls can be built as algorithmic modules so they are traceable and auditable.
  • Transformed Technology: Tying technology, digital, and data investments to use cases; removing technology duplication across silos; and integrating design and delivery to eliminate waste. This technology transformation can be accomplished using cloud platforms (discussed below).

Put fully cross-functional teams in place. A customer journey involves many moving parts, including some that have no direct contact with customers. Behind-the-scenes functions, such as operations, compliance, legal, risk, and technology, must be included in the customer value stream teams from the start. These are often brought in too late, and even functions that have direct customer impact, such as marketing and operations, are sometimes neglected. Generally, any function that has a meaningful role in shaping the customer experience, even if only in the background, should have a seat at the value stream table.

In addition to spanning the full value stream and technology stack, teams need a dedicated leader who is 100% assigned to the role. (See Exhibit 5.) Other expert roles and support functions may require only a partial time commitment but should carry clearly defined accountability. Some topics (such as process simplification and technology architecture) may require setting up subteams to fully flesh out solutions.

bank account opening customer journey

Teams need to be trained in agile ways of working so they learn how to work in quick sprints, establish strong feedback loops with customers (both external and internal), and pursue a process of continuous product or service improvement at each stage of the value stream.

Achieving success typically requires fully empowering the teams and making them permanent components of the organization, creating a supporting ecosystem, and putting cross-functional value stream work at the top of the organization’s change agenda.

Understand the current state of the customer journey. In a 2019 white paper on better understanding wealth management clients , BCG observed that while private banks and wealth managers collect a lot of data, they generally focus on what is happening rather than on the why —what caused a certain customer behavior or decision. As a result, they miss or misunderstand specific customer pain points and fail to use digital tools and platforms to full effect. Offerings are not integrated into the customer journey and digital investment is dedicated to standalone deliverables.

A true understanding of customer behaviors establishes a baseline for analyzing the current customer journey from both customers’ and bank employees’ points of view. It sets the foundation for the future journey and the products and services that will be designed, as well as for the supporting operational, financial, marketing, legal and compliance, and technology ramifications.

Any function that has a meaningful role in shaping the customer experience, even if only in the background, should have a seat at the value stream table.

One often overlooked method that can help develop this level of understanding is ethnographic research, or the study of human behavior in context. Design experts are trained to observe customer behaviors from multiple perspectives by applying a wide set of research tools and methods. They can unveil what traditional marketing research methods sometimes overlook: why customers behave in a certain way and what is the underlying motivation behind the behavior. The key principle is not to ask customers directly about the decisions they are making but to step into their shoes and observe them in the context of a given situation. Researchers monitor or interact with study participants in their real-life environment.

In a banking context, this may involve observing a couple having a conversation about their financial plans for retirement, following a young professional performing tasks at a branch, or studying a client meeting with a relationship manager. Ethnographic research enables designers to identify recurring pain points in the customer’s journey that would not necessarily be visible out of context.

When well conducted, ethnographic research leads to a better understanding of customers’ motivations for using the products and services in question. It uncovers their feelings towards brands and competitors; their reactions to new ideas, products, and services; and their experiences with products and services. The research findings can be used to conduct value stream mapping of the current journey that explains the behaviors and unmet needs of customers, frames the problems to be solved, and identifies the product and service features most likely to drive business value.

In addition, at this stage, the bank should assess its processes, end-to-end error rates, turnaround times, regulatory policies and requirements, risk appetite and control measures, and relevant technology modules. Most banks find that their assumptions do not accurately reflect reality. They discover that many documents are outdated, for example, and that identifying relevant regulatory policies is not easy unless they have a well-managed knowledge management system with the right taxonomy and enterprise search capabilities. Policies are often written in a confusing way. Gaining an accurate understanding of current circumstances is critical to determining what needs to be changed and improved.

Design the desired end state and prioritize the initiatives needed to get there. Based on their ethnographic research, value stream mapping, and assessment of current processes, banks can design an ideal journey that addresses both the customer interfaces and the back-end implications. They should approach the challenge unconstrained by the realities of their current situation, setting aside such considerations as regulatory requirements, tech platform, ways of working, and embedded processes in order to reimagine the possible. With the new end state in hand, they can then seek feedback and alignment with those responsible for the various stages of the value stream. This will identify the changes in processes, regulatory policies, risk appetite, and digital tools and modules needed to make the desired customer journey a reality. The outcomes should include a definition of the end-state customer journey that addresses customer and employee pain points and barriers to implementation, a prioritized list of change initiatives to enable the new journey, the features of the early MVPs that will form the basis of implementation, and a list of quick wins.

The customer journey itself can be defined as a bundle of functionalities, each of which can be prioritized and broken down into a series of tasks that will form the work backlog of the value stream teams. Prioritization should be based on a DVF analysis: how important is each task to customers, does it have an attractive value to the bank, and can we do it? Typically, internal changes are addressed first and customer changes later, once the internal foundations are in place. The criteria for prioritizing changes should include the expected weight of impact and an assessment of their feasibility for key functions such as technology, risk, compliance, sales, and operations.

The top-priority initiatives can then be bundled into a series of MVPs, each with a defined scope of features. A single MVP can take the form of a change in process, regulatory policies, an app or website, or tech solution architecture, among other things. An overall MVP roadmap sets out how many MVPs are needed to move from the current to the desired state of the customer journey. What's important is to take an integrated perspective and determine priorities based on DVF. In most cases, 70% to 80% of the total impact can be realized in the first two MVPs.

A true understanding of customer behaviors establishes a baseline for analyzing the current customer journey from both customers’ and bank employees’ points of view.

Two practical principles should drive MVP prioritization. First, early MVPs should focus on back-end features rather than customer interface features, improving and de-risking them before launch. Second, banks should put a strong emphasis on feasibility in the beginning and limit the features to be changed to about 20 in number. More balanced DVF weightings can be assigned later.

Use cloud platforms. Many banks, especially in emerging markets, run their operations using legacy on-premises technology, which is time-consuming, inefficient, and expensive to update. Banks that successfully transform digitally move their operations, data, and workloads to the cloud, often employing “sandbox” platforms, or isolated testing environments, in the process.

When technology layers—including customer and frontline engagement, integration and APIs, data and analytics, security, and infrastructure—are moved to or built on the cloud, new-technology and application development is faster, more reliable, and more easily scalable. Significant innovations in cloud platforms and the increasing availability of cloud-based tools provide banks with greater flexibility and speed. In time, the cloud can take over most, if not all, legacy on-premises functions, and most of the analytics tools that banks will want to incorporate, such as AI and machine learning, will run better as a result.

Design and prototype the first MVP. This phase has three main steps that most successful banks follow, although they may iterate several times within each one. The goal is to sprint through each step toward an MVP that can be tested with users to generate the feedback needed to refine and improve it. (See Exhibit 6.)

bank account opening customer journey

The first step involves an in-depth analysis of the task. This includes defining a process with desirable user workflows (for both customers and employees), setting up the tech development environment in the cloud, and translating the user workflow into a tech workflow for designing the solution. It also involves redefining relevant regulatory policies and risk control measures.

Next comes MVP design. In this step, the team develops an illustrative wireframe—a two-dimensional illustration of how the application will work—clarifies the business requirements for the tech team, and translates these into a software requirements specification containing the detailed functional requirements for development of the MVP.

Moving from design to prototype involves designing and refining the user interface (front and back ends) in accordance with feedback from user tests (with both customers and employees). The interfaces can then be coded, implemented, and integrated with internal systems. It may also be necessary to develop new regulatory-policy packages and risk control measures that reflect input from relevant stakeholders.

Pilot, learn, and prepare to scale up. Piloting the MVP with users is about validating hypotheses, collecting information on users’ adoption behaviors, and deriving the lessons that can form the basis for a process of continuous improvement. Pilots can also be used to test whether intended improvements work as designed. The key steps are:

  • Defining the key hypothesis to be validated
  • Developing a clear customer acquisition approach and sales force engagement plan
  • Building a rigorous measurement approach and key performance indicators to monitor such factors as error rate, turnaround time, new customers acquired, and new-customer inquiries
  • Developing an in-depth qualitative feedback loop to collect insights to be acted on—the “why” behind the actual performance

At the same time, banks can develop a plan for rolling out or scaling up the new product. This involves identifying the target customer segments, setting quantitative and qualitative KPIs, and readying the branch network and sales team for rollout, including sufficient training for branch, operations, and sales staff.

After launching the first MVP, the team can apply validated learnings in subsequent MVPs while continuing to test, learn, and refine the initial pilot. The first MVPs can then be scaled up. The next MVPs follow the same design, develop, pilot, learn, and scale cycle.

The Resourcing Requirements Will Evolve

The front-to-back approach is a structured process for executing the transformation and digitization of each value stream. The agile teams assigned to design and implement the components of the transformation constitute permanent modifications to the bank’s organization and operating model. Individual teams' makeup will evolve over time as they work through the MVP iteration process and move from addressing one part of the value stream to the next. (See Exhibits 7 and 8.) For example, the ratio of coordinators (those who coordinate across various business units and functions) to generators (those who generate ideas to improve and design the solutions) to doers (those who incorporate the solutions into systems and processes) will shift from 50-50-0 to 5-15-80 as the team’s work evolves from designing the vision and strategy to reimagining the customer journey to designing and implementing the MVPs. Each bank’s roadmap will be different, determined by such factors as the number of changes the bank can digest at once, the adjustment of features based on MVP piloting and testing, and the availability and capability of IT platforms and resources.

bank account opening customer journey

Leading banks are already organizing solution delivery around customer value streams. They have defined the critical steps, assigned cross-functional teams that use agile ways of working to each one, and given those teams responsibility for product management and change, including product revenues and delivery.

The front-to-back value stream approach represents a huge opportunity for banks that have not yet tackled full digital transformation, as well as for those that have tried to transform and come up short. The steps described above are straightforward, but it pays to remember a few key principles. Put customer and employee needs first—and keep them there. Perfection is an enemy of speed. Test, learn, adapt, modify, and move on. Agile is a prerequisite and a high-impact way of thinking, working, and executing. Dream big and transformational, but be practical in your approach.


