Great relationships are built on great first impressions. This is especially true in financial services where the proliferation of mobile banking solutions have rendered fast, streamlined customer onboarding a competitive necessity. Financial institutions that ignore this maxim will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in attracting and retaining profitable customer relationships especially among millennials.

New research from Mitek and Zogby Analytics explains why: 68% of millennials would rather snap a picture than provide information using the keypads on their smartphones. That research also reveals that 83% of millennials think mobile capture will be part of all mobile transactions in the next 5 years. These are not unrealistic expectations. After all, millennials are the “selfie” generation.

Millennials are not a flash in the pan. At 83 million strong, they represent the largest generation in American history. They also are at the forefront of social change in America, and much of that change is facilitated by their affinity for all things mobile and digital. Thirty-eight percent of millennials take at least one selfie a day; 10% take more than 10 selfies a day, according to Mitek and Zogby. Most (68%) were first exposed to mobile capture through mobile deposit, and perhaps most telling 40% would like to see more mobile capture options in financial services. What better place to start than at account opening.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research, nearly one in four consumers now turns to their mobile devices first to access their financial accounts. Javelin calls these consumers “Money Hawks.” Money Hawks are not exclusively millennials, but millennials do represent a significant share of Money Hawks. Money Hawks opened about one-third of all new accounts at financial institutions in 2014. More importantly, two out of three Money Hawks were expected to open checking, savings or credit card accounts last year. If that’s not enough to make financial institutions take notice, perhaps this will: 20% of Money Hawks expect to change financial institutions and these individuals, combined, account for more than 70% of deposits controlled by likely switchers, according to Javelin.

To succeed at capturing these deposits financial institutions must rethink customer service strategies and their mobile banking solutions, and the place to start is with onboarding. Requiring mobile customers to fill-out tedious on-screen forms isn’t going to cut it from a customer service perspective. Nor will it contribute to workflow efficiencies, as incomplete and indecipherable application forms will inevitably necessitate costly manual intervention.

At Digiliti Money, we understand that fast and efficient mobile account onboarding is critical to the ongoing success of financial services companies. Companies like DFC Global Corp. A leading provider of alternative financial services, DFC offers mobile onboarding for its prepaid debit card’s mobile app that was developed by Digiliti Money and its technology partner Mitek. DFC customers use their smartphone cameras to capture and transmit images of drivers’ licenses or other official IDs as part of the application process. Once approved, they can fund their prepaid accounts immediately by capturing check images and authorizing ACH transfers, or with a credit/debit cards. “By letting consumers take photos instead of entering data, we will increase forms completion rates improving our revenue from mobile,” said Tom Burns, President of North America Retail at DFC.

Experience shows that traditional account onboarding routines can take as long as 2 weeks, depending upon account types. On top of that, some financial institutions are known to be rejecting 50 percent or more of account applications for incorrect or incomplete information, or because of illegible handwriting. Then there are the hard-dollar costs associated with processing paper and mixed media applications, and with rekeying of information into back-end systems.

Digiliti Money developed Select Mobile™ Account Opening to streamline and simplify customer onboarding, which in turn drives operational efficiencies and new revenue opportunities for financial institutions large and small.

Onboarding with Select Mobile Account Opening can be a completely self-service activity, or it can be leveraged to facilitate in-person onboarding at branch or off-site locations. Either way, it eliminates costly bottlenecks and helps banks, credit unions and other financial services companies maximize the mobile value proposition.

All great business relationships require great service from the get-go. Why should mobile banking solutions be an exception? With Select Mobile Account Opening from Digiliti Money it never has to be.