Javelin’s longstanding measure of success dictates that an applicant should be able to open and fund an account in one session in one channel. That’s a challenge because the process can fracture at each of five critical phases of opening an account: 1) researching options, 2) starting an application, 3) seeking help or advice from customer, 4) providing documentation, and 5) completing the application.

An analysis of about 1,400 successful checking account applicants shows that branches set the benchmark, with 65% of successful applicants completing all five phases in the branch. In contrast, only 34% of successful applicants completed the entire application online – and only 8% of mobile applicants enjoyed a start-to-finish experience on a smartphone or tablet. 


Bottom Line:
Because there is a risk of abandonment every time an applicant switches channels, FIs have much to gain by perfecting a process that knits the strengths of each channel into a satisfying process that can close a deal. Javelin’s analysis demonstrates that:

  • Window shopping routinely begins in digital channels.
  • ‘Mobile-first’ preferences are real.
  • Digital channels fall short when customers need help or must supply documentation.
  • Branches and call centers close more deals.
  • Young Millennials are often forced into branches.

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Digital Account Opening