Managing Director & Senior Partner


Managing Director & Partner


Mumbai - Nariman Point

Diana Rosioru

Lead Strategic Designer

Platinion – Milan


Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

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Navigating a Customer Journey Map in Banking: Identifying Pain Points and Opportunities

The banking sector, in its tireless search for operational excellence and customer satisfaction, is facing a formidable challenge: unraveling the complex paths of the Customer Journey Map in Banking. This journey, filled with ever-evolving expectations and needs, demands meticulous attention to the pain points that can divert or even stop the flow of a positive customer experience.

Customer journey mapping is not just a theoretical exercise, but a strategic initiative that can illuminate the path to a stronger and more committed relationship with the customer. By identifying and transforming pain points into pleasure points, banks can not only improve the customer experience, but also secure their position in an increasingly competitive and phygital   market.

Customer Journey Flow for Bank Account Opening

The Customer Journey Map in Banking: Key Tool for growth

Before diving into the turbulent waters of customer experience, it is essential to have a compass: the customer journey map. This critical tool allows financial institutions to visualize every step a customer takes in their interaction with the bank, from opening an account to resolving a dispute. By mapping these processes, banks can identify not only where obstacles are located, but also how and when they occur, allowing for a precise and adjusted response.

Identifying Predominant Pain Points

  • Disjointed Experiences: Despite digital convergence, customers often encounter barriers when moving from one channel to another, resulting in a fragmented experience that diminishes perceptions of efficiency and customer service.
  • Archaic Authentication Processes: Identity verification is vital, but outdated or redundant methods can frustrate users, encouraging them to search for more agile alternatives .
  • Reactive Customer Service: In a world where anticipation is synonymous with care, banking often falls behind, reacting to problems instead of preventing them with proactive and personalized service.

Exploiting Opportunities: From Pain Points to Pleasure Points

  • Articulated Experiences and Fluid Interconnection: Adopting platforms and solutions that ensure a seamless transition between channels , banks can increase customer convenience and satisfaction, while strengthening customer loyalty.
  • Modern and Secure Authentication: By implementing biometric and behavioral authentication technologies, banks can offer security without sacrificing ease of use.
  • Proactive Service: Through predictive analytics and personalization, banks can anticipate customer needs and offer solutions before the user is aware of the problem.

Going deeper into the Transformation of the Customer Journey in Banking

Detailed customer journey mapping is just the beginning; The real magic happens when banks embark on the journey of transforming these maps into frictionless, memorable experiences. This analysis focuses on how banks can turn challenges into strategic wins.

From Frustration to Ease: Simplifying Interaction

Customer-Centric User Interface: Banks must invest in designing interfaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but, more importantly, intuitive and easy to navigate. A user-centric interface minimizes confusion and maximizes efficiency, leading to an increase in customer satisfaction and retention.

Optimization of Processes and Response Times: The digitization of processes must go beyond the migration of paper forms to screens. Banks must rethink and optimize every process to ensure quick responses and timely resolutions to customer queries and issues.

Building Bridges in Omnichannel

Channel and Data Integration: True omnichannel requires banks to break down information silos. Integrating data across channels enables a unified view of the customer, enabling more consistent and personalized interactions.

Consistency in Communication: Constant and consistent communication at all touch points reinforces the brand and customer trust. Every interaction should reflect the bank’s values ​​and message, regardless of the channel.

Safety and Accessibility: The Dynamic Duo

Balance between Security and User Experience: Banks must find the balance point where information security does not compromise the user experience. Implementing advanced authentication systems that are robust yet discreet may be the key.

Transparency in Security Practices: Informing customers about how their data is protected not only increases transparency but also trust. A clear and effectively communicated security policy can be a competitive differentiator.

Transforming Theory into Action: Case Studies and Strategies in the Banking Customer Journey

With customer journey mapping outlined, it is critical to examine how banks can apply these maps to orchestrate meaningful and positive changes to the customer experience. Through concrete case studies, we can illustrate how theory translates into successful banking practices.

Success Stories: Innovation in Practice

Banks that have Redefined Welcome: Some financial institutions have managed to transform the onboarding experience of new customers by drastically reducing the time it takes to open an account, thanks to the implementation of digital verification and the use of e-signatures . This change not only improves efficiency but also drives customer satisfaction from the first contact.

Omnichannel Made Real: There are examples of banks that, by integrating their customer service services into a omnichannel platform , have provided a seamless experience, allowing customers to resume a conversation at any touchpoint, whether online, through a mobile device, or in person, without having to repeat information.

Personalization in Action: Some banking entities have made progress in the use of data analytics to personalize offers and communications. By analyzing customer behavior and preferences, they have been able to offer tailored products and services that meet individual needs and encourage greater loyalty.

Example of Customer Journey Map in Banking: Savings Account Opening

Designing a complete and detailed customer journey map can be an extensive process, but here is a simplified example of what a customer experience map might look like for a typical banking process, such as opening a savings account. This map is a general framework that can be deepened and expanded according to the bank’s specific needs and customer feedback. The key is to constantly iterate, using real data and feedback to refine each stage of the customer journey.

Conclusion: The Banking of the Future Forged on the Paths of the Present

The customer journey in banking is a microcosm of the human experience, reflecting the complexities and aspirations of customers who seek simplicity, security and recognition in their financial interactions. Banks that commit to understanding and improving this journey are investing in the most valuable capital of the modern era: customer trust and loyalty.

By systematically identifying and addressing pain points in the customer journey, banks not only elevate their service; They create financial ecosystems where clients feel understood and valued. Implementing strategies focused on personalization, omnichannel, and technological innovation is not only a response to a market imperative, but also a commitment to growth and adaptability.

The conclusion is clear: long-term success in banking is built on exceptional customer experiences, meticulously designed through mapping and reinventing the customer journey. It is a continuous process of evolution, where every feedback and every interaction is an opportunity to learn and improve. Those banks that remain diligent, dynamic and determined in this endeavor will not only prosper, but will also become beacons of innovation and role models in the financial industry.

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Customer journey mapping: The long and winning road

bank account opening customer journey

It’s no secret that happier customers are our most loyal, dependable customers. And in today’s disruptive environment, where customers can choose to bank with anyone instead of the neighborhood branch, it’s more important than ever to learn just what keeps customers happy and loyal.

That’s where customer journey mapping comes in. While the tool is not widely used in the banking industry, customer journey mapping is a proven, successful way to identify how customers make buying decisions—and where they get frustrated and back off, never to be seen again. In fact, customer journey mapping represents one of 2019’s biggest opportunities for banks and credit unions to find out more about customers and expand relationships.

The goal is to learn how customers interact with a company, the good and the bad. The map documents the path potential customers can take. It generally involves three steps: how they realize they have a need, research possible services and make a buying decision. The map also includes how customers might navigate through a company’s website or mobile app, or what might happen when they visit a branch or reach out to the call center. It can also show how banks respond to customer requests, the documentation they’d need to supply and the approval process to open new accounts, loans or investment accounts.

But that’s not all. A good customer journey map also considers what happens after the purchase and points the way to customer follow-ups, marketing efforts and opportunities to solicit more business down the road.

Customer journey maps are important for banks’ success. And clearly, there’s room to grow. The latest BAI Banking Outlook data shows that two thirds of financial services organizations “sometimes” or “infrequently” use customer data in a way that allows them to better serve customer needs. And nearly half—46 percent—reported that they could make better use of data about customers to improve product and service recommendations.

And for the huge amount of customer data banks hold, it’s clear most institutions aren’t fully leveraging it. When asked if it was easier to build and retain customer relationships in a digital era, 42 percent disagreed and 33 percent couldn’t say one way or the other, according to BAI Banking Outlook findings.

Still there is good news for 2019. If banks have the data, customer journey mapping gives them a clear way to put it to good use. It has exciting potential because a bank that invests in journey mapping can create a stronger, richer, more rewarding experience. That’s especially important in today’s omnichannel world in which a customer reasonably expects that using an app or website should be as easy and personal as walking into a branch.

Here are four things banks should consider when creating their customer journey map:

Think about how to get on a new customer’s radar screen

Unfortunately, new clients won’t conveniently stand in front of a bank branch when they realize they need a new loan, savings account or investment advice. A journey map should start with the customer identifying his or her need, and then doing some research to find an attractive solution. That includes word of mouth, information from social media and online reviews. Make sure your organization is visible during that process with targeted marketing efforts, including a dynamic SEO and SEM strategy.

Identify the pain points and remove the friction

Amazon is wildly popular because it does a great job of removing friction from the buying process. Its website suggests possible items for you based on your browsing history and previous queries, and now it’s opening revolutionary Amazon Go stores in which customer with can just sign on to an app, walk in, pick products off the shelf and leave without interacting with a cashier. That’s about as frictionless as it gets.

Customers today expect seamless, personalized experiences across industries. A customer journey map can help a bank discover where  pain points occur on a customer’s path: whether with a clumsy web portal that doesn’t allow account openings, excessive call center wait times or an unacceptable lag from loan application to approval. Customers forced to jump through lots of hoops to do something that should be simple rarely remain happy or loyal.

Use life events to your advantage

Banks possess a treasure trove of information about customers. They know how much money a customer makes and spends, how much they save, how they invest and where they live. And often, banks also know what kind of cars their customers drive and whether they buy or rent their homes.

Banks can create and use smart marketing techniques to touch their customers at those important life events such as when they get a bonus or inheritance, start a new job or make a major purchase. That way, they can recommend products and services selectively at a time when a person most needs them. A customer journey map can help identify how a bank can harness its data most to trigger a conversation—bringing the customer something they need at the right place and time.

Talk to your customers

It’s hard to know what your customers want unless you ask. BAI Banking Outlook findings show that 38 percent want to customize their own solutions, and in an “anytime-anywhere” digital world they expect more useful, real-time messaging and content to meet their day-to-day banking needs. What might seem purely transactional today is in fact largely relational, based on banks knowing what customers need and how to give it to them at the speed of life.

