Onboarding friction: understand how this can negatively impact your business

It is important to worry about friction in onboarding, especially with the growth of transactions in virtual environments in recent years. In 2021 alone, banking transactions through these channels increased 23%, representing 70% of the total, according to FEBRABAN. Given this data, it can already be seen that the convenience of this transaction model has won the users' preference. However, they are still concerned about safety. Thus, it is up to companies to think about how to reduce friction in digital onboarding, without leaving vulnerabilities in the systems. Follow the reading of this content and find out how to avoid this!

With the growth of financial transactions in virtual environments in recent years, worrying about the user experience has become essential for companies. 

Nowadays, in addition to wanting security in the entire digital environment, users also value a fast and frictionless experience. Thus, it is up to companies to think about how to reduce friction in digital onboarding, without leaving vulnerabilities in the systems.

Follow the reading of this content that we prepared and discover how to avoid this!

What is digital onboarding?

Digital onboarding is a series of actions and processes that allow a new customer to immerse themselves in what your company offers, however, remotely.

The idea of this concept is precisely to allow each of its steps to be carried out virtually with the help of secure and intuitive technological tools, such as online platforms and smartphone apps.

It can be applied for various purposes: opening accounts, registrations, updating data, among others. But it's worth remembering that onboarding also has other applications, even online. It can, for example, refer to the “boarding” of new employees in the company, when it is carried out by HR to welcome, explain functions, talk about the organization's culture, among other objectives.

What is friction in onboarding?

Onboarding friction occurs with points that create friction in the user's contact with a company, product, or service, making the user's experience unsatisfactory.

These moments of discomfort include both the need for a great deal of effort to access and use a tool and the bureaucratic requirements. Other cases are excessive issues within this process.

This happens if a company offers its software so that potential customers can learn about and perform tests or simulations online. However, they require the completion of a very extensive form for this.

In this context, questions that involve information that the user is not yet willing to provide or that would only be pertinent if the negotiation were to continue may also have this effect.

In what situations does this happen?

As we explained above, onboarding friction occurs when there is an excess that irritates the user right at the beginning of the relationship. Thus, it is not a single point of friction that creates the problem, but the combination of several situations causes such dissatisfaction. Among them:

  • extensive registrations with requests for financial or sensitive data; 
  • captcha or other ways to prove that the person is not a robot;
  • requirements for composing passwords;
  • external validations to the system;
  • sending photographs.


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What are the risks and impacts of friction on onboarding?

Preventive safety measures are necessary actions. However, if the business does not find a balance between them and the excess of friction points, it runs risks that have negative impacts, including on revenue.

After all, while the friction in digital onboarding makes the user experience more draining, the probability of the potential customer giving up the access attempt increases and, consequently, implies the search for competitors. The consequences of this are:

  • reduction of retention and loyalty;
  • increase in negative reviews;
  • creating a bad reputation;
  • decrease in the attraction of new audiences;
  • loss of consumers.

How to avoid friction in digital onboarding?

To find ways to avoid friction in digital onboarding, it is necessary to look for alternatives that, although less tiring, do not make access to your product or service a security risk for the customer. Below are the main actions to be taken in this regard.

Think of the journey as a whole

Onboarding at a bank, e-commerce, or digital tool is a journey that involves, in addition to registration, the entire user experience accessing and interacting with the product or service for the first time. 

Therefore, friction points are present in the entirety of this process and your company is subject to losing its attention at any time. For this reason, when planning the steps and requirements, it is necessary to assess their impact in the context of the entire path that will be taken.

Exclude the unnecessary

Today's customers want comfort, agility, efficiency, and simplicity. One of the most effective ways to guarantee these elements at this time is to eliminate the request for information or the actions that are unnecessary to the process. 

So assess what is really essential for the security and availability of your solution and remove the rest. This way, you avoid the negative effects of friction on onboarding.

Collect information in the background

Many users usually save in the browser or in the applications that use their data, so that they appear as suggestions when filling out other forms and registrations in the future. 

Automating the collection of this information makes the onboarding process faster and more practical, without jeopardizing security. Other background actions that also help are device analysis and access to the location record.

Show the benefits of that step

In some situations, such as financial transactions, it's not feasible to stop asking for certain information or evidence, right? Likewise, automating your collection may not be a viable option. 

Thus, the alternative to prevent the user from being bothered by these steps is a strategy that has already been used by several enterprises. It's about showing the advantages of that step to those who need to execute it, aligning objectives. 

For example, a recruitment and selection system may indicate how much taking a test or answering a question increases the candidate's chances of catching the attention of the contractors. Thus, it will be easier for him to reach the next phase of the process.

Invest in technology

Biometrics, OCR, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, among other technological solutions enable more agile, practical, fluid and frictionless onboarding processes.

Each of them helps automate steps or complements security mechanisms that enable the best progress of this activity. Thus, following the evolution of this area is also of great importance.

How can we help your company to have frictionless digital onboarding?

Our Remote Onboarding solution is aimed at providing frictionless digital onboarding, ensuring user safety and offering them a quality experience. 

Seeking to balance maximum customer approval with the lowest fraud rate in favor of both profitability and business growth.

Therefore, contact and talk to one of our specialists to find out how we can help your company protect itself from fraud.


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