Customer onboarding pain points and how to fix them

Enterprises across the business and consumer sectors believe customer onboarding must be improved to increase onboarding success. Hany Fam, Founder and CEO of Markaaz, talks through customer onboarding pain points and how to fix them 

Ninety percent of customers think that companies can make the onboarding process quicker and easier, and we agree.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, business and individual customers have wholeheartedly adopted fully digital services, particularly in the banking and finance sectors. However, while this adoption has surged some 80-90%, according to Visa, onboarding processes have lagged, causing enterprises to lose customers before they can complete their onboarding journey.  

Enterprises lose customers due to poor onboarding processes that lead to significant customer attrition and exorbitant costs to the company for each customer. Dollar losses are high for enterprises every time customers don’t complete their onboarding journey.   

In addition, enterprises struggle with poor quality, incorrect and outdated firmographic data, compliance data, and business health metrics sources when trying to verify and research their potential customers to onboard. This complexity is only added to when enterprises try to onboard new businesses or solo entrepreneurs with less holistic data history available and whose credit scores may be in their infancy.   

“Time to onboarding and onboarding complexity are two biggest reasons customers abandon an enterprise service part-way through the onboarding process. Trying to create a parallel onboarding process where onboarding time for the customer is shortened and complete customer checks are completed has been almost impossible, up until now,” noted Hany Fam, Founder and CEO of Markaaz.  

Currently, there are no data companies that enable a truly frictionless customer onboarding process or enable better holistic data sets and checks to speed up the verification process. Today’s onboarding processes are filled with silos and roadblocks that must be addressed and cleared, and Markaaz is here to clear them. 

Onboarding time concerns  

According to a whitepaper by Visa, if the digital onboarding process takes longer than 20 minutes, 70% of customers abandon their attempt to open an account, so a significant portion of enterprises today lose most of their potential customers during their onboarding process.    

“Onboarding today takes too long for the modern consumer. They are used to downloading apps and using them immediately, and most do not have the time or the patience to wait for minutes, hours, or days to use the service they are onboarding with,” explained Fam.  

Slow onboarding is, in part, caused by a lack of access to a single, verified firmographic, compliance, and business health database, with many companies relying on several datasets of significantly incorrect and outdated data. To check a potential customer’s business, the enterprise must check the business against all the datasets it has access to, many of which have conflicting data for each company. This contradictory data means onboarding companies must manually verify businesses, which delays onboarding by hours, days, or indefinitely.   

“Bad data means slow onboarding and customer attrition. In our experience, over 80% of data from well-known firmographic data sources is incorrect, outdated, or duplicated, and most do not provide business health or compliance checks. If your focus as an enterprise is small and medium business data or new business data, the large well-known data providers severely lack in this area where we excel,” said Fam.  

One of the solutions to slow onboarding is finding a single source of verified business firmographics, compliance data, and business health metrics. Access to a single good data source can dramatically shorten the enterprise verification process. Even better if the data source has developed real-time APIs that integrate with the enterprise’s back-end onboarding process. Good business intelligence data fed to the enterprise through an API means the customer’s business can be verified almost immediately.  

Documentation gathering is another roadblock to rapid onboarding. It is time-consuming for the business you are onboarding and your onboarding team to gather the correct documentation for the onboarding process. Approximately 68% of documentation must be re-acquired at some point during the onboarding process, adding an unnecessary layer of complexity to an already challenging process.   

Markaaz’s digital small business engagement tools can support collecting and managing documents needed for onboarding new customers. This reduces the need to re-acquire documentation and removes another roadblock to customer acquisition. Markaaz’s onboarding is also offered at vastly superior cost to any alternative available in the marketplace today. 

Cost of onboarding  

Data sources and vendors for onboarding processes cost money. Having to rely on multiple data sources and multiple vendors is even more expensive. Data can cost from $0.25 per business record to thousands of dollars per month for unlimited record access. Multiply that by having to use several vendor datasets, and you are looking at significant annual costs just to try and find correct data on your customers.  

“Finding the right data to do business is not your core focus as an enterprise; you want to be out there selling your products and services. Unfortunately, due to inaccurate firmographic datasets, your teams have had to spend time and resources learning about data and fixing it instead of doing their jobs,” noted Fam.  

There is a high cost to doing roadblock-free customer onboarding using flawed data because your team also has to become experts in data and onboarding, diverting them from your central business function.  