“One of the tremendous opportunities associated with brick-and-mortar banks is to have real-world interactions with potential and established customers,” says Mark Hamrick , Washington bureau chief and senior economic analyst at Bankrate .

Hamrick stresses that “a great deal of information can be gleaned from individuals who are willing to share whether they’re interested in or in need of any number of financial products, such as for savings, borrowing or investing. Many customers are likely to add a new product or service with an enterprise or institution where they’re already a customer.” Also important:  “The cost of acquisition is lower for the incumbent business, which makes it a true win-win.”

Banks that invest in customer journey mapping will position themselves to attract new customers and retain their existing business. It’s a powerful tool to help our industry deepen its relationship with our customers by providing great content and services at exactly the right time in our customers’ lives. The better we map their journeys, the more we can help them navigate the road to financial success and happiness.

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Holly Hughes is the chief marketing officer for BAI.

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Digital Onboarding and Origination: The Cure for Banks’ Customer Acquisition Pains

By Vincent Bezemer

Digital take-up

Delivering seamless digital customer journeys was already a fast-growing priority for banking and wealth management organizations pre-pandemic. As Capgemini noted in its analysis of the top retail banking trends for 2020, customers want their banking platforms to provide the same experience they enjoy from digital lifestyle applications offered by big tech players. In response, banks have been investing in digital technology and collaborating with third-party providers as they strive to offer a superior customer experience and stay competitive. But the global lockdowns—which have restricted many people, at least initially, to banking digitally, while increasing demand for activities such as balance checking—have turbocharged these trends.

For example:

  • In April, new mobile banking registrations tripled in the United States, while mobile banking traffic rose 85 percent, reports FIS.
  • Online account openings at community financial institutions have also jumped 14.5 percent since social distancing was introduced, according to Kasasa.
  • And a survey by Novantas found only 40 percent of respondents expect to return to bank branches post-coronavirus, indicating the shift online is likely to stick.

Increasing demand for digital onboarding, and digitized services to support the ongoing customer journey, must be matched by effective capabilities. Research shows only 8 percent of financial service onboarding applications (including personal account opening) can be completed on mobile devices. And the penalty for substandard digital offerings is high, with more than 30 percent of consumers saying they would leave their existing financial institution for better mobile capabilities elsewhere.

The leakage problem

Conversion leakage is a particular problem during the digital client acquisition process. Oliver Wyman research, which we confirmed, found that only 30 percent of customer prospects who visit bank websites looking for an account will carry on through to the product details page. Just 13 percent will then complete the application. In branches, leakage is much lower, with 85 percent of customers completing an application, since they are more likely to make the physical trip with the intention of opening an account or buying a product.

With branches shuttered during the coronavirus lockdowns, and subsequent openings and customer footfall likely to be severely limited for the foreseeable future, this leakage differential presents a major, and costly, challenge as institutions seek to convert digital sales and boost their return on investment.

Plugging the leaks

The Backbase/Oliver Wyman research identified three main reasons for leakage in the digital sales cycle:

  • Switching from a customer’s current provider is too difficult (for example, in transferring bill payments and direct debits).
  • The digital process is too cumbersome (particularly where existing offline processes are simply put online).
  • Customers lack human touchpoints and advice when they need it (especially for more complex products).

Combating these levels of leakage requires firms to take an outside-in approach, to see the process from the customer’s perspective. From this viewpoint, they can design a more customer-friendly experience that streamlines the job at hand.

One way to simplify the acquisition journey is to incorporate human/AI advisor interventions at points of friction, where customers may become stuck. Another is to adopt re-targeting strategies that address customers who abandon the application process partway—for example, by storing their details in a CRM system and sending them notifications to complete the application. Or referring them to an outbound call center employee who can pick up the process by phone. Such approaches can boost completion rates by 15-20 percent.

Done well, digital onboarding can then deliver substantial benefits. Whereas retail client acquisition in a physical, siloed world costs an average of $280, shifting to digital onboarding reduces the cost to $120 and in subsequent years for additional clients to $19. A similar story exists in corporate banking, where acquisition costs can be slashed from $4,000 to $1,200.

Better banking health

Banks’ return on tangible equity has plateaued globally at approximately 10.5 percent over the past decade, and the lower-for-longer interest rate environment will add to the pressure. Addressing cost-income ratios has become a matter of urgency.

Firms now face a strategic inflection point. Continuing with old business-as-usual practices will leave institutions struggling to attract new (especially younger) clients, while grappling with an exodus of existing customers and an overburdened cost base. But by digitizing processes to enhance the client experience, banks and other financial institutions can increase their revenues and reduce costs, thereby improving their cost-income ratios and ROE.

Vincent Bezemer leads the Backbase North American strategy execution and corresponding sales initiatives, focusing on building exceptional teams, instilling operational excellence and building industry alliances and partnerships.

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How can banks’ digital agendas reframe their visions of tomorrow?

Traditional banks must rethink how their digital agendas work for customers today and tomorrow.

B anks today are in a perpetual race to address current and future customer needs using yesterday’s technology. Changing customer behaviors mean banks need to continually curate unique journeys and propositions to meet evolving customer expectations. Knowing they need to offer more contextual and personalized services is one thing – delivering a superior digitized customer experience is another.

COVID-19 has accelerated banks’ digital agendas. The EY Future Consumer Index indicates that because of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the switch to digital banking may become permanent for some customers, with almost 40% of respondents expecting to bank online more over the next 24 months.

As a result, banks need to rethink their digital transformation journeys to capture new growth opportunities and unlock greater value for customers now and beyond.

One Tier 1 global bank recognized that, to do this successfully, it needed to collaborate with a trusted partner who could address evolving customer needs and turn them into viable opportunities for the bank. Moreover, the right partner needed to deliver the bank’s vision of how it could become a future-ready, digital bank using sophisticated technology and banking architecture that would differentiate it from its competitors.

Our team set to work with the bank’s senior leadership to challenge the obvious and reimagine how a future-ready bank could transform the end-to-end customer journey. Together with the leadership team, we collaborated to build a vision of what their future-ready technology would look like.

The bank needed a platform that could solve the customer problems of today but could quickly reconfigure technology to address emerging customer needs of tomorrow.

We soon realized that what was needed was a shift from a traditional product-centric and project-centric approach to a proposition-centric approach that would deliver tailored, intelligent customer experiences, underpinned by a future-ready technology architecture and design. To ensure maximum flexibility, this would require an enduring, long-term capability to enable the design and engineering of real-time solutions to individual customer needs – and the flexibility to adapt and evolve as those needs change over time.

To deliver such a radically new way of offering banking services would require a fundamental change to the bank’s existing technology and architecture.

We embarked on a journey to create a world where the bank could provide more customer-centric propositions, delivered in real-time, using rich, data-driven insights, underpinned by sophisticated technology and architecture.

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The better the answer

A scalable, real-time, event driven digital banking platform

EY Nexus for Banking provides real-time, digital customer engagement using context and data to generate intelligent and actional insights.

At its core, EY Nexus for Banking is a cloud-native, highly resilient platform comprising modular architectural building blocks. These building blocks work in harmony to absorb transactional data from banks, or third parties through open banking, to provide contextual and tailored insights. Using advanced machine learning models, it generates real-time, tailored insights and integrates domain-specific data services into banks’ channels in real-time, within context.

A modular approach to generating in-the-moment insights

The Nexus platform’s flexibility allowed us to employ enriched contextual and transaction data in response to streaming events, developing actionable insights for the right customers in the right channels, and at the right time.

Crucially, these customer journeys weren’t just hypothetical, but were based on a clear understanding of customers’ recent financial interactions and histories. The underpinning platform collated fit-for-purpose data from various sources, including real-time event streams, to address each customer’s unique set of needs, based on marketing preferences and consent.

This enduring, sustainable capability to identify priority customer journeys marked a defining moment for the bank and a direct departure from building campaigns around specific banking products.

Now, customers are nudged along their preferred banking journey via a highly sophisticated set of enabling components (i.e. building blocks) that are assembled to drive a unique approach for every customer. This customer-centric flexibility means the platform propels business prioritized journeys for today (e.g., home loans or cards) while supporting emerging use cases for tomorrow (e.g., fraud analytics or deposits) – among many other adaptive, personalized solutions.

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Open banking services.

Open banking is a disruptive force in the financial services industry. It will change how consumers engage with their banks and financial services providers, introduce new channels and promote innovation and competition in financial products.

Real-time is a term that everybody talks about but unless it includes the right time, place, channel, context and customer solution, it won’t work. All of those elements have to work in harmony for it succeed.

A working digital world

The deployment of the Nexus for Banking platform involved the amalgamation of EY teams from three different countries, multiple time zones, and everyone working in an “all remote” world.

COVID-19 completely changed the aspiration for any co-location (agile ways of working) and forced the team to work in an entirely new way. Instead of working as co-located teams, the team ended up working across more than 250 locations (i.e. home offices). In effect, as well as developing flexible, adaptable solutions for the bank’s customers, the team has had to develop similarly flexible solutions for how they worked together and collaborated with various distributed teams, working remotely from their home offices.

In practical terms, the teams were organized into ‘chapters and squads’ with every squad comprising 8-10 cross functional practitioners, working towards a common goal. The squads are self-steering, autonomous teams with clear responsibilities for their respective product backlogs. The chapters are groups of functional specialists working across squads, to determine how jobs should be done (e.g. product and platform, architecture and design, build and deploy, validate and test, operate and run).

The team also embraced DevSecOps in practice, which underpins engineering capabilities with a clear focus on velocity, process efficiency and shift-left testing. This increased collaboration across cross-functional teams, and use of automation within DevSecOps pipelines.

Working together with the bank as one cohesive team to an enduring model means that everyone is focused on delivering the components of a future-ready bank, at scale.

EY Nexus for Banking

A transformative solution that helps banks design, build, launch and enhance propositions at the speed of their customers’ ever-shifting expectations. A mature solution with proven capabilities.

