KYC delays slowing customer onboarding; new research find 1 in 5 checks take more than 24 hours

KYC checks

A recent survey undertaken by NorthRow, the leading Know Your Customer/Business (KYC/B) and Identity & Verification (ID&V) platform, has revealed that one in five Know Your Customer onboarding checks takes over 24 hours to complete. 

The survey invited compliance professionals to provide their insight on the challenges ahead in 2023, as well as emerging trends and priorities in the profession.

Although around half of respondents found a standard KYC check takes on average 1-2 hours, 20% admitted that some take over 24 hours to complete. Abandonment rates are likely to increase with poor onboarding experiences, which could end up being costly to compliance teams and the greater business. 

This prolonged process can cause significant inconvenience and frustration for customers, particularly those who need to access financial services urgently.

The survey also found less than a quarter of respondents are prioritising improving customer experience in the year ahead, despite onboarding times being so long. If KYC checks remain time consuming and tedious, companies risk losing customers – and therefore business. 

Other notable findings include:

  • 40% rely on office productivity software such as Word and Excel for their regulatory compliance processes
  • The average onboarding success rate is 80% (some as low as 50%)
  • 25% of revenue is being spent on compliance costs

On the findings, CEO of NorthRow, Andrew Doyle said: “There is obviously great importance in undertaking KYC checks as part of the onboarding process, yet our research has found the time taken to complete simple KYC checks can be a significant challenge for customers. 

In 2023, customers expect near instant onboarding when accessing new services. Long KYC checking times can not only result in lost business for companies, but customers becoming dissatisfied and switching to competitors offering faster and more efficient services.”

The survey also explored the perception of compliance in businesses, and the use of technology in the profession. To read the report in full, visit:

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