Why frictionless onboarding is the secret to success for B2B international payments

Oct 4, 2022
Jan 20, 2024
min read
Lauren Sipple

The B2B international payments space is thriving, reaching $942.6bn in 2021 and expected to grow to $1,563.4bn over the next five years. 

This market is made up of a blend of banks, brokers and fintechs, who are all competing for the foreign exchange and international payments needs of businesses.

But a busy marketplace also means increasing competition and declining FX spreads. Non-bank market entrants are adding value through related services, driving down payments pricing and leveraging data analytics to reduce time to revenue.

So, what are the barriers to growth in this sector and how can market players find new points of differentiation outside of price? What steps can be taken to reduce time to revenue, improve the customer experience and increase loyalty?

We look at some of the challenges that firms need to consider to improve their onboarding processes. 

Reduce time to revenue

Onboarding processes in the B2B payments space are currently a major source of friction. They are slow, manual and unfit for purpose. Taking anywhere from 24 hours to six months to complete, they are largely dependent on the complex information needed to satisfy anti-money laundering (AML) and regional regulations.

The process will usually involve both sales and compliance teams - who may be focused on different priorities. Sales teams, who are responsible for requesting and collecting documentation from customers, often want to move the process through as quickly as possible. While compliance teams, who are reviewing the documentation, understand the importance of ensuring they are compliant with regulations.

Delays are therefore often caused by new customers providing incorrect or insubstantial documentation, and compliance teams pushing back.

Creating frictionless onboarding that automates much of the process and reduces back and forth between customer, sales team and compliance is key to:

  • Reducing onboarding timescales for simple cases and therefore time to revenue
  • Freeing up compliance team’s time to focus on complex cases to reduce timescales
  • Freeing up sales team to focus on generating more new business

Improve customer experience 

But reducing time to revenue is only part of the challenge. To keep customers engaged and satisfied with the onboarding service, it is important that improvements to the customer experience are also made. 

Long and complicated onboarding processes can leave the end customer feeling frustrated and is a leading cause of customer churn.

According to research by Signicat, 68% of people abandoned financial applications in 2021, up from 63% the previous year, with the average time that a consumer would typically abandon an online application for a financial product being 18 minutes and 53 seconds.

And poor onboarding is a major reason, making up around 23% of customer churn on average.  

Successful onboarding is vital to a positive customer experience. If you are not creating a smooth and frictionless process from the very start of the relationship, a customer is much less likely to stay with you – if indeed they complete the onboarding process.

However, the compliance aspect of onboarding can be complex and confusing for all parties involved. There is often a lack of clarity over what information is required in different jurisdictions, and there are multiple layers of information required, resulting in numerous separate requests for additional documentation.

While the sales team should be involved in onboarding, their role as middleman and what may appear to the customer as ‘unreasonable demands’ can erode trust, confidence and negatively impact the fledgling relationship.

Appeasement of the customer can result in internal conflicts between the sales and compliance teams, with salespeople unhappy about requesting additional information and compliance teams unwilling to progress an application without it.

The end result is that customer becomes frustrated and moves to a different provider. With increasing competition in the marketplace and low barriers to change, loyalty in the sector is a very real challenge.

Frictionless onboarding 

The secret to success for B2B international payments providers is therefore an onboarding solution that offers customers a best-in-class experience, while reducing time to revenue.

Detected provides a more personalised and frictionless onboarding experience, enabling legitimate new business customers to find their company, complete ID verification and upload necessary documents in less than two minutes.

Using technology and AI to help access the correct documentation, based on specific business profiles, it frees up sales teams to focus on delivering value to customers and helps provide the exact information that compliance teams need to complete the onboarding. 

Creating a faster time to revenue and lower churn rate – so businesses can focus on what they do best and start selling faster.

To find out more about frictionless onboarding book a demo today.

Article by
Lauren Sipple

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