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The better the world works

A future-ready digital bank fit for the age of personalization

EY teams have helped the bank reimagine how it can best serve ever-evolving real-time customer needs.

EY’s Nexus for Banking now forms the backbone of a service that continuously adapts and evolves. The platform helps the bank to deliver highly advanced, digitally native propositions using enabling components as building blocks that are reusable across the enterprise. It has enabled the bank to progressively employ more sophisticated, progressive architecture across its entire technology footprint, embracing advancements in technology and engineering to deliver cloud-native applications.

This is a real differentiator for the bank – a step-change from its legacy technologies and a project-based delivery model that could only offer finite value. The platform will continue to progressively deliver future-ready technology capabilities, enabling the client to become a digital bank of the future.

The brilliant thing about Nexus for Banking is that it's a platform, not a single solution. It’s not a piece of software with specific business functionality.

By delivering the right insight, to the right customer, in the right channels, the bank will succeed in not only offering a greater experience, but one that could result in a more robust financial ecosystem around each customer throughout each stage of their lives.

This is something that almost every bank is increasingly realizing is going to be essential in a world that even before the arrival of COVID-19 was already seeing banking becoming more digital, and less in-person. With the right technological backbone, the right approach to data, and a continual focus on identifying and serving customer needs with real-time solutions, banks will be able to both adapt to future shocks and provide the more personalized services that are the basis of lasting relationships.

The starting point is to think differently about how banks deliver. EY Nexus for Banking can enable the rest.

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EY Nexus is a business transformation platform that accelerates innovation and powers frictionless customer experiences.

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EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

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EY is a global leader in assurance, consulting, strategy and transactions, and tax services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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Securing the digital customer journey

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Get in touch with OneSpan for additional resources on fraud prevention, e-signatures and ID verification solutions.

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Innovation in payments has moved rapidly over the past decade, with companies of all sizes and industries diversifying their payment methods and incorporating network tokens.

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Digitizing customer journeys and processes: Stories from the front lines

A compelling customer experience has evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity in many industries. Winners use standout experiences to attract and retain business while reducing servicing costs and complaints. The rewards can be substantial, but execution is complex, requiring a complete reinvention of customer journeys and supporting processes.

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Radical though this may sound, “reinvention” is no exaggeration, because digitizing existing processes is seldom if ever the solution. Instead, successful transformations begin with a zero-based redesign of the customer experience of a given task, such as opening an account or renewing a service. That involves ignoring everything the company already has in place and asking, “What would be the best possible experience a customer could have when completing this task?”

Only when a business has defined what that experience should be can it figure out how to build the processes and technologies needed to support it. By digitizing these processes, the business can reduce costs, improve customer experience, capture value, and move to a next-generation operating model.

But what does this process of reinvention look like, and how do companies make it work? This article offers an inside view of key stages in a successful transformation. The examples are drawn mainly from financial services, but the lessons apply to any company seeking to reinvent its customer experience.

Designing a customer-centered solution

Most institutions understand the importance of a positive customer experience to the bottom line, but few excel at designing or delivering it. The transformations that bring the biggest benefit start by imagining what a world-class customer journey would look like, rather than settling for tactical evolution of the current state. This requires reimagining the entire journey, which many organizations find hard to achieve after years of incremental improvements.

One bank reduced the information required on its new-account-opening form from 45 fields to 35 and declared victory, yet it could have reduced the fields to 15 and pre-populated 10 of them from external data sources. Another bank found that the apparent requirement for a “wet signature” on a loan application quickly evaporated when the regulator was consulted.

To make this reinvention leap, leading companies employ a user-experience designer who can orchestrate the process, keep it focused on customer needs, inspire people, and ensure that the organization doesn’t allow its new vision to be limited by the way it does things today.

Another crucial aspect of reinvention is customer involvement, as the story of a Latin American bank illustrates. It was working to understand customer journeys and identify the most important processes to reimagine. Instead of doing what many organizations do at this point—try to put themselves in their customers’ shoes—the bank brought customers into the project room to get their reactions at first hand. Bankers, however empathetic, are not customers, and the only reliable way to find out what customers want is to go and ask them.

This was the first time the bank had ever spoken with its customers before redesigning a product or process. Previously it had run focus groups to gather feedback when piloting a new offering, but this had been largely a box-ticking exercise, since much of the solution had been developed and material changes would have been too costly to implement. Having direct rather than arm’s-length contact with customers was also critical. Many companies subcontract customer research to third parties and commission a report for the project team to study, but this can be a slow, remote, and inefficient process, depriving in-house teams of the regular ongoing customer exposure that can lead to great solutions.

Defining the scope of a transformation

The scope of a journey can be defined by the product (such as a mortgage or current account), the channel (such as online or branch), the customer segment (such as retail or commercial), and the phase of customer engagement (such as sales or servicing). Depending on how these elements are combined, the scope of a transformation can be narrow (a remortgage for existing customers via the online channel) or broad (all mortgage products in all channels).

Decisions about scope should be informed by a detailed assessment of the value at stake and the cost of capturing it. In our experience, companies achieve impact more quickly by focusing on a few large journeys rather than fragmenting their efforts across the enterprise. (For more on this, see “ Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models .”)

In its new approach, the bank consulted customers at every stage through weekly test-and-learn sessions. It showed customers first sketches of proposed solutions, then more detailed wire-frames, then prototypes, and finally a functioning solution. Having weekly feedback enabled the team to constantly refine the new customer experience and resolve any issues that might compromise its success at launch.

For instance, an early prototype of the bank’s new-account-opening journey sought to help customers choose an account by asking how, when, and why they would use it and recommending the most suitable product. But in tests, customers always selected “compare to other accounts” whenever a recommendation was offered; answering three or four questions hadn’t saved them the time or trouble of making comparisons for themselves. So the team took the questions out of the process, relegated recommendations to an option, and added brief summaries of account features to help customers make their own choice.

A zero-based design process can feel alien and risky at first, but handled well, it is a powerful tool for going beyond incremental change and making the kind of radical customer-centered shift needed to create the best possible experience. To turn the newly imagined solution into reality, the organization will also need to create a strong cross-functional team.

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Mobilizing a cross-functional team.

To gain multiple perspectives, best-practice companies take specialists from every function, bring them together in one place, and charge them with testing reimagined journeys and processes from every angle. Some organizations create a purpose-built “lab” or “pod” for a team working on a customer journey to insulate it from everyday business demands and free it to focus on delivery. To ensure speed to market, each team member must hold decision-making authority for his or her respective area. If the head of legal can’t attend every daily meeting, she needs to empower a member of her department to be in the lab full time and act on her behalf.

The power of this approach lies in the way it unites professionals from legal, compliance, operational risk, and other functions in working toward a common purpose. By engaging them from the start, organizations can sidestep responses that block change (“This can’t be done”) and foster more constructive dialogues (“Let’s work together to make it happen”).

One long-established bank developed its first-ever digital process for opening an account. Previously, prospective customers had to visit a branch and see a sales representative. The bank designed an account-opening process that required new customers to input just four data fields rather than the 25—already good by traditional banking standards—in the original process. Other fields were either pre-populated from public sources or deemed unnecessary.

When the bank’s cross-functional team met to review the new process, the compliance expert remarked that it couldn’t be implemented because regulation required new customers to provide at least 20 pieces of personal data. She was trying to minimize risk, as the bank had always taught her to do. The team subsequently brought in a new member who worked with colleagues from legal and operational risk to challenge the way things were done. On closer inspection of the regulations, the team found that some data fields could be filled in at any point during the customer’s relationship with the bank, not necessarily when the account was opened. This ability to question accepted wisdom is just as important as technical capabilities—and sometimes more so.

Governance is another area where long-standing structures and practices designed to minimize risk can impede the fast, well-informed decision making needed to bring digital innovations quickly to market. Agile delivery can’t be sustained if teams have to approach one governance body after another for approval. Instead, the organization should nominate a “product owner”—an executive who is accountable for delivering business value—and empower this individual to make day-to-day decisions for the team.

For strategic decisions that need to be made by a broader cross-section of leaders, leading institutions create a new governance body formed of senior representatives who can eliminate roadblocks and shield the team from parts of the organization that disagree with new developments. The governance body should meet at least every two weeks to provide guidance, ensure clarity on the way forward, and give the team the confidence and authority to move quickly.

To ensure this new structure works efficiently, team members and leaders need to adopt agile principles. That might mean leaders stop asking for detailed reports, for instance, while teams hold conversations in person rather than via long email chains. For many people, this will require a fundamental shift in mind-set and behaviors. Regular coaching from a trained agile coach can help to make the transformation as seamless as possible.

Finally, this governance body must be a real working group. One company abandoned PowerPoint presentations and heavy documentation. Instead, its steering committee moves around the meeting room to “stations” demonstrating new products and posters depicting issues that need to be resolved. Just as we change the way we drive technological innovation, so we need to change the way we consider, debate, and approve decisions.

Developing the new solution

Once a new customer experience has been designed, tested, and refined, the next step is to develop the technology infrastructure to support it. To prevent unnecessary complexity, the new build should be as architecturally flexible as possible—incorporating reusable components and services or deploying the same functionality across multiple channels—while taking care not to jeopardize the performance of existing systems.

Integrating new processes with legacy systems in a cost-efficient way is a challenge most companies face when they digitize their customer journeys. One bank adopted a systematic approach that involved first asking whether a new interface was really needed and then determining the most efficient integration approach. It found it could make trade-offs in design—such as reducing data requirements to enable existing interfaces to be used—that would cut costs and improve the speed of delivery. Where new interfaces were required, the bank used a range of techniques from screen-scraping and robotics to agile building methods.

Many banks’ IT development is overseen by architecture and infrastructure review boards that require extensive documentation and long lead times. Moreover, standards for deployment often call for multiple testing groups and management bodies to sign off on code. These processes were originally designed to protect banks against rework, security issues, and systems failures at a time when releases were infrequent. Paradoxically, however, such safeguards can now have the opposite effect, increasing the time it takes to fix problems when things go wrong. For agile delivery, banks need to move toward fully automated testing and deployment, using DevOps tools to allow for frequent smaller releases. Properly implemented, this approach should mitigate risk.

