Europe Fintech Regtech

PIF Report Finds Onboarding Failures Are Costing Fintech’s Billions

According to new research by PIF, the not-for-profit body which represents organisations covered by e-money and payment services legislation, Fintech organisations are failing to convert engaged would-be customers due to inefficient onboarding processes with over a quarter of people failing to complete sign up procedures. 

This variance in onboarding success rates is the central finding from PIF’s Fintech and e-money Customer Onboarding Benchmarking Report which analysed onboarding processes from a sector-representative sample. The report aids better understanding of the different approaches to onboarding used within the sector and explains the pitfalls which erode customer sign-up levels.

Produced in collaboration with customer onboarding and KYC specialist, HooYu, the report reveals that, on average, only 74% of customers are onboarded due to application abandonment during KYC (Know Your Customer) processes – a required step to access regulated services.

Although some organisations convert between 80% and 95% of applications, many fintechs operate a leaky customer onboarding funnel losing as much as a third of all applicants during onboarding, an attrition rate which is thought to cost businesses billions in lost revenue every year.

Declan Byrne, PIF board director, said: “Onboarding is one of the most expensive parts of customer acquisition and, as such, is the critical interaction stage with customers. Failures here can lead to lost revenues, untold reputational damage and wasted marketing budgets.

“Organisations which are missing out on up to a third of new customers due to ineffective onboarding stand to lose billions over the course of a year as their potential users seek out alternatives with more user-friendly customer onboarding.”

Among the findings which drive customers to leave onboarding processes partway through, the report also found that:

  • Twice as many fintechs intend to focus on the effectiveness of customer onboarding (86%) instead of driving further traffic to the top of the onboarding funnel with PPC advertising (43%).
  • New fintechs place more emphasis on integrating onboarding technology providers and A/B testing than traditional financial services firms.
  • The greatest application drop-out comes when customers are asked to produce ID documentation. 50% of fintechs report this as the area of greatest abandonment.

David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu said, “Regulated firms have started to realise that the onboarding experience can be a differentiator and a means to improve the conversion of hard-won customer applications. KYC technology needs to be harnessed with well-designed UI and UX tools that guide the user through a smooth customer journey.”


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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