Onboarding Trends 2023: Three Ways Insurers Can Keep New Business

Onboarding can bring many challenges, but thanks to intelligent automation, there are ways to overcome them while ensuring insurers and users are protected from fraud.

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One thing is certain in 2023: more people are doing business online, and not just for consumer goods. Researching and buying higher-valued services like mortgages and insurance are also being conducted via smartphones.

And with that, people now expect more innovation, with over two-thirds (69%) of consumers in a recent survey saying they want new ways of accessing products and services. For insurers, that means more digital offerings and a better way for people to sign up online. However, that’s easier said than done.

Fraud rates are soaring, especially identity theft and strict measures to combat scammers is resulting in rising dropout rates from law abiding impatient applicants. Abandonment of these good customers can mean losing millions of dollars in potential business.

So, what can be done? The key lies with striking a good balance between safeguarding security and delivering a smooth experience for the customer. Here are three questions to ensure you deliver a positive experience:

Have you reviewed your onboarding process lately?

When was the last time you actually reviewed and assessed your onboarding procedures? Many insurance companies think they have a solid system in place that ticks all the right boxes in terms of security, compliance, and ease of use. But with the rising expectations of digital natives, this may not be the case. The only way to get an accurate and holistic evaluation of your digital onboarding process is by using technology. Many companies rely on employee feedback or assumptions, which is usually biased and inaccurate. Using sophisticated technology like process mining will allow you to see and discover unusual bottlenecks, repetitive behavior, and time-wasting activities that often are unknown. With these computer-generated insights, you can introduce prescriptive changes while also benefiting from on-going monitoring and alerting allowing you to observe problems, deviations from the norm, and possible future alterations in real time. It’s an ongoing day-to-day assessment of how you’re operating, so you can make real improvements.

Can you speed up the process?

The top reason cited by people dropping out of onboarding is it takes far too long, and who can blame them? We are all pushed for time in our busy lives and the need for speed is a crucial factor when reviewing your process. One of the most time-consuming steps of onboarding is proof of identity – establishing that you are dealing with an honest, genuine client. Overwhelming security measures can draw out an already tedious process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Identity verification can be completed a lot quicker than you think. New intelligent automation software is available that can analyze and verify a person’s identity in seconds. The software goes further than just scanning a driver’s license or passport. It also uses advanced technologies to verify if the ID document is real and unaltered.  It’s like having a mini forensics lab in your app which does all the detective work. Then by taking real-time photos or videos of the applicant, it can match the user to their ID. There’s no waiting for a human to check the picture and compare it to the document. This sophisticated facial matching feature also includes liveness detection and will assess every aspect of the facial features and know straight away if there is a bad actor on the line.

Are you asking too much?

Another reason candidates are likely to drop out of a digital process is that there are too many steps, questions, and pieces of information required. Oftentimes this is because the application process necessitates submitting trailing documents to back up identification and other submitted information, like utility bills to affirm your address, earning statements to affirm your income, and other proof of documents specific to the use case. Unfortunately, providing these necessary documents can prove challenging as customers are often told that these documents must be scanned then analyzed and verified by staff before moving to the next stage. Plus, it isn’t uncommon for this manual process to add days or weeks to the overall process. Once again, technology that uses real-time recognition software and security detection can do this within seconds on virtually any document. And, if there are any special circumstances an optional human-in-the-loop capability can be leveraged that then alerts the knowledge worker—once again speeding up the process. Insurers that don’t have this in place better act now; according to analysts at Gartner, this type of high-end document-centric identity affirmation will be used by 85 percent of organizations at onboarding—up from just 30 percent in 2021.

Can you reduce shifting between screens?

Call it lazy or impatient, but consumers simply don’t like to have to move between screens to complete onboarding.

This frequently happens when users are required to navigate their email to set up a password, switch to their camera for a selfie, or move to a desktop to scan a document. Flicking between different screens is a big turnoff, plus is error prone. A good onboarding app should provide an all-in-one solution. It should also enable the customer to complete the process in the channel of their choice—such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. In fact, it’s important that they can have the option to begin on a mobile and complete it on a desktop as people will sometimes start on their phone and want to finish when they get home and have access to the information they need.

As you can see, onboarding can bring many challenges with the process, proving identity, and offering a seamless experience, but thanks to intelligent automation, there are ways to overcome them while ensuring insurers and users are protected from fraud.

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Brian Hettinger // Brian Hettinger, Senior Director, Mobility at ABBYY. Brian has been enhancing the user and mobile experience for more than 20 years through spearheading document and process automation initiatives for mobile capture, remote check deposit, identity proofing, mobile onboarding, bill pay, and more. Hettinger resides in Colorado and has an engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines.

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