At another bank, IT projects routinely took four to six months to go from concept to development, and three to four months to go from development to production. To speed up delivery, the CTO embedded an enterprise architect in the lab on a full-time basis. Not only did this reduce the four-month concept-to-development phase to four weeks, it also improved the quality of the results, delivering a customer-onboarding workflow based on service-oriented architecture and with multiple reused and reusable components. For instance, when the team proposed developing a new service to bring customer details from source systems to the website, the enterprise architect suggested reusing a similar service that was already bringing customer data to tellers.

Time was also saved from the development-to-production phase by conducting quality-assurance and user-acceptance testing during program-development cycles, or sprints, rather than after development. In another innovation, the team used an automated deployment tool to eliminate the need to align release dates across multiple changes. This made the bank nimbler at IT development and helped it move closer to continuous deployment, where code is deployed in production as soon as it has been tested and approved by the business owner.

‘Rolling in’ the solution

In a conventional rollout, companies make detailed plans, communicate the changes, start small, replicate efforts, train teams, and let the business deal with implementation. Roll-in is a radically different approach and often a useful option for building scale.

You begin by determining the rough shape and size of your new digitized business through early cycles of test-and-learn, then gradually add more people until the team has the capacity to do all the work you require. Rather than getting your original team to train other teams and export capabilities to the rest of the organization, you effectively import volumes for your team to work on, growing its capacity while shrinking your old process and team at the same time. This ability to evolve the new business as work volumes rise enables you to create a best-practice operation from the ground up.

One major life insurer kicked off its roll-in phase by taking a small portion of its current demand—10 percent—and working out what kind of operation would be needed to handle it. To calculate optimal load balancing, it started with a small team and gradually increased the workload. Much to everyone’s surprise, the team was able to increase its output by 40 percent. Bearing this team size and work mix in mind, the insurer gradually expanded the team until it could handle the entire workload. The new team not only had higher productivity but was much quicker to build than with a conventional approach.

Driving customer adoption

However good a digitized solution may be, it means nothing if customers don’t use it. The trick is to minimize the effort needed to move to the new model and launch digital-adoption campaigns to make customers aware. Too often, these campaigns are overlooked or neglected, leading to lackluster adoption and lost value.

Successful digital-adoption campaigns start by understanding customers’ pain points and exploring the barriers that prevent digital adoption. These efforts require senior leadership involvement, a clear and comprehensive action plan, and a guaranteed budget. In our experience, successful customer adoption of new products or services rests on five pillars:

  • Customer experience: ensuring that customers have a delightful experience that directly addresses their challenges and needs.
  • Marketing and communications: using timely targeted messages to make customers, partners, and employees aware of the new value proposition.
  • Incentives and promotions: offering appealing bonuses, perks, or discounts to encourage customers to shift by sharing the value captured.
  • Legacy channels: phasing out or reducing competing and expensive legacy channels to encourage slow adopters to migrate and demonstrate commitment to the new digital solution.
  • Policy: ensuring seamless internal alignment across channels and business units to avoid disruptive conflicts between leaders on strategy, targets, compensation, or mind-sets.

One European telecom company took this to heart by using every call from a customer purchasing a new product as an opportunity to educate them about its digital services via recorded messages and conversations with sales agents. Another company communicated the convenience of digital touchpoints through “send to a friend” social campaigns that took advantage of satisfied digital-care users.

While the five pillars provide a firm foundation for any customer-adoption campaign, specific tactics will vary by company and context. Sophisticated players tailor their approach by customer segment, channel, and relationship or brand. Customers’ reactions will also vary, of course. Early adopters react well to encouragement, fast followers expect rewards, and laggards may need deadlines or a gentle nudge. But regardless of category, the best way to secure a shift in behavior is to minimize the effort customers have to make to move to the new digital solution.

Leading institutions are becoming increasingly adept at using digital innovation to reshape customer journeys. Their experience in designing customer-centered solutions, building teams, getting the solutions to market, and driving scaling and adoption should point the way for other organizations to create value from this rapidly developing field.

Chandana Asif is a manager in McKinsey’s London office, where Tomas Jones is a partner; Jiro Hiraoka is a manager in the Lima office; and Prerak Vohra is an associate partner in the New York office.

The authors would like to thank Joao Dias, Christina Hawley, Yran Bartolomeu Dias, Marta Rohr, Pierce Groover, Kristine Simonsen, and Belkis Vasquez-McCall for their gracious support and expertise in creating this article.

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Customer journey mapping in banking: what it is and how to get started

Like many other sectors, the world of banking is facing persistent pressure to innovate within a society undergoing rapid technological, environmental and social change. Due to these changes, the way we engage with banks and access money isn't the same as it was five years ago. Short: the customer journey in banking has changed – and it's highly likely it won't be the same five years from now into the future. 

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To meet these changing environmental pressures banks are required to maintain a tight understanding of customer experience that will inform service innovations, while simultaneously creating more cost effective, efficient ways of working and profitable business strategies.

By implementing service design approaches and tools, such as journey mapping and personas, banks are able to adapt swiftly to changes in their customers' experience. Through an in-depth understanding of their customers, banks are able to provide services that address real needs, adapt to novel circumstances in which people are using money, and develop increasingly personalized interactions throughout their service delivery that maintain high levels of confidence and trust.

In this article we will discuss:

  • Customer journey mapping in the context of banking
  • Questions to solve in banking
  • Customer journey maps for digital banking
  • How to create a journey map for banking
  • Example journey map: banking experience
  • Typical challenges of introducing journey mapping to banking

What is customer journey mapping in banking?

As with many other industries, customer experience in banking or financial services is increasingly becoming a driving force that determines whether service providers succeed or fail. Because of this, how service providers are able to refine their service offerings to accurately meet customer needs are greatly affecting their ability to attract and retain valued customers.

As people's lives change, so too do their needs for how they store, save and access their financial resources. Some of the driving forces affecting the customer experience in the banking industry are:

  • Inconsistent loyalty from customers
  • Increasingly technology-driven generations of customers
  • Evolving demands for personalized banking experiences
  • Shifting perceptions around data security and transparency  

By utilizing customer-centered or service design approaches, banks are able to give themselves a competitive edge with these evolving trends and ensure their services stay relevant and needed into the future.  

In this article we will explore some instances where journey mapping can assist in the development and innovation of banking services, then we will conclude with a short example of how journey mapping can assist in the personal journey of someone taking out a home loan.

How to improve the customer journey in banking?

Customer journey maps allow us to address a number of important questions in relation to our service delivery, from customer understanding, identifying pain points and anticipating future service innovations. There are some questions you should ask yourself when you're designing customer experience in banking.

Who are our customers?

Central to delivering great customer centered services is having a deep understanding of who our customers are, what they are trying to achieve and what customer experiences they expect while they engage with banking services.

Banking institutions offer services which play a central role in many of our lives. Because of the sheer number of people that engage with banks, there also exists a diverse range of different attitudes, values, and expectations when it comes to receiving financial services.

So how do we develop an understanding that enables us to customize and deliver personalized banking experiences that both retain and attract customers? We develop personas that are grounded in people's actual experiences in the banking context, reduce assumptions about our customer’s behavior, and accurately reflect the types of people we are attempting to help.

  • How traditional are our customers?
  • How much human interaction do they require in their banking experience?
  • What do their lifestyles look like?
  • What channels are best to connect with them?
  • How comfortable are they embracing new technologies?
  • What digital devices are they using?

Link to basics of personas article: You will learn what personas are, why you need them, how to research, define and create them and some templates and a cheat sheet.

On one hand, we might have a young customer who is completely willing to enable NFC (read: wireless payments) on their mobile device and start using it for daily payments, on the other hand, we might have a customer who is entirely risk-averse with these forms of technological innovation and unable to comprehend where to start if they had to use their phone to pay for things. Being able to develop different customer personas that represent our users and leveraging them to develop meaningful insights allows us to tailor our service delivery in ways that are more personalized, trustworthy and likely to satisfy their needs.

visualization of a customer persona in form of an IP lawyer

How is the customer journey in banking changing?

Digital transformation is affecting all industries and banking is not excluded. In recent years we have seen fintech providers embracing technology in ways that provide novel and innovative customer experiences that confront traditional modes of banking.

Digital banking and changing customer experiences go hand in hand. Neobanks (digital-only banks) such as Revolut, N26, and Monzo are all offering banking solutions that are driven by technology and customer experience.

These digital disruptors are providing banking services for a new generation of customers that values polished UX, accessible ways to manage their money and increasingly personalized experiences.

Neobanks are considering the journey of the customer and how they interact with banking services. By providing seamless interfaces they are enabling their users to quickly manipulate money the way they need to - in real time, through this clever use of available technology they are able to provide convenient and enjoyable solutions to user needs.

Take for example a large group of 10 people who have just had a meal together at a restaurant. When It comes to payment it may be time consuming and difficult for a restaurant to split the bill with such a high number of patrons. The burden then falls on the customer to organise and arrange how money will flow to the appropriate person when the bill is paid.

Innovative companies such as Tikkie in the Netherlands are facilitating payments through quick and easy Whatsapp payments that people can access and share with large groups. Meaning that one person can cover the bill and receive payments from other members of the group in a fast and simple manner by simply sharing a payment link. Innovations such as this are changing the landscape of possibility within personal finances.

Whether or not digital-only banks are considered as a threat to traditional banks, the innovations they provide are enough to draw significant numbers of new and existing customers by shifting peoples expectations of how banking services can be delivered.

Traditional banks, as well as neobanks benefit from putting an emphasis on their customer's journey so that they are able to adapt and innovate their service delivery to accurately meet people's needs.

