Measuring ROI: Assessing the Impact of Digital Onboarding Solutions

Measuring ROI: Assessing the Impact of Digital Onboarding Solutions

The wealth management industry is increasingly defined by how it opens new accounts. From rapid expansions to bulk repapering, digital onboarding has been on everyone's minds in the field. However, considering this kind of software without adequate context can seem like a daunting investment. 

Since each client contributes to your firm’s AUM, enabling you to earn and retain more new clients is the single most important way your software stack can contribute to your revenues. Digital onboarding is often seen as outside the sales process, but it is most definitely a tool that can bring you more business and scale faster if used properly. It can supercharge your sales cycle and provide an initial experience so good that your clients will stay with your firm longer. 

This article will review the ROI calculations of digital onboarding, discuss elements to consider as you make a selection, and offer insight into how Mako’s worth is calculated. 

Analyzing the Investment in Digital Onboarding

According to internal research and analysis, wealth management firms, on average, spend a whopping $60 in fully loaded costs to process a single form, and this cost only goes up for large firms with added systems. These costs are so deeply blended and integrated within your operations that they can be hard to detect as an outlying cost. 

The main fear with digital onboarding is an understandable one: what if no one uses it? No one wants to be stuck with a fixed monthly cost only to realize they should’ve chosen a different option. This is why Mako offers usage-based pricing models to ensure our clients pay only when we are driving value and new business for them. 

Digital onboarding encompasses so many different tasks that it ends up suffering from external oversimplification. It’s easy to think this kind of software is too expensive if you see it as just a way to process PDF forms. A digital onboarding platform like Mako will end up taking over the following tasks: 

  • Gathering and validating data
  • Process e-signatures
  • Entering data for the firm and client, validating SINs, bank accounts, addresses, dates and more
  • Performing AML/IDV checks
  • Resending not-in-good-order forms
  • Transcribing data into CRM, PMS and your book of records

Quantifying the Benefits of Digital Onboarding

Digital onboarding is a clear revenue driver, improving your sales process and optimizing your day-to-day operations. Its real value comes in its capacity to make your firm realize revenue much faster by bringing clients in at increased velocity and scalability. 

While there are many benefits to digital onboarding, here are the top four best avenues to justify it via return on investment calculations:


Digital onboarding software like Mako allows you to respond to critical business needs and curve balls thrown at you by regulatory bodies. 

Changing custodians often seems like too much of a hassle, even with significant price cuts, because it requires a significant time investment. Mako can help you process this type of operation in a matter of weeks.

With paper forms, form amendments, even minor ones, can be a long and arduous process. Mako’s forms can be changed in a matter of days and sent to all your advisors and clients instantly to be filled out and the data updated in your databases.


Every wealth management office must have a cybersecurity strategy in place, but adequately protecting data can be costly and complicated for organizations without the technical skills. Mako’s data-gathering process involves encrypted audit trails, Canadian-domiciled AWS cloud servers, and comprehensive cyber insurance and follows our rigorous SOC2 type II certification. 

Streamlined user experience

Digital onboarding increases the number of available working hours within your organization, which means more time for prospecting new clients and better serving the ones you currently have. Your clients will also feel like their time is valued because you offer a shorter, more efficient account opening procedure, and they will be less frustrated by cumbersome paperwork.

Eliminate Rework

One of the biggest hidden costs of any wealth management office is rework. Inaccurate data collection, whether through paper or digital forms, incurs significant time and money costs. The lengthy email exchanges or in-person meetings required to refill forms and correct mistakes also often impact the client experience. 

Mako’s validation of fields like SINs, bank accounts, addresses, dates, and more eliminates the most common mistakes made when filling out forms. Additionally, our platform allows for seamless form resends within the app and a robust comments system to point out required changes. No more management by email is required, and your clients get a consistent experience, all in one place. 

Calculating ROI and Selecting Appropriate KPIs

The cost and return of digital onboarding are usually very easy to discern, but it must be based on a strong data collection process. You might already calculate some of these metrics for the purpose of your operations, but here are the best KPIs to measure digital onboarding ROI:

  • Time saved per onboarding
  • Average account setup time
  • Projected customer lifetime value
  • Error rate during onboarding
  • Onboarding satisfaction score

Other calculations might need to be taken into account for your specific case—for example, some firms might care more about customer experience and hence the speed of onboarding. 

For firms focused on customer experience, Mako's typical time to complete a workflow (all signatories) is just 5 days instead of the typical 30-45 days.  (The extremes make an even sharper contrast - whereas manual client onboarding can take up to eight months, Mako can onboard a client in as little as 15 minutes.) 

A pure ROI calculation may make more sense for firms focused on the pure financial benefit of automating manual tasks. Based on our calculation of $60 per completed form for a typical firm, Mako’s ROI can be as high as 400%. 

Digital Onboarding Pays for Itself

Many software companies incorrectly claim that their product pays for itself, but digital onboarding can proudly claim that. Human error, constantly changing form requirements, inefficient systems, and costly external AML checks are just a few of the reasons why paper forms are rapidly being phased out across the industry.

Digital onboarding is a powerful and convenient way to improve your client experience while kickstarting your digital transformation. Modern wealth management offices simply can’t afford to continue using paper forms.

If you’d like to see Mako in action or crunch some numbers to see how it would look for your firm, contact us here.

Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash

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