COVID-19 Pandemic – Big Time for Digital Onboarding


Although the new type of coronavirus COVID-19, which has started spreading in late 2019 from the Wuhan region in China, has had a devastating impact on the world’s economy, not all sectors have suffered equally. As more and more countries are advising people to stay home and avoid public places, eCommerce, remote work, e-education, online banking, and other digital solutions have started gaining popularity according to TechCrunch

How Has COVID-19 Changed Our Lives?

More and more organizations are making their employees work from home, towns have been placed under lockdown, borders have closed and schools have been canceled. In those situations, many people start using online platforms to order food, communicate with their co-workers, manage finances and so on. Basically everything that was previously done offline now has to be accessed from home. It’s amazing that we have many of those solutions in place. There are tons of food delivery services in all of the major cities, you can buy home supplies from Amazon or other online retailers, you can even open bank accounts online thanks to the rise of FinTechs and internet banking. Some cities in China have shown a 400% increase in online grocery sales while food delivery services have shown a 200% increase for some products. Furthermore, some delivery companies have added an option to deliver food or other packages to the door without actually having to pass it from hands to hands. At the same time posts about home cooked meals started trending on Wechat. Video game industry is also on the rise. Steam, a popular video game digital distribution service, has reported an all time high in concurrent online users – almost 20 million people. With this, trading of in-game items as well as cybersport betting have increased as well. Also stocks and cryptocurrencies are experiencing a significant fall in their prices, which will likely bring lots of new investors into the game. 

It’s Good To Be Prepared

Companies have to be ready to accommodate new users trying to sign up for their services. However, not all of the organizations are equally prepared. 

“March 13th, 2020 – Estonia has declared a national emergency situation. No public gatherings, no movie theatres for several weeks. Schools and universities are having exclusively online studies. That night I decided to open a new business bank account in one of the most innovative banks in Estonia. I filled out all the necessary online forms and in the morning I received a call that I needed to show up in the office to sign documents. Despite the fact that they already had all of the required data, they still were obliged to see me in person to verify my identity. In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, it seemed very dangerous to go outside and interact with other people. I was very nervous sitting amongst others in the line because I knew that the day before there were at least 16 thousand new cases of the virus in the world. Chances that one of the clients in the room was sick were extremely high!” commented Sten, a young entrepreneur from Estonia.       

Although regulations allow banks and other financial institutions to have online onboarding, many organizations ignore this option. According to analytics software firm FICO, 3 in 5 banks in the APAC region do not have a full digital onboarding process in place. Some countries such as Baltic countries, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland also require a liveness check, during which a customer has to either show up at the office of a financial institution or have a call with one of the employees. However, even this can be done by using modern Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions. 

COVID-19 is acting as a booster for digitalization. Many organizations are unfortunately realizing only now, how important are digital solutions. The fact that you needed to show up in person to open a bank account is some banks used to be just a minor inconvenience. Now, however, this unpreparedness costs them thousands of clients. In places, where COVID-19 spreads at a rapid pace, people are no longer willing to have human contact, to have cash transactions or to show up somewhere to get something done. France, for example, makes people bring their own pens to their elections. It seems like a reasonable solution at first, but then a question appears: why don’t they have e-voting in place? Do they think that it’s less secure? Or maybe they don’t have a way to verify the identity of an online voter? There are cases of e-voting where there are no such issues

Preparing Your Company For The New Age Of Digital Onboarding

If you feel like you are missing out or that your sales have plunged, check your online onboarding process. Can it be completed online from start to finish? Is it seamless and well-integrated? How long does it take to complete it? How many customers do you lose during the onboarding process? If you feel that it is not perfect or even if you don’t have it at all, it’s not too late to change. Coronavirus will keep spreading for the next few months for sure but also people, who have tried digital solutions for the first time, have realized that they are much more convenient than traditional ways. Those people will likely keep using online service providers and will not go back to less convenient offline solutions. COVID-19 has boosted the growth of digital services and this will not decrease after the pandemic is over. One of the good examples of innovative digital solutions is an online hackathon Hack the Crisis in Estonia conducted by Garage 48 as soon as Estonia went to an Emergency State. Now is the time when it’s more important than ever to be up to date with KYC and digital onboarding.

Today implementing a seamless eKYC process into your platform takes only a few minutes with KYC/AML providers like BASIS ID. By outsourcing this, you can be sure that you are compliant with all of the regulations and that you are safe from Money Laundering and other types of financial crime. BASIS ID has a gamified onboarding process that can raise your conversion rate and you won’t need to worry about losing your customers to competitors with smoother onboarding. As the new age of e-education, internet banking, online conference services, and eCommerce is coming due to the pandemic, you can be on top of the game and provide online services to your clients, keeping them safe from the virus. 

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