Through the process of researching and creating customer journey maps , banks are able to reduce assumptions and answer a number of important questions, such as:

  • Where and how are people engaging with financial services?
  • How do customers discover and form a relationship with a financial institution?
  • In what ways are people restricted by traditional methods of banking?
  • What levels and types of customer support do people require?  

Visualization of a customer experience when transferring money with a banking app

How are customer needs and expectations driving innovation in banking services?

As digital disruptors are shifting viewpoints about what services banks are able to offer, as well as how they are offered, traditional banks are required to match customer expectations and provide attractive solutions that are able to retain existing and attract new customers.

New digital financial technologies such as the Software-as-a-Service banking engine, Mambu – are enabling great changes in the banking sector by allowing innovative companies to provide users with customized, flexible and simplified platforms for accessing their money.

To provide these innovations at speed financial service providers must keep a close eye on their user needs and how they can support them better, whether this is through what types of services are provided - or the interfaces through which users access those services.

A successful combination of the two can alter the perception of how banking feels as well as the possibilities it creates within different journeys, leading to better outcomes for customers as well as the banks people are engaged with.

For example, the neobank N26 created a partnership with TransferWise that allows their users to make effortless financial transfers to over 30 different currencies. Using their app, customers of N26 are able to make international transfers, as they would to someone within their own country - in the process simplifying and reducing the cost for users. As the world becomes more connected and people are engaged in work that crosses geographical borders, the need to make international financial transfers increases, and these types of features become more appreciated.

Another innovative example is peer-to-peer lending options being offered which streamline borrowing and simplicity of people to access personal loans. Platforms such as Lendingclub and Upstart are able to offer services that connect borrowers and lenders, bypassing the complex and costly loan processes offered by traditional banks. By understanding that for many customers' the process of setting up a small-scale loan was complicated and cost-prohibitive, new services were developed that allow for low-interest P2P lending and more simplified procedures for setting up small loans.

These types of innovations are changing the way people experience and interact with their finances and are setting expectations for the future.

As many people have adapted to the convenience of using smartphones and digital platforms for accessing banking services, the necessity of physical banking locations decreases. By providing simplified UX experiences, smart features such as AI-driven analytics and support, and novel services, disruptors in digital banking are able to support people's desired lifestyles and draw in new customers.  

Questions that journey mapping in banking can answer for innovation include:

  • What outcomes are our customers trying to achieve with banking?
  • What experiences and situations are pain points for a customer in their banking journey?
  • How can emerging technology meet the needs of customers?
  • What innovative ways could help customers access their finances?

By understanding the journeys banking customers are on and how they like to move and access money, innovations such as this are easier to anticipate and develop.

Visualization of a customer customer experience when using a banking app

Why are some people still not using banks?

"Globally, about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked—without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider." ( Worldbank 2017 )

Of course, the world has changed a lot since 2017, however, the fact remains that a large number of people exist in the world without a bank account represents a large market for banks that can be explored. The majority of these people live in developing countries or locations where banking is simply impossible, or affordable. However, the constraints experienced by these countries and "unbanked" markets are driving innovations in banking technology.

By looking at the experience of users not engaged in banking and mapping their journey we clarify opportunities for how services can be delivered that meet their needs. Digital disruption is also affecting these markets. For example, mobile banking has made the process of engaging with digital banking services fast, affordable and has practically eliminated the need for physical banking locations - in the process service providers have been able to open up these once inaccessible markets.

Taking a look at the life and experience of people who are currently not engaged in banking and mapping their journey we are able to look at the challenge with new eyes. By putting these maps to work banking service providers are able to answer the following questions:

  • What are the barriers that prevent people from using banks?
  • What physical or digital constraints are people experiencing in the context of banking?
  • Can people afford to engage in banking services? If not, why not?

How do we build trusted relationships with customers?

Existing banks have the privilege of long histories of building trust with their customers. This trust is an important currency in banking that maintains relationships and loyalty with customers. Even though incumbent banks may have the advantage of a history of service delivery, the pressures of developing and maintaining trust exist for them as much as it does for new banking organizations.  

So for personal banking, how does journey mapping play a role in helping to develop trust?

Being able to map out a customer's emotional journey as they engage with a service can help to identify moments where trust is compromised or service delivery isn't how they expected.

By building in smart features and touchpoints into the customer journey, personalized relationships can form that give customers more security and confidence that their money is in safe hands.

This disparity of trust between traditional and neobanks can be highlighted in a number of different areas, there are surveys that show people are hesitant to store large amounts of funds in digital banks, seeing them primarily for quick purchases and expenses. It has been shown that users also still value face-to-face interactions and the presence of physical banking locations and the security they represent - these features, along with good existing relationships give traditional banking institutions an advantage, especially during times of uncertainty.

However new banks continue to drive innovations that attempt to build trust in the digital age. Features such as push notifications for transactions are features that build trust with customers that they have intimate contact with financial activity on their accounts. By knowing when transactions are being made in real time users are able to quickly take action if they suspect suspicious activity or their cards are being inappropriately used.  

Other security features include the ability to quickly disable any active cards if any fraudulent activity or if a user suspects they have lost their bank cards. These kinds of features give a sense of ease and control to users and allow them to trust that their important financial assets are safe and secure.

Finally, verification techniques using security codes and authorized devices add extra layers of security for accessing and updating account information. Especially in the digital space, it is important for people to know that there are secure methods for verifying their identity before any changes can be made.

Questions that journey mapping can answer for building security and trust:

  • What forms of verification are convenient yet still secure?
  • With digital-only banking what levels of personalization in service delivery can replicate and simulate the security of incumbent banks?
  • How can services be delivered in ways that build trust customers?
  • What security features make users feel they are in control of their finances?

bank account opening customer journey

Customer journey maps for banking in the digital field

Until now we have only looked at experiences that customers have when communicating with their bank in person.

But digital banking is increasingly important – especially with a young and tech-savvy audience.

Customer journey maps can be of great help to digital banking. A prime example to look at could be an app. Especially for online banking, a journey map is a great way to prototype. Start out by doing some research. Ask your customers the following questions:

  • What functionalities are essential, and which ones are nice-to-haves? (Wire transfer, access to equity funds and other investments, option to book an appointment with the bank advisor…)
  • How to structure the app in a logical and practical way?
  • How easy is it to transact banking businesses online? 
  • How to best solve the need for two-factor authentication (another app?)
  • What can we offer to customers who lost their ATM or credit card? Can they immediately and easily lock it through the app?

These questions support banks in creating a great user experience with their digital products, while also future-proofing their business offer. Journey mapping for digital banking helps to understand the core features of the product.

Start mapping out the process of potential use cases of the app, ideally in a journey map hierarchy. This will help you to understand the experience a customer will have when using a digital product for banking. If any issues occur, this is the quickest and cheapest way to find out.

How to create a customer journey map for banking?

A good journey map goes beyond the touchpoints a customer has with our organization and helps us to understand their lives in a more holistic way. In this section we will introduce an example for customer journey mapping in banking. We will look at a few applications of mapping a journey of buying a house and applying for a home loan.

Communication channels

As we discussed earlier in the article, the channels in which people are engaging with banks are changing. Historically the majority of communication for personal banking services has been done in person. Face-to-face interactions are still the gold standard for many people as the experience of talking with a real person inherently feels secure and engenders trust. But how do you recreate this kind of trust in a digital setting?

As technologies and preferences shift around how people want to interact with financial service providers so too do the channels service providers must adapt and use. This does not exclude face-to-face interactions, however it expands on the possibilities available. With a customer appetite for customized, personalized, digital experiences at the tap of a button, banks must be willing to understand and match these experience needs.

By understanding what channels customers prefer to communicate through when they are taking out a home loan, we will ensure they have the right information at the right time, and in the right format. Whether this is through face-to-face meetings, email, SMS, or embracing newer technologies such as AI-assisted chatbots or virtual meetings. In the end banks must drive for innovation while still developing and maintaining customer trust and a sense of security for people.  

Files, documents and in-depth information

File lanes can be helpful for holding all the different types of documents and information a journey will require. In the process of buying a house and taking out a loan there are a large variety of different forms and information that a customer must understand and complete.

A file lane allows us to centralize these documents so they can be attached to the relevant sections of a customer journey. From here we get a clear picture of when, where, and how a customer should receive information.

Dramatic arc and emotional journey

Buying a house and taking out a home loan can be a big step involving many new decisions and increased levels of responsibility for a lot of people. There can be pressures around deciding what interest rate to choose, choices on how to pay back the loan, and who to go to for trusted advice. Depending on the persona for the type of person we are working with, this can result in a range of different emotional experiences.

As well as tracking the emotional experiences of our users, it is also important to focus on the dramatic arc or the peaks and troughs of engagement for users as they navigate through their journeys. Perhaps our users are highly engaged when they are about to commit to a loan, because of an overwhelming amount of information they have to consider as well as the excitement of making a commitment, this experience can be both negative for the user while also having high dramatic value.

By understanding how our users' emotional journey intersects with the dramatic arc of their service experience, we are better able to identify aspects of our customers' experience where they need additional help and support. It leads us to ask important questions, such as how might we support their process by delivering the right amount of information, at the right time? How much communication gives our customers assurance that they are being thought about and cared for?

By addressing emotional elements such as this, and others along a customer's journey, we have the opportunity to make our service feel more safe, trustable, and enjoyable for people to receive.

Managing a range of different customer journeys in repositories

Customer journeys can be understood at a range of different levels. From the macro scale, right down to small micro-interactions. All play a role in the overall experience of a customer and if orchestrated well will contribute to seamless and delightful moments as someone receives our services.

Perhaps this means creating journeys where he spends a day moving between different channels of information, asking family members for advice, trawling through many different websites, and reading books on how to make his decision. At a fine-grain, this might even be how someone navigates information on our particular website, what his pain points are, and how easy it is to access the relevant information that is needed.

By linking these sub journeys together we are able to see both the higher-level picture and move into fine-grain detail on all elements throughout his experience - creating a detailed repository.

The more detail we are able to add to our journey map will determine how clear our vision for service delivery improvements will be. Adding extra lanes with data, visual artifacts and additional insights make our journey maps increasingly rich and usable.

