Building a Tech Stack for Digital Onboarding in Wealth Management

Building a Tech Stack for Digital Onboarding in Wealth Management

Onboarding is a crucial step for any wealth management office. Not only does it allow you to gain the required information to manage a person’s investment, but it’s also the first impression you give to a new client. Traditionally, this process has been done via paper forms, which were then re-transcribed into a database.

However, this era has passed, and customers now vastly prefer a digital onboarding process. In fact, nearly 70% of wealth management customers now expect their onboarding to be fully digital. A combination of convenience and additional security provided by digital forms is what explains the switch. 

Creating a few digital forms is only a small portion of this equation. Creating a digital software stack to support the overall customer experience is the most complicated and potentially costly part. 

This article will go over the evolution of onboarding in wealth management, show the key components to make this process digital and help you create a plan to get yourself started. 

The Evolution of Digital Onboarding in Wealth Management

Wealth management onboarding has historically been done via face-to-face meetings, paper forms and physical ID verification. While this way of doing things was slower, it was often seen as a core portion of the wealth management experience, allowing advisors to build a relationship with their clients. 

Over the years, and especially with the evolution of the Internet, wealth management onboarding has been digitized, starting with forms and email communication. This change has made the industry overall grow to new heights, and allowed smaller players to compete with the giants. 

Digitized forms could only do so much, but they started to gain their true power in recent years with the arrival of CRMs and workflow automation software like Mako. With the added functionality, a growing level of complexity has been added. A fully digitized onboarding experience also brought an added level of complexity that a lot of wealth management offices aren’t equipped to take on. 

Key Components of a Digital Onboarding Tech Stack

Building a comprehensive wealth management onboarding experience is a careful orchestra of forms, software and their integrations. A tech stack is the resulting group of software solutions that handle the onboarding experience. 

It can be difficult to determine what your organization needs without prior IT knowledge, and the solutions available vary greatly. Here are a few examples of what is typically found within a wealth management tech stack: 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

The most common players in this space are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. This type of software allows you to manage a customer’s lifecycle at all stages. A CRM is where most key customer information ends up, including communications and notes. 

While Mako doesn’t replace a CRM, it integrates with a few popular options and can be a great companion to increase the ROI of such a tool.

Compliance and Security Tools

These tools help you automatically run compliance checks like government anti-money laundering checks. Another tool in the security realm is e-signature tools such as DocuSign, which allow your customers to complete onboarding fully online with no signature scanning required. 

Mako offers a variety of compliance check tools via an integration with Trulioo for identity and AML verifications. Additionally, Mako includes a native e-signature module that can be integrated directly into the form without the client ever having to leave the onboarding experience.

Data Storage and Analytics

The data being collected during a wealth management onboarding is extremely sensitive. Not only does it need to be kept safe, but it must also be auditable and easy to reference. Excel is the usual starting point, but digital vault platforms like FutureVault can be a good upgrade down the line. 

While Mako isn’t intended as a data storage solution, some clients have transitioned away from their Excel databases due to Mako’s clean UI, detailed permission control and faster data lookup capabilities. 

Communication Technologies

While email communications to clients are essential to maintain status on the form filling, it’s also essential to have a good notification system for the required signatories within the wealth management office as well.

This process will most often be done through your email client and your CRM’s capabilities via an integration of the two. Mako allows you to skip that step with a robust email notification system that can be customized to your needs.

Creating a Digital Onboarding Plan

Digitizing your onboarding experience can be a daunting experience without a dedicated IT professional within your team, but it can go smoothly if you have a good plan in place. Here are the 3 main steps you’ll have to take:

Interview your staff

The most important discussion you can have in regard to your onboarding experience is with the people actually providing it. Your staff will tell you their true pain points and what your clients feel should be improved. 

This can be done informally in a meeting, but ideally, you should lead this process through a dedicated survey platform to have proper data to analyze before making a decision.

Establish required steps

After speaking with your workforce, the next step is determining what will need to be digitized. You might realize that certain aspects of your onboarding experience are fine as they are, and you simply need to fix a few inefficiencies through technology. 

Make a detailed plan of how you envision your onboarding experience, and list the software you think will be required. This is also the ideal moment to look into software like Mako that can take on multiple aspects of your onboarding experience, reducing the need for a bloated tech stack. 

Choosing a supplier

Getting a good idea of what a product can do and determining if it’s right for your needs can be hard to gauge, even during a demo. Prepare yourself with a list of questions you ask all your potential suppliers so you can later compare the answers. Here are a few ideas:

  • How soon can this solution be deployed?
  • What cyber security measures does your solution provide?
  • Which custodians are you integrated with?
  • Where is your data stored?

The final list will need to be personalized to your needs, but the above questions must be answered in any case for digital wealth management onboarding. 

The Future of Onboarding

Wealth management digital onboarding is bound to continue to evolve and become a much more powerful tool than it currently is. One thing is certain: it will remain an essential part of the operations of a wealth management office. 

Innovations in the field of AI and data analysis will eventually allow for robust personalization that will bring wealth management to new heights. This highlights the importance of building an efficient tech stack now in order to be ready for future advancements. 

If you’d like a detailed demo of our comprehensive digital onboarding software, contact us here

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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