Digital Onboarding and KYC Report 2020

The Paypers
5 min readMar 5, 2020


Bank confidence is a fragile reed, and a troubled bank is damaged by any rumours, true or not,Irvine Sprague, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

First impressions can make or break a business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting business relationships. But what happens when you missed your chance to rise above your customer expectations or damaged your brand reputation by being involved in large (money laundering) scandals?

For the last decade, The Paypers has been closely watching the payments and banking space, and has been reporting about the innovation taking place within the financial services, large mergers and acquisitions in payments (Santander and FirstBank, Worldline and Ingenico), delving into money laundering scandals (e.g Panama Papers, Danske Bank, and others), presenting law enforcement taking action to fight crime in financial services, and many more. As a result, we have been witnessing both the welcoming initiatives that the financial industry has been (and is) developing, plus the challenges it is facing and the negative media around them.

And what struck us was the urgency for the whole industry to cooperate to serve the customer well and to fight crime. Overall, banks and other financial institutions are viewed as the gatekeepers of the financial system and hold a high level of responsibility to prevent financial crime. As such, modern identification methods have been applied (video streaming, facial recognition, document scans), know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) policies have been established, and ongoing technological developments have opened new opportunities for fintech and regtech providers.

However, for these tools to be efficient, they need to be presented, shared, and acknowledged. Therefore, the Digital Onboarding and KYC Report 2020 was born. With this report, we want to help leaders navigate even better the digital onboarding process and decipher what p banks and financial institutions to fight financial crime. Thus, our main three objectives are:

Increase awareness — on two levels:

B2C — retail banks are losing their customers due to outdated onboarding practices. In the UK, for instance, consumers are not happy when applying for financial products, and similar unpleasant experiences can be found throughout the whole banking sector in Europe. Signicat found that 40% of consumers had abandoned bank applications before they were complete. More than 1 in 3 of these abandonments occurred due to the time it took to fill in the required details. Their conclusion? FIs have two options: either onboard new customers in less than 14 minutes and 20 seconds, or risk losing money.

Don’t forget: every interaction that your customer has with you is an opportunity for you to make an impression.

B2B — money laundering is a big problem. According to Europol, despite comprehensive money laundering legislation in EU Member States, the results of asset tracing in terms of confiscations remain at an extremely low level. Of the billions of euros generated by the illicit drug trade in Europe, around only 1% is confiscated and more needs to be done to address this situation. The result is an increasing number of criminal groups with significantly higher profits, which can be used to fund other illicit operations and to infiltrate legitimate business structures.

If left unchecked, money laundering can erode a nation’s economy by changing the demand for cash, making interest and exchange rates more volatile, and by causing high inflation in countries where criminal elements are doing business, according to Manfred Wandelt, Senior Manage at Deloitte RegTech Lab. The draining of huge amounts of money a year from normal economic growth poses a real danger for the financial health of every country involved, which in turn adversely affects the global market.

Share knowledge

Most often, companies and service providers focus on only one aspect of a customer’s digital lifecycle, whether that is onboarding, validation, or identification, and fail to capitalise on a customer’s full digital engagement potential.

Moreover, extracting relevant information from paper-based or incompletely digitised sources can be inaccurate and time consuming. In such an environment, compliance leaders increasingly focus on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytic techniques to aggregate enterprise-wide data to fight financial crime.

Additionally, hiring and retaining top talent with the skillsets required to thrive in the new market environment has also become an imperative for the financial compliance sector.

In a bid to help financial institutions understand these topics, The Paypers has invited top consultants, lawyers, and banks to share their knowledge, insights, and hands-on expertise. Furthermore, skilful technology providers present best practices and practical solutions to enable businesses to improve the customer onboarding experience and find the right balance between the user-friendliness and the compliance measures needed.

Provide direction

By tapping into technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and lately also blockchain, businesses can solve money laundering issues, while improving the security of the onboarding process and reducing compliance costs (as people checking documents and re-entering data can be both expensive as well as error prone). However, sometimes it is hard to find the right solution provider or solutions that really work.

The Paypers wants to actively guide you in order to find some solutions to your challenges, and why not the right business partner who can provide sustainable compliance programs in banking and financial services, to help you stay ‘regulator ready’.

With these objectives in mind, we invite you, the reader, to also share your opinion, to help us spread the message and make the first edition of the Digital Onboarding and KYC Report 2020 a virtual space that encourages dialogue and healthy cooperation among all stakeholders.

We would like to express our appreciation to One World Identity and Consult Hyperion — our endorsement partners who have constantly supported us — and also to our thought leaders, participating organisations, and top industry players that contributed to this edition, enriching it with valuable insights and, thus, joining us in our constant endeavour to depict an insightful picture of the industry.

You can download your copy here.

Enjoy your reading!



The Paypers

The leading independent source of news and analysis for professionals in the global payment community.