12 Steps to reduce abandonment - Frustrated man at a computer

12 Steps to Reducing Customer Onboarding Friction and Abandonment

Lucas Rivelli
Lucas Rivelli – Person

At Temenos, we are focused on helping financial institutions create frictionless customer onboarding experiences.

With over 20 years of experience, we’ve learned a few key lessons about the best ways to reduce friction and abandonment rates in wealth management application processes. In this blog, we summarize the 12 most effective steps that wealth management organizations can take to help reduce friction and abandonment in their customer onboarding experiences.

1. Design For The Customer, Not The Back Office

While your application experience needs to align with your back office onboarding processes, your underlying goal should make it as easy as possible for your customers. After all, it doesn’t matter if your back-office processes are followed if no one is able, or willing, to complete an application for your services.

2. Leverage Pre-Fill & Validation Services

Minimizing the time and effort required by your customers is the key to reducing friction and abandonment. With that in mind, it’s important that you explore all of the opportunities that are available to eliminate the need for excessive typing. This can be done by leveraging pre-fill and validation services from our partners like Yodlee.

3. Minimize Fields

Each additional field added to an application increases the chance that a customer will abandon a form or application. Make sure to evaluate every field and understand if they are necessary to the application process—if they are, review Step 2 to see if there is a way to streamline how they are filled.

4. Be Conscious of Information and Familiarity (Ask Tough Questions Last)

By asking easy questions at the beginning, your customers become invested in the application and become less likely to abandon when faced with tougher and more complex questions further in the process. When designing an overall customer onboarding experience, make sure your application questions are arranged from “easy” to “hard.”

5. Position Labels Above Fields

From an aesthetic standpoint, positioning labels above the fields ensures that there is more “useable” real estate on the application form. It also helps readability since your customers will only have to read vertically, instead of scrolling left and right.

6. Lead Capture

Even if a customer is not able to complete an application, by capturing “lead” information early in the process (like name, email, phone number, etc.), you are still getting value from your application form. Once you have this contact information, your team can follow up to see if you can help your customer complete the application, or answer any question they might have–reducing the overall risk of abandonment.

7. Any Device, Any Channel, and Channel-Crossover

Wealth management applications can be extremely lengthy, so in addition to having lead capture functionality early on in the process, make sure you also offer the ability to save an application and come back to it later. Having the ability to start an application on a mobile device, and continue it on a desktop or laptop computer, will decrease abandon rates and appeal to the growing digital generation.

8. Conversational Language

Applications for wealth management can often be very complex and include difficult language to understand. We recommend, where possible, to soften the language used in your applications to ensure that your customers are not dissuaded from continuing with the application process. Using an introductory call to action like “Tell Us About Yourself” rather than “Please Fill In Your Personal Identification Information” can mean the difference between a successful application and one that never even gets started.


While it’s tempting to use capital letters, studies have shown that capital letters are harder for our brains to process. We recommend using a regular sentence case when building out your onboarding process.

10. Make Touch-Screen Interactions Easy (Minimize Keyboard)

Since we live in a mobile world, your application process should minimize the need for a keyboard and emphasize touch-screen functionality. Also, make sure targets are easy to hit with your finger.

11. Group Similar Tasks Together

If you need your customers to provide supporting documents with their personal information, it’s recommended that you group all of those at the end of the application, so that the customer can make 1 trip to the filing cabinet, rather than having to go back to their files multiple times throughout the onboarding process.

12. Perfection is the Enemy of the Good

The final recommendation we have is to not let perfection get in the way of “better.” Even if your end goal is to create a complete digital customer experience but you don’t have a system in place to do that, at least moving a few steps in the process to a digital system is better than not. If you have the opportunity to make small, incremental improvements to your customer onboarding process today, do it!

Eager to learn more about how Temenos can help?