How a global payment processor onboards customers in less than a day

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February 13, 2013

Have you been thinking about making improvements to your business’s day-to-day processes? Have you thought about how you could improve your customer’s onboarding experience? Or about how to decrease your cost to provide it? Or even both!? If so, you’re already a forward thinker in your industry. But you probably have a lot of questions: Where do you start? What level of improvement should you expect? Who else has done it successfully? What’s this even called?

It’s called business process reengineering and this blog post tells the story of how a global financial institution in the payment processing space used our smart process application Agreement Express to decrease their average customer onboarding period from 21 days to 2 days while increasing the percentage of applications returned by customers to more than 60%.

An important reason for this client’s success was that they understood an important concept in business process reengineering: start with quick wins. Instead of attempting to automate all of their customer onboarding processes at once they started with the processes most suited for automation, used a rapid implementation process, and limited their project scope.

Start with the process most suited for automation

By starting with the process most suited for automation, our client maximized their immediate benefit. They prioritized by assessing how complex each process would be to automate, whether personal interaction added to the customer experience, whether or not the process was independent from other processes, and whether regulation required human review.

Used a rapid implantation process with small-scale iteration

This is often a challenge for large financial institutions because their IT departments have traditionally used waterfall methodologies to develop big projects. It’s a challenge, but it’s important. Embracing agile development methodologies allowed our client to quickly get users on the platform, collect feedback and implement improvements. From start to finish, the initial pilot ran for only 60 days before they made improvements and increased the pilot size.

Limited their project scope

Our client limited their project scope early on, which proved to be important.  After those in the pilot experienced a substantial improvement in efficiency and a substantial increase in sales, more employees requested in and more departments requested access to Agreement Express.

But our client had not yet finished their business process reengineer. Without the initial scope commitment, the pilot project could have ballooned into an unmanageable change effort.

The results? After a few initial kinks training their pilot team they reported value almost immediate. Our client’s customers returned their applications in only 3.5 hours on average, compared to 21 days previously. They also now experience a return-rate of more than 60% (and it’s continued to improve since).

And the best part? The rest of their sales team is clamoring to get into the pilot. They are “having to beat them off with a stick”, until the pilot has flushed out the best business process design possible. How’s that for easy change management?