Designing Excellence: The Evolution of UI in FinTech Digital Onboarding

Designing Excellence: The Evolution of UI in FinTech Digital Onboarding

The advent of software as a service (Saas) and evolutions in working practices has created a wave of innovative Fintech companies ready to bring new blood to the financial sector. One of the aspects of wealth management that saw the most improvement from being digitized is client onboarding. 

But old habits die hard, and phasing out paper forms is a difficult task when software can have a steep learning curve. However, a good, easy-to-use user interface(UI) can do wonders in changing the way software is integrated into workflows. It’s why we doubled down on UI development at Mako, and it’s what makes our product so great. 

This article is derived from an interview with Mako’s Product Manager and Designer, Heather Mazzonna, where she talked about the pain points of the wealth management field, how she built a better onboarding experience, a strong user interface and gave a few pointers on where the platform is headed. 

Wealth Management Pain Points

The onboarding process in wealth management is a complicated process, and errors can have grave consequences. It also involves a variety of actors, from clients to advisors and staff, who all need to communicate efficiently during the process. 

Here are the most common wealth management onboarding pain points:

Automating administrative work

One of the biggest technological opportunities for wealth management is in reduction of administrative work. A typical paper-based workflow can quickly drown an advisor in side work, leaving too little time to provide a good service and build new relationships. 

Technology can easily be leveraged for bulk actions like data imports and initiating workflows for re-papering and refreshing KYC information. These tedious tasks should be automated to not only free up advisor time but also provide a better experience for customers. 


Opening accounts at a wealth management office can often be confusing and tedious. An onboarding software like Mako allows advisors to have significant control over workflows, which in turn helps create personalized and optimal experiences for their specific needs. 

This workflow flexibility also allows you to provide a strong, branded experience for your clients that is consistent across all forms.

Risk mitigation

Humans make mistakes, no matter how trained they are and how many checks are in place. Whether it’s your client, your advisor or your admin staff, there are numerous opportunities for costly mistakes in a wealth management onboarding process.

Mako implements error detection and automatic pre-fill functionalities to minimize potential errors in processes while dramatically reducing the onboarding time. 

Mako's smart error detection feature can be applied to a variety of fields and data types

Workflow management

Onboarding a new client involves a variety of tasks, forms and communications to organize all the required information. It can quickly become a hectic process that can easily overwhelm an otherwise busy advisor. 

When using Mako, statuses, audit trails, signatories and document management are all built into each workflow to help advisors keep organized and informed of the progress as documents and forms are filled.

A Better Onboarding Experience

A good onboarding experience has multiple benefits for a wealth management office. Beyond obvious efficiency improvements, onboarding is often the first impression of your firm a new client gets. Making sure it is streamlined and consistent can do wonders to build early trust. 

Here are the core elements of a good digital onboarding experience: 

Embracing technology

Digital onboarding is quickly becoming the norm, and some clients might even be reticent to engage with a firm that is fully paper-based. Technology like E-signatures, ID verification, error detection and more have become the standard that clients expect when onboarding.

Mako integrates all these technologies natively within forms so clients never have to leave the experience they are in.  

Streamlining information collection

Information collection is essential to wealth management for legal reasons but also to provide adequate customer service. However, this process can quickly become overwhelming if it isn’t supported by an adequate framework.

Mako provides advisors with the capability to input the necessary information on behalf of clients at their discretion, facilitating the relationship-building process.

Personalized client experience

The account opening process can quickly get out of hand, especially when multiple institutions and government forms are involved. Personalizing the experience can be a powerful way to streamline the onboarding process and guide clients through.

Our product displays only the necessary information to clients depending on workflow actions and investment objectives through customizable workflows to create a more efficient and focused process.

The Mako UI Design Philosophy

The wealth industry poses considerable challenges to fintech startups looking to serve the market. Every wealth management office is different, and their requirements can greatly vary based on employee count, client type, custodian and more. Consistency across platforms is also a big priority and can influence the way a product gets developed to interact well with other software used. 

This peculiar set of requirements has led Mako to not set a design philosophy in stone. Instead, Heather embraces iterative design processes and scalable systems. Startups can easily become bogged down by new features. Instead, Mako focuses on building systematic solutions, as opposed to ad hoc approaches, in order to have a scalable structure and foundation for the product.

“Having a singular design philosophy can be dangerous for a software company. The core of my product design strategy is based on iterative design processes and a focus on building scalable systems. It’s an approach that keeps us agile and allows us to tailor our product to our client’s needs. I find fulfillment in designing powerful systems that allow users to easily leverage them.” - Heather Mazzona

These systematic solutions are then turned into user-friendly interfaces that allow users to leverage the full potential of the technology and complete functions that increase their efficiency. The building blocks behind Mako also make it a very customizable platform that can easily be modulated to suit your needs. 

Charting The Future of Wealthtech With Mako

Mako has seen a tremendous amount of user interface improvements in recent months. A full UI library has been built to ensure a consistent experience across all features used to improve adoption from both advisors and clients.

Additionally, a robust in-app notification system was implemented, allowing users to be notified of upcoming KYC refreshes in bulk to launch the KYC refresh workflow on the platform with only a few clicks. 

In a similar vein, a roles and permissions feature was introduced to allow firms to segregate users and data in almost any way an organization needs and can continue to scale to give organization admins the ability to control every user entitlement they need efficiently by using roles.

Better Software, Better Onboarding

By building a low-code, modular platform, Mako is able to provide a customizable and streamlined user experience that can easily grow along with your business. User interface has been an important focus for Mako from day one for a very simple reason: Software with bad UI doesn’t get used. 

When you choose Mako for your onboarding experience, you can rest assured it will easily be adopted by your organization, no matter their proficiency level. And, of course, we’re not resting on our laurels, with a slew of improvements slated for this year, including workflow navigation, draft mode and e-signature guided process. Look out for an article soon for a more detailed look at these new improvements.

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

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

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