“Your business may focus on selling cards or low-cost international payments, but your team spends all of their energy and time on solving for better onboarding because that’s where you lose out on customers or on servicing them,” explains Fam.  

Onboarding currently costs 5-25 times the amount it costs to retain customers, and in some cases, this cost makes it a challenge to onboard better.  

With Markaaz, you can drive a dramatic reduction in onboarding costs by using our single data source, the Markaaz Directory, which is plugged into our enterprise services, which do the onboarding and monitoring for you.   

Your team can finally get back to doing their jobs and allow our systems to provide the information and decisioning they need when they need it.  

Poor data quality  

From a data perspective, the lack of high-quality and accurate small business data in the datasets of the majority of well-known data providers means that onboarding those businesses is the most challenging for those that wish to target this segment.   

The prevalence of incorrect data in the small business segment means that enterprises and small businesses are missing out. If data is missing about a business, or the business cannot be found entirely due to outdated or inaccurate data records, the heavy lift required by enterprise onboarding teams, faced with dozens of customers, to try and verify and onboard is not worth the financial return.  

This means that many small business-focused enterprises are forced to use multiple data providers to try and get accurate information, driving the cost of small business acquisition up exponentially – and still fail. While the cost to onboard a simple small business is much lower than opening a big account with significant credit limits and services, the data is much harder to get right. Since small businesses do not generate as much income for enterprises as large businesses, for many enterprises, the difficulty of small business acquisition is simply not financially worth it.  

“With a single accurate small business data source, Markaaz is opening up more profitable revenue small business streams for our enterprise partners. Small businesses are now a realistic and easily acquirable source of revenue. With real-time verification and a single data source, you are cutting small business acquisition costs and improving your ability to find, verify, and onboard small businesses,” noted Fam.  

Markaaz aims to bridge the current canyon between enterprises and small businesses with the data they need through a better user experience and user interface that brings them together into a single ecosystem. Through our custom solutions, there is the opportunity to request monitoring consents for non-public data from your small business customers during the onboarding process via the Markaaz Dashboard. 

Drive accurate frictionless onboarding  

With a proprietary dataset that draws from global sources of firmographic data, compliance and AML checks, and business health metrics on over 300 million businesses, 98% of which are small businesses, our technology surpasses what is currently available in the data marketplace.  

“We have reduced the amount of data sources needed for monitoring and onboarding small businesses, created agile automation processes, as well as pre-population and verification behind the scenes of enterprise onboarding and monitoring applications with our integrated APIs, and engaged the end-user in contributing data with a slick UX UI. We have developed the way for our enterprise partners to increase their sales and lower operational costs and burden, and we have done it simply, quickly, and at competitive rates,” said Fam.  

Markaaz’s mission is to bring enterprises and small businesses together at the same table to do business better.  

On the onboarding side, the ability of Markaaz’s customized onboarding solutions to help our enterprise partners have immediate onboarding verification results while being able to tell small businesses what they need for the onboarding process and for the small business to have everything to hand on the Markaaz Dashboard means we have created the single-solution answer to enterprise onboarding challenges.   

We also have monitoring solutions that bring the data you need to check your small business customers’ business health with daily updates of businesses with compliance flags, including Potentially Exposed Person’s lists, sanctions, negative news, and adverse media lists (24/7/365), and monthly notices of updates to firmographics, and business health information.   

Get our Business Activity Monitoring Service in a no-code solution for simple plug-and-play on our Enterprise Portal (link to Enterprise Portal), or talk to our team about our Decisioning and Verification APIs for onboarding and custom solutions.  

Hany Fam, Founder and CEO, Markaaz

Hany Fam is the CEO and founder of Markaaz and a transformational leader with a track record of building global platforms and businesses. He is an Official Member of the Forbes Business Council and a Member of The World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators.

Fam is focused on creating a positive and sustainable impact for small business owners through the world’s first global platform to verify and connect small businesses and the network of partners that support them. Before founding Markaaz, Fam held global leadership roles in business transformation, value creation, and technology, gaining depth of experience in payments, B2B platforms, enterprise partnerships, and SaaS.

He served as CEO of AXA Global Enterprise & Partnerships, Founder & President of Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships, and President of Mastercard UK & Ireland Markets. He also held roles in Applied Technology, including as the CTO of Toshiba International’s Heavy Industrial business in Australasia. Under Fam’s leadership, Mastercard Track was launched, the first and only global trading platform connecting every supplier and buyer on the planet to simplify and automate the exchange of payments and related data. 


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