3 Steps to seamless onboarding

The results of optimising a customer onboarding process to drive efficiency and reduce handoffs.

Posted by: 
Alexis Fox-Mills
Oct 29, 2019

October 29, 2019

Goldratt’s work on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is well known and widely used. It basically propounds the idea that "a chain is no stronger than its weakest link'".

So, how do you strengthen each link in the chain that creates a customer onboarding process?

Theory of Constraints

Essentially the theory is that any process or operation is made vulnerable by its weakest link, which has the power to negatively impact an overall business or even break it.

On the flip side, if each element or stage of a process is optimised, even with an incremental shift of a relatively small amount, it can radically improve outcomes.

The Theory of Constraints (ToC) has many applications - education, sports, manufacturing - but it can be applied to any business or operations team working on a process, including customer onboarding.

Handle the handoffs

Every handoff in a business process can be thought of as a potential weakness in the chain.

Handoffs provide the opportunity for errors to be made; for slippage in delivery; and duplication of effort. Therefore, reducing handoffs reduces the risk of something going awry and of wasting time and money.

Each stage of a process can be broken down, analysed and then optimised to improve the final result - making throughput faster and creating efficiencies at every step.

Onboarding new customers responsibly and compliantly has traditionally meant multiple handoffs between internal teams - from sales to compliance to operations - and with external data providers.

To create significant operational efficiencies in a customer onboarding journey, the number of handoffs has to be minimised.

3 steps to seamless onboarding

With fast-moving markets, fierce competition and customers who expect accuracy and instant responses, precision and time are of the essence.

New applications for a product must meet compliance standards, but it's not feasible to spend hours (or even days) running checks and converting customers to account .

By applying ToC thinking to customer onboarding journeys, three steps could help reduce handoffs, save time and maintain compliance.

Step one: Give internal teams - including commercial teams, compliance teams and operational teams - one portal to work from as a single source of truth.

Step two: Digitise compliance checks and onboarding policies to create a workflow that maximises automation and Straight Through Processing (STP).

Step three: Integrate the different data providers needed to complete robust due diligence, risk and compliance checks in the same platform.

In this scenario, only exceptions in the defined onboarding process would require manual handling. For example, if an identity check failed or if a high risk status was applied these could be assigned to an individual or escalated to expedite progress.

The rest of the new applications being received could automatically run through the pre-designed digital policy, being checked by data providers, with the results of due diligence process visible to the teams sharing the portal.

3 things optimised onboarding delivers

Automating the onboarding process for new customers can accelerate time to decision and improve conversion rates. It can also improve the overall customer experience.

Here are three examples of what can be achieved:

  1. Average retail onboarding time of 30-40 minutes per customer can be reduced to an average of 2-3 minutes
  2. The amount of systems used by onboarding teams can be reduced from an average of 4+ to just one
  3. Digital processes and integration of data providers can deliver STP of approx. 60% i.e. with no manual handling

Businesses can use collaborative technology, automation and integration to apply the Theory of Constraint to customer onboarding processes. Reducing handoffs to minimise potential errors, wasted time and poor customer experiences.

Compliance isn’t compromised by using technology that is robust, built around existing compliance policies, and integrated with a company’s existing data providers. Instead it pulls due diligence checks into one place to make compliance easier and collaboration across the chain stronger.

Teams are never at risk of being the “weak link”, as there are fewer handovers and little duplication of effort if they are part of the same digital workflow, operating from a single source of truth.

Improving the performance of each part of the customer onboarding journey can radically shift net results for businesses operating in a competitive market.

Contact us

PassFort has worked with Financial Institutions to optimise their customer onboarding journeys and model ROI cases.

Calculating where clients potentially lose time and money can demonstrate the value of reducing handoffs and increasing integration.

If you would like to discuss how PassFort can help your business onboard customers compliantly and efficiently, please email info@passfort.com.


  1. wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_constraints
  2. Investopedia - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/straightthroughprocessing.asp
  3. PassFort client research

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