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An important moment for the success of the sales process is the correct identification of the customer and knowing the potential for a future relationship. These are essential elements to close the sale, so getting them right is crucial to business success. The smooth and effective passage of the sales path, culminating in the acquisition of a new customer, is often referred to by the English term 'onboarding'. This emphasises the importance of having a new "passenger" - an individual or company customer - on board our business.
The mere registration of a client, and the signing of a contract or agreement, is not yet a guarantee of a successful relationship in the future. The most important thing in this aspect is to propose the right product, tailored as much as possible to the client's needs and profile.
The complex process of obtaining and analysing information about a prospective customer leads to business-useful information. By getting to know their customers, companies can better shape the relationships that bind them and increase the resulting mutual benefits. This is why companies with plans for dynamic business development and rapid sales growth devote a great deal of attention to improving the onboarding of their customers and properly identifying their needs.
The activities involved are referred to by the acronym KYC, derived from Know Your Customer. In some sectors, such as health care, financial services and telecommunications, retailing, KYC is an obligation of the seller, regulated by law.
Effective KYC should provide key customer information while not disrupting the smooth flow of sales. In an ideal world, data capture should be invisible to the customer and not negatively impact their experience of interacting with the company. KYC should be business-relevant and realistically support the preparation of a proper proposal and the identification of undesirable business relationships, such as people using a wrong identity or having a history of payment problems.
In summary, the three most important elements of perfect KYC are:
In some sectors, multi-directional customer recognition is becoming a standard. It depends not only on the nature of the business, the products and services offered, but also on the type of customer. In the case of activities aimed at corporate customers, the scope of data available is different from that for retail sales to individual customers. Additional checks are mandatory for banks and other financial institutions, including lending companies.
Potential applications during KYC include specialised technologies that enable, in real-time, the use of data from document databases, politically exposed person lists, business intelligence databases, bad debtor registers and general credit databases (including the BIK, or Credit Information Bureau), real beneficiary databases and other databases related to the prevention of money laundering (for example, the CBPR register). Thanks to these technologies, the seller's knowledge of the potential customer is much more useful than it used to be when automated KYC solutions were not generally available.
Unsurprisingly, leading digital onboarding and KYC solutions companies Digital Gateways and AIS Gateway emphasise that their offering is not only a way to provide efficient, automated customer insights, or KYC, but it is also an opportunity to get to know the customer better and therefore gain a significant competitive advantage. This advantage is achieved by companies taking advantage of the opportunities that the EU Payment Services Directive, PSD2, has created in the area of the use of financial data. The use of open banking allows, with the customer's consent and in a regulated manner, access to financial data held by the bank where the customer holds his or her account.
Open banking data, subjected to advanced analysis, allows a reliable determination of the customer's financial situation. The AIS Gateways system allows them to identify income and expenditure, financial obligations such as loans and credits taken out with banks and non-bank institutions, and consequently determine the customer's creditworthiness and create a digital income certificate. Comparing financial data with a whole panel of information from external databases creates a unique customer profile and allows us to get to know the customer better. Such a profile, which is necessary during the first phase of the business relationship, i.e. onboarding, is also useful later when monitoring the value of the client and looking for ways to increase it. It is also used for debt collection, renewal and extension of subscription or subscription services or periodic promotional campaigns.
It is worth noting that digital KYC solutions are now also becoming standard in organisations that mainly use traditional sales channels. Today, even the most traditional distribution channel is connected to the online world. Each sales network agent has a device connected to the network, usually a smartphone or tablet, through which they benefit from the capabilities of digital onboarding and KYC technology. An additional advantage of this type of solution is the consistency of onboarding standards between the different distribution channels. The company builds its knowledge of customers in the same way, regardless of where it acquired them and how the sales process was closed.
Using a specialist provider not only reduces the time it takes to implement digital KYC and allows the process to quickly reach the right level of efficiency. Experienced suppliers are a valuable resource and often provide additional advisory services. This is because they have a lot of valuable experience in the business and in providing solutions to different sectors of the economy. As you know, onboarding and KYC are processes that occur in every sales pathway and therefore the supplier's knowledge can be a source of valuable inspiration. That is why companies such as Digital Gateways and AIS Gateway have unique expertise that they make available to their clients as part of their consultancy support. They help them to properly design their sales processes, taking into account the specifics of the business and their growth strategy, and to select digital technologies suitable for acquiring and analysing the necessary data. There is no doubt that open banking is on the list of the most useful solutions for this purpose.