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In this guide, you’ll learn:
The importance of onboarding and KYC
3 best practices to kickstart your onboarding strategy
The right onboarding experience for your users
What information you need and when to ask for it
Onboarding and KYC is the process of collecting company or individual details that verify an account holder’s identity. Getting the right information protects your platform from illegal activities and is mandatory for meeting regulation in the countries you do business in.
To avoid onboarding pitfalls like the ones below, it’s important to take the time to design an onboarding process that serves your business and users. This is accomplished through choosing the right kind of experience for your platform, collecting the right information from new users at the right time, and optimizing verification of information.
|Lengthy sign-up process, requiring too many details|
|Asking for information prematurely, without tying it to a user benefit|
|No guidance on how information will be used and safeguarded|
|No local language support|
|Drop offs during sign up|
|Noncompliant with regulation|
|Decreased Net Promoter Score (NPS)|
|Loss of trust and credibility with local markets|
|Burden of management at scale|
For global access and revenue management platform SKIDATA, delivering a uniform onboarding experience to the hundreds of car parks, ski-slopes, and other access points signing up with them every year was paramount. The company uses Adyen for Platforms to deliver localized sign-up, staggered information collection, and user-friendly UI. Using Adyen’s hosted onboarding page lets the company achieve all of this with little to no developer support, while maintaining compliance with local regulations in over a hundred countries.
Removing enough friction while still getting what you need for verification is the hallmark of a strong onboarding process. The following best practices can help you find the right balance between these two opposing needs. Some are recommendations that are becoming standard, while others are innovations for delighting users. Choose what makes sense for your platform.
Capturing user details
Verifying identity information
Adhering to local regulations
Prioritizing actions that help turn prospects into onboarded users can add up, fast. Just imagine what boosting your conversion rate by a few percentage points would mean for your business. That’s where things like speeding up onboarding from days to minutes, reducing drop off, and outsourcing the burden of KYC management to your payment service provider (PSP) can help.
Use smart fields and prompts
Smart fields autofill pieces of information like address and zip code. Using them, along with prompts, helps reduce input errors and form drop off. Using automatic field verification (either by connecting with relevant third party databases or a PSP like Adyen) helps reduce the number of simple mistakes.
Request information dynamically
Asking for all KYC info at sign-up can be an onboarding roadblock. A dynamic approach lets you space out requests when they make most sense to users, incentivizing action at each stage (e.g. asking for bank details when getting paid). But like all decisions, it has to be right for your users. If you have users you expect to sell a lot, quickly, it might be worth doing all the verification up front.
Even a highly optimized onboarding process encounters user error or instances when manual review is required. This is when it’s important to have accessible support available for your users (as well as internal insights for your team), so you can resolve issues efficiently.
Build in FAQs and support help
Embedding support options in your onboarding interface lets users help themselves quickly and reduces frustration at sign up. It’s also important to use onboarding insights to proactively assist users navigating tricky fields, such as a chatbot who can provide answers to common support questions.
Establish form drop-off reporting
This is the best way to figure out why people leave your onboarding process and where they’re getting stuck. Instituting form drop-off reporting helps identify which fields users find confusing and gain meaningful insights on where to optimize your onboarding flow.
It’s extremely frustrating for users when they have to onboard in their second or third language, or through a process that has been poorly translated into their native language. This can be a huge point of friction as you expand into new markets. Localizing isn’t just about translating your process, it’s also about customizing fields based on local best practices. That’s where having a knowledgeable PSP to lean on can help ensure your localized onboarding is optimized.
Localize the language and fields of your process
Localization makes your platform more attractive to new users in corresponding regions and reduces barriers to sign up. In addition to language, it’s also important to ask for the right details based on locality (e.g. Social Security Number in the US, Codice Fiscale in Italy, etc.)
Build in verification and compliance
Each region has its own regulation, which is why it’s helpful to build in verification with your PSP. Transferring responsibility and operations of keeping up with these local regulations to your PSP lets you reallocate time and resources to your core business.
|Local language display||
|Smart fields and prompts|
|Localized onboarding (captures regional requirements in form fields)|
|Staggered data collection|
|Chatbot in onboarding interface|
|Suggestions based on past behavior|
|Promotional offers served to incentivize users|
The bare minimum, often resulting in higher drop off rates due to the lack of conversion features.
A hyper-localized experience that uses conversion best practices to sign up users faster.
The 'ultimate' onboarding experience that incorporates future thinking features to delight new users.
A Straightforward verification compliance
B Full integration into the existing user interface
A Minimal development resources available
B Dedicated development resources available
A As soon as possible
B Flexibility with launch timeline
Hosted onboarding (mostly As)
Instead of building an implementation to collect and submit KYC information, you have the option to redirect account holders to a hosted onboarding experience provided by your PSP. This is the fastest way to implement KYC verification checks, since it requires less development effort and is managed by your PSP.
Custom onboarding (mostly Bs)
This option lets you use an entirely API-driven approach to build a custom sign-up experience directly into your platform’s existing user interface. It provides a seamless experience for users, since you have complete control over the entire look and feel, but it also requires that you have adequate developer resources.
Hybrid onboarding (even split)
Many platforms and marketplaces choose to mix and match, using a hosted onboarding experience for certain countries and/or verification checks and custom one for the rest. Adyen, for example, offers modular hosted experiences (standalone components that can be used for specific parts of an onboarding flow), so you can leverage our real-time bank and identity solutions as part of your custom onboarding experience.
Bill Paynter ･ Senior Director - Billing & Payments, Viasat
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A guide to owning the experience from end to end
Leading platforms and marketplaces like eBay, Wix, GoFundMe, and SeatGeek use Adyen to accept payments across channels at scale and stay competitive as they move into new markets and regions. To learn more about how our single global platform can help your business offer a best-in-class payment solution, check out Adyen for Platforms or reach out to our team.