Example customer journey map for the banking sector

bank account opening customer journey

Typical challenges of introducing customer journey mapping to banking

Challenging business as usual.

As is the case with many established industries, proposing new approaches to working can be met with resistance as they challenge long-held existing ways of working. This is the way we do things here has held up for a long time… however in the face of change, we can no longer afford to continue working as we did in the past. Digital transformation, disruptors and novel types of service delivery are all challenging perceptions of what is possible in the world of banking. Champions for service design approaches must be able to convey the value of working differently, and demonstrate how new approaches can harmonize and amplify existing ways of working, rather than simply replace them.  

Understanding the end-to-end customer journey  

Banking services can be highly complex and involve a multitude of different customer journeys. Everything from checking account balances, taking out loans, depositing and withdrawing money and making transfers to third parties, the list of actions and journeys in banking is vast.  

Developing quality journey maps requires a perception shift for banks to go beyond simple touchpoints to understand customers' end-to-end journey, which can be a big undertaking. However the benefits of this understanding are also noticeable. With this foundation service delivery can be innovated and developed in ways that provide the customer with a more cohesive, logical and enjoyable banking experience.  

Organizations can also encounter challenges utilizing journey maps to make sustainable changes due to the commitment and effort required to change existing systems, redevelop policies, while at the same time minimizing risk and maintaining trusted relationships.

Often change efforts initiate with a great sense of enthusiasm, only to be held back when faced with the complexity of implementation. To mitigate these challenges, efforts to understand and change existing systems must move at an appropriate pace that is manageable and not overwhelming. Pick small wins, communicate clearly and often, and don't expect to change the whole system all at once. Many small shifts to different journeys will lead to radically improved customer experiences over time.  

Going digital

There are great opportunities, as well as risks in going digital with banking services. As banks rely so heavily on trust and security, understanding the customer journey and making shifts can be a gradual process as not to compromise existing relationships. The challenges involved with going digital involve considering a range of different ways in which services can be used. For some banks offering digital services, this means a thorough understanding of the regulatory environment in which they exist in and how they will be able to manage and prevent their services from being used for illegal purposes, such as tax evasion.

Driving cross-departmental collaboration

Banks are well known for having siloed departments and established ways of working. When one hand doesn't know what the other is doing, there is a risk that the customer experience of our services can be fragmented and difficult to navigate, on top of this we can lose out on efficiency in delivering services, cutting into our bottom line. This is where new players in the banking market are really able to make an impact as they are often smaller and with the use of agile methods and service design approaches are able to quickly adapt and modify their service delivery to meet customer needs.

Existing banks are required to embrace these new customer-centric approaches and develop functioning cross-department teams to solve innovation and CX challenges.

Journey maps offer a great opportunity to create a central location for data management and foster collaboration between different departments. By adding data lanes and KPI data to journey maps we can create useful tools for improving the way we work together to deliver better services.  

Call to action to create a free journey map with Smaply.

There are many applications for how journey mapping can assist our understanding of customer experience and service delivery in banking.

By developing great persona's we are able to understand and communicate who our customers are - what their personalities are like and how they prefer to engage with banking services.

By mapping out the experiences of these different personas we are able to have insights into areas of service delivery that are open for disruption and innovation. Digital-only banks are already capitalizing on insights from this customer journey and developing innovative solutions to people's banking needs such as peer-to-peer lending, digital-only banking, and fast personal transactions.

Emerging technologies and innovative platforms are also changing people's experience and expectations of banking, though intuitive UX experiences, reduced cost services, and removing the need for physical banks organizations are able to increase the accessibility of banking services for whole new markets of people.

Sitting at the foundation of all this innovation lies an understanding of customer experience. As the world continues to evolve and change, organizations that use the best tools for mapping customer journey can manage, organize and extract insights from this experience. They will also have a competitive advantage for crafting better services and addressing their customers needs.

Now it's about implementing what you've just learned: Create banking journey maps to understand the customer experience and innovate your services.

The journey mapping tool Smaply lets you easily create banking journey maps, personas, and ecosystem maps.

Sign up now, it's free!

bank account opening customer journey

Cambrian Berry

Cambrian is a creative, passionate and self motivated service designer and loves seeing solutions to complex problems, especially when it comes to help people towards experiences that improve the quality of their lives.

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Digital Onboarding grabs $58M to help banks with profitable customer engagement

bank account opening customer journey

Digital Onboarding , a SaaS company specializing in helping financial institutions strengthen relationships with customers, secured $58 million in growth capital from Volition Capital to continue developing its digital engagement platform.

Ted Brown and Jonathan Crossman co-founded the company in 2015 under the name SalesBrief and focused on the B2B sales cycle. In 2017, they pivoted after entering Digital Federal Credit Union’s fintech accelerator. They changed the name to Digital Onboarding and began selling its engagement platform to banks and credit unions in January of 2018.

Communications from financial institutions, which are under strict regulations, is often paper-based, especially when opening a new account. This often leads to between 25% and 40% of new checking accounts closed within the first year, said Brown, CEO of Digital Onboarding, citing a statistic from the 2023 Future of Finance Report .

“A lot of the valuable parts of the relationship were taken away by neobanks getting people to swipe a debit card,” Brown told TechCrunch.

Bank engagement startup Flourish Fi leans into concept of ‘banks aren’t going anywhere’

Financial institutions then spend hundreds of dollars in marketing and awareness to get a customer to open an account that doesn’t get used, resulting in both lost money and a lost relationship, Brown said.

To reduce those losses and keep customers around longer, Digital Onboarding’s technology provides banks and credit unions with a digital aspect to the paper welcome kit in the form of targeted, journey-based communication and action-oriented microsites.

In addition, it offers a library of campaigns and a set of proprietary and third-party widgets that can be added to those microsites or on bank landing pages, and within third-party digital banking applications.

Digital Onboarding is working with more than 140 financial institution customers. Brown was mum on revenue growth other than to say the company has been able to grow quickly despite an average sales cycle of five months.

He did say that the $58 million growth investment was “opportunistic.” The company was on a path to profitability and had raised $7.5 million in venture capital previously, including a Series A in 2020.

“We have very few competitors in the space, and only about a quarter to a third of our market knows about us,” Brown said. “With this funding, we also have an opportunity to accelerate our product roadmap and have 140 very happy customers who would buy more from us if we have more to sell.”

Digital Onboarding also plans to invest in additional segmentation and profile management, marketing attribution, machine learning and embedded fintech functionality. In addition, Brown expects to double the company’s lean headcount by the end of 2024.

Are your product and service teams creating value for customers?

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Chase Bank Promotions & Bonus Offers in 2024

Dori Zinn


Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist with more than a decade of experience covering credit, debt, investing, budgeting, saving, retirement, college affordability, jobs and careers, and more. She loves helping people learn about money.

Kristy Snyder

Kristy Snyder

Kristy is a freelance contributor to Newsweek’s personal finance team. As an editor, Kristy has worked with sites like Bankrate, JPMorgan Chase and NextAdvisor to craft and hone content on banking, credit cards and loans. She’s also written for publications such as Forbes Advisor and U.S. News and World. In her spare time, Kristy loves traveling, hitting up rail trails and reading.

Updated January 26, 2024 at 2:34 pm

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Our research is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of personal finance services and products that best suit your needs. To help you in the decision-making process, our expert contributors compare common preferences and potential pain points, such as affordability, accessibility, and credibility.

J.P. Morgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States, so it’s normal to see different types of Chase promotions throughout the year. If you’re not a Chase customer, chances are the bank is looking to get you to become one.

Chase Bank has a few different promotions and bonuses this month that let you score hundreds of dollars as a new customer. In some cases, you could earn some cash even if you already have a Chase account. If you’re looking for a new checking, savings or business account (or know someone who is), check to see if you’re eligible for these Chase promotions right now.

Vault’s Viewpoint

  • Chase is the largest bank in the United States and offers many different checking accounts for a variety of different folks.
  • Many accounts offer sign-up bonuses , whether that’s for a new traditional checking account or student checking account.
  • Currently, there are no Chase savings account bonuses.

Chase Refer a Friend Bonus

When you get a friend to open a qualifying checking account, that’s an extra $50 in your account. You can get up to $500 per calendar year for every referral.

This option is best for current customers, and you don’t need to hit any account minimums to meet eligibility. There’s also no money lost if you don’t end up meeting any criteria. It’s simply an extra perk for existing customers.

Chase Total Checking Account Bonus

If you’re looking for a new checking account , Total Checking from Chase rewards you with up to $300 as a new customer. If you make at least $500 in direct deposits within the first 90 days of account opening, you can cash in. The offer ends on April 17, 2024.

New Chase Customer: Total Checking

Newsweek Vault Review

Chase College Checking Account Bonus

College students don’t always have access to bank accounts geared toward them. But the College Checking account from Chase is made for young folks who may need a little extra help with their banking. You can enjoy a $100 bonus if you complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of opening your account.

With no minimum deposit and no monthly service fee, this college checking account is ideal for college-aged customers. If you’re 17 or you don’t have a Social Security number, you’ll need to visit a Chase branch in person to set up your account. When you complete your application, you’ll put your expected graduation date and enjoy no monthly service fees until then. After that, you could face monthly service fees of $0 to $6.

You’ll also need to provide a valid student ID, acceptance letter or proof of enrollment when you register.

New Chase Customer: College Checking

Chase secure banking checking account bonus.

If you’re worried about overdraft charges , you can take preventative measures with the Chase Secure Banking account. You’ll pay a flat monthly fee and avoid overdraft charges. Instead, transactions get declined or returned. And if you’re a new Chase checking customer, you can get a $100 bonus with qualifying activities.

This type of account is good for those who worry about insufficient funds and want to avoid extra fees in case you’re prone to overdrafting. While the $4.95 monthly fee is to avoid overdraft fees, you could face other types of fees wherever they apply. For instance, if you use your debit card at non-Chase ATMs, you could face a $3 to $5 fee. There are also domestic and international wire transfer charges when funds are wired to or from your account.

