Unfortunately, this process has changed very little over the years and is usually only comprised of gathering the most rudimentary of information from the potential customer (name, address, phone, social security number, account type desired, etc.) and collecting funds/obtaining a signature. The rationale for only collecting the most basic information has been to balance the desire for insight with a respect for the customer's time. This balance becomes even more important in the online world, where a customer can easily abandon the account opening process with little repercussion.
Online Account Opening Abandonment
According to a recent report from Javelin Strategy & Research entitled, 2011 Online Account Opening: Faulty Process Hobbles FIs in the Battle for Customer Acquisition Profitability and Retention banks lost close to $1 billion and 5.8 million customers due online abandonment during the account opening process over the past year. In fact, it was found that only 53% of new account applicants were able to successfully open and fund their new accounts. While some may later go to a branch, many new customers may be lost forever.