This report, sponsored by Digital Onboarding, Inc., maps out how banks and credit unions can use digital channels to provide best-in-class onboarding that leads to profitable primary financial institution relationships. The report was independently produced by Javelin Strategy & Research. Javelin maintains independence in data collection, findings, and analysis.


In a simpler time, traditional onboarding relied on an outreach campaign in the first few weeks after a customer opened a new account—online banking enrollment, a debit card PIN, and a welcome email. That sort of old-school onboarding isn't going to cut it anymore in a mobile-first era when customers are comfortable spreading their financial lives across multiple banks, credit unions, and tech companies. Best-in-class onboarding requires an ongoing effort to enroll customers in engagement-building digital services and ultimately maximize status as the primary financial institution (PFI).

Distilling more than 50 digital banking habits among U.S. consumers into a single indicator of their engagement level, Javelin’s Digital Engagement Index paints a detailed picture of the digital activities that ultimately determine which institution wins PFI status, where consumers turn for additional financial products, which card wins top-of-wallet and top-of-phone status, and other key indicators of a profitable relationship. Best-in-class onboarding is no longer simple and straightforward. Today, Javelin’s seven-step model for successful ongoing onboarding drives PFI status by prioritizing objectives that matter to Fully Engaged customers and an FI’s bottom line.

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