fintechview had an interesting chat with Vasilis Ioannou, the Business Units Junior Director of ECOMMBX Ltd, who is currently leading the customer onboarding and customer service units of the Company, being responsible for onboarding prospective customers as well as servicing the needs of existing customers, ensuring a smooth customer journey throughout.

Technology plays a crucial role in delivering a seamless experience and users. Could you share your views?

Advances in technology over the last few years have drastically influenced and accelerated the world we live in, making it more engaging and competitive than ever. As a result, and irrespective of the business sector, technology now plays a vital role in delivering a seamless, superior, and pleasant customer experience. Financial institutions are no exception, as the rapid changes in the technology landscape have
changed customer behaviour and expectations, making it imperative to implement advanced technologies to optimize the existing processes for customer acquisition and retention, and focus on a true digital customer experience.

What are the challenges in onboarding processes?

One of the most fundamental interactions with customers throughout the digital journey is their onboarding as new clients.The recent pandemic not only forced organizations to adapt to unexpected challenges, but also exposed various weaknesses in the traditional customer onboarding processes and revealed that they tend to be complicated, slow and repetitive. Delayed onboarding in turn can
significantly increase the abandonment rate, as customers demand quick and integrated service delivery across several channels. One of the main reasons for delayed onboarding is that traditional onboarding processes are in fact by nature time-consuming as they involve multiple stakeholders and several repetitive tasks performed by a number of people. By contrast, digital onboarding enables financial
institutions to onboard new customers remotely through seamless, and even enjoyable, customer journeys.
Financial institutions that have embraced the digital onboarding process do, however, face one major challenge: they must ensure that their seamless customer onboarding experience adheres to the ever-evolving compliance and regulatory requirements. To do so, financial institutions must adopt advanced technological applications, which are flexible and scalable enough to allow continuous upgrades to meet customer demands, as well as challenges that may arise during the onboarding process.

Today’s digital customer onboarding solutions utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, enabling expedited identity verification, automated document processing, data enrichment and real-time decision making, thus improving business process efficiency. Smart business process management can also be beneficial in cases where specific stages of the onboarding process need to be amended.

How financial institutions can maximize the security and have efficient monitoring to avoid fraudulent activity?

Application Programming Interface (API) integration allows financial institutions to maximize their system’s security and minimize fraudulent activity, as it facilitates information sharing from different sources and aggregates the relevant customer details. This helps detect and inhibit fraud through real-time validation of customer data, digital footprint analysis, data enrichment, and more.
Finally, and in order to achieve a balance between digital and human interaction, financial institutions need to implement technologies that accelerate back-end processes, which in turn, enhances in-person customer service. Workflow automation can greatly benefit this process, but innovative technologies – such as real-time scheduling tools – can also be utilized to further streamline customer interaction.
The world is becoming more digital as we speak, demanding user-friendliness, speed and flexibility. To cope with technological advancements, and amidst dynamically changing regulations and policies, digital onboarding processes offer organizations the necessary agility to respond to changes swiftly. Institutions utilizing these solutions can reach out to customers, complete the onboarding procedure and
identity verification, and open their bank accounts within minutes – a process that previously took days to complete. However, and despite all that has changed, one thing remains constant: Customer satisfaction comes first!

Who is Who

Vasilis Ioannou is the Business Units Junior Director of ECOMMBX Ltd. He is currently leading the customer onboarding and customer service units of the company. Prior to ECOMMBX, Vasilis was a Manager in Risk, Compliance and Regulation Advisory at PwC Cyprus, leading a number of projects for financial services firms, focusing on AML and regulatory compliance, as well as digital transformation, business planning and corporate strategy. Previously Vasilis worked within the International Banking Services division of Bank of Cyprus, in front line and AML compliance positions. Vasilis is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), holds the CySEC Advanced Certification, and is a member of ACCA, ICPAC and ACAMS.

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