New Chase Customer: Secure Banking

Chase business complete banking account bonus.

For business owners who are browsing their first (or new) business checking accounts , this one from Chase offers a $400 bonus. While only available to new business account customers, it’s a great way to earn extra cash for an account you need to open anyway.

To qualify, you’ll need to deposit at least $2,000 in your business bank account within the first 30 days of opening your account. After that, you’ll need to maintain that amount for at least another 60 days. Then you’ll need to complete five qualifying transactions during the first 90 days of opening your account. These can be anything from debit card purchases, paying your credit card bill, ACH payments (both incoming and outgoing), Zelle payments and more.

New Business Chase Customer: Chase Business Complete Banking

How chase promotions compare.

Chase isn’t the only bank trying to lure in your business with promotions.

Most banks across the U.S. offer promotions to new customers, and in some cases, existing customers. Chase offers one of the few referral promotions, allowing existing customers to earn cash when they refer a friend who signs up for a qualifying account. This isn’t as common as regular bank promotions, since many financial institutions are looking for new business. So it’s a perk that existing customers can enjoy as they recommend others.

Chase promotions are in line with other big banks, like Bank of America and Wells Fargo. But you might find other bank promotions at credit unions and local community banks in your area. See which ones are offered at independent banks near you and compare to other bank promotions, including those from Chase and bigger banks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chase has a lot of different offers this month for new customers and one for existing customers. You can earn up to $500 when you refer friends to Chase and they open eligible banking accounts. For new customers, you can earn anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on the account you open with Chase.

If you open a Total Checking account from Chase and meet the requirements within a few weeks of opening, you could receive up to $300. Those funds come within 15 days of meeting your requirements, and there’s no limit to how you can use your money. It goes straight into your Total Checking account.

Most of the major banks in the U.S. offer some sort of bank promotion when you sign up as a new customer. While Chase is one bank offering a few different promotions, there are others who have them as well. Bank of America offers up to $200 when you open an eligible account, while Wells Fargo is offering up to $300 when you open an Everyday Checking account.

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Chase Bank Account Promotion FAQs

Chase bank promotions: january 2024.

Our experts answer readers' banking questions and write unbiased product reviews ( here's how we assess banking products ). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners ; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

  • Chase has several promotions for new checking account customers.
  • You can earn up to $3,000 for opening a Chase checking account if you meet certain requirements.
  • You must open an eligible Chase checking account by April 17, 2024, to qualify for a bonus.

Chase may be a good option if you plan to open a checking account with a national financial institution. The bank has several of the best checking account bonuses available for new customers.

There are bonus options for relatively wealthy clients, small business owners, college students, and more. You can apply for Chase bank account bonuses online directly through the promotional pages or enter your email address on the page to open an account at your nearest branch.

Below, we'll explain how to qualify for all of the current Chase Bank promotions. 

Chase Bank Checking Account Promotions

Chase private client checking: up to $3,000.

Chase Private Client Checking℠ is a premium bank account for relatively wealthy customers.

The account has a $35 monthly service fee that can be waived if you maintain a combined average daily account balance of $150,000 or more across Chase Private Client Checking and linked bank and investment accounts. You can also waive the monthly service fee if you link a Chase Platinum Business Checking Account.

Chase Private Client Checking offers the highest bonus at the bank. You can earn a cash bonus of up to $3,000 when you open or upgrade to Chase Private Client Checking by April 17, 2024.

First, enter an email on the Chase bonus page and speak with a Private Client Banker by phone or at a branch. 

Once you have an account, transfer $150,000 or more in new money or securities to a combination of eligible accounts in the first 45 days of account opening.

Eligible accounts include Chase's personal checking accounts, personal savings accounts, and J.P. Morgan Wealth Management non-retirement accounts. Chase defines new money as funds that haven't been deposited or invested in Chase Bank, Chase Insurance Agency, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, or another affiliate.

The amount of money you'll deposit will determine the amount of your bonus: 

  • Earn a $1,000 cash bonus by transferring $150,000 to $249,999.99 in new money
  • Earn a $2,000 cash bonus by transferring $250,000 to $499,999.99 in new money
  • Earn a $3,000 cash bonus transferring $500,000 or more in new money.

You must also maintain your new money account balance for at least 90 days from opening the account. If you meet the requirements, the cash bonus will deposited in your Chase Private Client Checking account within 40 days. 

Chase Business Complete Checking: $400

Chase Business Complete Checking is best suited for small business owners.

The account's $15 monthly service fee can be waived if you maintain a $2,000 daily balance, make $2,000 in net purchases with a Chase Ink Business Card, receive $2,000 in deposits from Chase QuickAccept or other eligible Chase payment solution transactions, link to a Chase Private Client account, or provide proof of military status. 

To get a $400 business checking account bonus, open an account by April 18, 2024. Within 30 days of opening the account, deposit $2,000 or more in new money. Then maintain your new money balance for 60 days from when you opened the account.

You must also make five qualifying transactions within the first 90 days. Debit card purchases and credit/debit card payments with Quick Accept are two types of qualifying transactions.

The bonus is added to Chase Business Complete Checking within 15 days of fulfilling all the required criteria.

Chase Total Checking: $300

Chase Total Checking® is one of the big bank's everyday checking accounts.

It has a $12 monthly service fee. If you receive electronic deposits of $500 or more, maintain a daily Chase Total Checking account balance of at least $1,500, or keep an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in Chase qualifying deposit and investments accounts, your service fee will be waived for the month.

To get a $300 Chase Total Checking bonus, open Chase Total Checking by April 17, 2024. Then you must receive a total of $500 or more in eligible direct deposits during the first 90 days of opening an account. Paychecks, pensions, and government benefit payments are a few examples of eligible direct deposits.

The money will be deposited into your checking account within 15 days of meeting the requirements.

Chase Secure Checking: $100

Chase Secure Banking℠ is another one of the bank's everyday checking accounts. This option may stand out if your goal is to avoid overdraft fees. The account has $4.95 monthly service fee that can't be waived, though. 

You can get a $100 cash bonus if you open Chase Secure Banking by April 17, 2024, and make 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of opening the account. Debit card purchases, Zelle transactions, ACH credit transactions, Chase QuickDeposits, and online bill payments are all types of qualifying transactions.

Once you fulfill the requirements, the bonus will added to your account within 15 days.

Chase College Checking: $100

Chase College Checking is one of the best bank accounts for college students . It's specifically for people between the ages of 17 and 24 and studying at a college, vocational school, technical school, or trade school. 

The account has no monthly service fee while you're in school. You have to provide an expected graduation date when opening the account. After that date, be mindful of a $6 monthly service fee. To waive the $6 monthly service fee, you have to maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in your account or receive a monthly qualifying electronic deposit like a paycheck or government benefits payment.

Chase College Checking offers a $100 cash bonus, and the deal expires on April 17, 2024. 

If you're 17 years old, you have to apply for Chase College Checking at a branch. You can apply for the account online if you're between the ages of 18 and 24.

Once you open the account, you must complete 10 qualifying transactions within the first 60 days of opening the account. Similar to Chase Secure Banking, debit card purchases, Zelle transactions, ACH credit transactions, Chase QuickDeposits, or online bill payments all qualify.

The cash bonus is deposited into Chase College Checking within 15 days of meeting the requirements. 

Chase has a referral program that allows select Chase personal checking account customers to earn a $50 bonus for each person they refer to open an eligible Chase checking account. You can refer up to 10 friends and family for a maximum bonus amount of $500. 

You can get a $200 bonus from Chase Bank if you open Chase Total Checking and receive a total of $500 or more in eligible direct deposits during the first 90 days of opening an account.

To get a $1,000 bonus at Chase Bank, you must open Chase Private Client Checking and transfer $150,000 to $249,999.99 in new money or securities to a combination of eligible accounts in the first 45 days of opening an account. You also have to maintain your new money account balance for at least 90 days from opening the account. 

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bank account opening customer journey

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  • Main content

Clearing Customer Open Items

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Process manual clearing of receivable open items

Manual Clearing


So, what happens after you post an outgoing invoice to Account Receivables? It becomes an open item in the customer's account. Ideally, the posting of the incoming payments clears the invoice automatically. Then, the invoice status changes from Open to Cleared.

However, it is not always possible to clear an open item automatically during incoming payment processing. For this reason, you have the option of subsequently processing a clearing.

Manual clearing allows you to review open debits and credits and take charge of the clearing process. It allows you to allocate payments, adjustments, or other transactions to specific open items.

Generally, you must use manual clearing in the following cases:

  • You can't use automatic clearing methods.
  • You require more control over the clearing process.

bank account opening customer journey

  • With the app, Clear Incoming Payments , you can select and clear multiple open items (payments, down payments, and normal items).
  • On the Items to Be Cleared screen, you will see a list of options for open items you can clear.
  • The system clears open items with zero balance, changes their status to Cleared , and creates a clearing journal entry. Each cleared item contains this journal entry number and the clearing date.

You can find a list of all key features of the Clear Incoming Payments Fiori app here:

Clear Incoming Payments | SAP Help Portal

Business Scenario

Alex, an accountant at customer S4C000, receives the periodic account statement created by Carla in the previous lesson. Upon review, he requests that Clara clears the following items from the statement:

bank account opening customer journey

After analysing the transactions, Carla tells Alex that she will clear the items by the end of the day. However, there is one issue. The automatic clearing job is not able to clear the items due to different reference information in the Document Number column. Now, Carla must manually clear the items.

In the following demo, you will see:

  • How to clear open items.
  • How to review the results on the customer account.

Carla’s Summary:

To manually clear open items, use the Clear Incoming Payments app. Use the Clear button to select the relevant open items, then select Post . When the items successfully clear, the system creates a clearing journal entry. Use the Manage Customer Line Items app to review the open item status.

Clear Customer Open Items Manually

In this exercise, you will clear a customer payment using the app Clear Incoming Payments . You then check the items using the Manage Customer Line Items app.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes


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