Deutsche Bank reengineered their customer onboarding process to become more competitive


February 18, 2013



“Transaction banking has traditionally been a “sticky” business with provider-client relationships often lasting many years. However thanks to a number of factors….the situation is gradually changing.”– Russell Graham, the Head of Global Transaction Banking’s Implementation and Service team at Deutsche Bank

If you’re noticing the same trends as Russell Graham, you’re probably realizing that the financial services industry is becoming more competitive as customer expectations increase and barriers to switching decrease. Banks are experiencing lower margins, tougher regulatory constraints, and corporate customers moving to where the grass is greener. But there is a solution! In fact there are many. This post tells the story of how Deutsche Bank used business process reengineering to address the problem of less “sticky” customers.

So how did they address this problem? By improving their customer onboarding processes.

Banks need to collect a great deal of data from their customers before they can begin a working relationship. They need information for regulatory requirements, identity verification, and credit assessment; all before they can deliver any significant product or service. Deutsche Bank used technology and business process reengineering to make it easier for new clients to begin a relationship with the bank, and for existing clients to expand their relationship.

To streamline the onboarding process Deutsche Bank looked at addressing two factors of information handling: what data was being collected, and how was it being processed?

Reengineer data collection

To make data collection and processing more efficient Deutsche Bank started from scratch, building new data collection requirements build around the bank’s needs today, removing the collection of information that is no longer necessary. This reduced the information disclosure requirements that served as a barrier to new business without increasing underwriting or regulatory risk.

Remove redundant processes

Deutsche Bank then streamlined and centralized their onboarding processes into smart business processes, taking advantage of technology to collect data from business units around the globe, and share that information between centralized departments. They took a modular approach to data collection and storage, making customer data easy to find and share within the organization. This new approach gave other departments secure access to customer information instantly, so different processes can now be completed simultaneously instead in series.

“Indeed, our new onboarding initiative is an acknowledgement of this lowering of the barrier to entry and exit in bank-client relationships.” – Graham Russell, Deutsche Bank

It’s clear that Deutsche Bank recognized a problem and has begun to form a solution. By beginning to reengineer their business processes, Deutsch Bank is keeping ahead of their competition. To learn more about how business process reengineering can help financial institutions remain competitive, read our blog post about how a global payments acquirer used business process reengineering to reduce their customer onboarding period from 21 days to 2.