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The future of digital onboarding for U.S. Bank clients

At this time, I'd like to formally welcome everyone to our August webinar, focusing on the topic of the future of digital onboarding for U.S. Bank clients hosted by your U.S. Bank Global Treasury Management partners. My name is Brianna Dunn, and I'm from U.S. Bank's Global Treasury Management Learning and Development Team, and I'll be moderating today's webinar.

And before we start today's discussion, I'd like to just briefly introduce our speakers starting with Senior Product Manager of Digital Transformation, James Gallo; Operations Manager of Treasury Management Implementation, Tammy Barabash; and Working Capital Consultant, Nina Hanselmann. We're excited to have these three individuals join today's conversation as they share some exciting information about work that's actually coming out of our journey teams here at the bank, each of whom have actually had an active role and part in the journey team. So without any further ado, I'll hand it over to you, Nina.

Great. So I'd like to ask if each of you would do me a favor. And if you take a moment to think about your experiences with your banks around implementation. I know I'm hearing dog calls. But really, think about this for a moment from the simple to the very complex. And how were you part of the process? And what were the friction points in your implementation? And really, what's on your wish list for a better way to do it?

I'm guessing we may have heard you. So one of our agile development teams is focused on just that. And James and Tammy and I work together on the digitization transformation journey team. You try to say that three times real fast.

So they've joined us today to discuss what our team is focused on and what we've developed and how we are making it easier for you to do business with us. So I'm really excited to be part of this much better method for developing a better implementation process for our clients. So as we-- oh, I'm sorry. I'm having a little difficultly here. Hmm.

So James, I thought maybe we could talk a little bit about the difference between what was the traditional method of the waterfall, where would take us 18 months to bring something to market and then no one wanted it, versus the agile method that we are using here at the bank. Could you take a minute to walk us through that?

Yeah, absolutely, Nina. So really, what it comes down to is when we have this new shift-- and I think agile has become very much a buzzword in a lot of senses where we're doing things agile. But doing it in word versus doing it in actuality, we've seen a very big disconnect.

So in the waterfall methodology, which many people are familiar with, it's very much a structured-- you have to have all your requirements done in six months. Then you have to deliver in the next six months. And then maybe we get some feedback and iterate again.

And really, with that elongated timeline, you're really missing out on a great opportunity to work with clients like that have joined us on this webinar in order to really get the feedback, in order to make sure that what we're delivering is truly the right tool and capability. So in that waterfall method, it's very much a long timeline. It's very much-- boil the ocean is another metaphor I love using where we're trying to do too much at once, and we're delivering nothing.

So in this new agile framework, and specifically the way we do it on the digital transformation journey team, like you and Tammy are a part of, we really want to iterate, and we want to deliver quickly, and we want to deliver incrementally. And through that process, we really are able to ensure that not only we have that constant feedback loop to make it better, to make it better, but also to really ensure that what we're delivering in the end, like you said, is truly used. So maybe we don't get to that end product within the first three months, but we are going to be really achieving some certain milestones that will make that end result that much better.

So how about if we talk a little bit about how we operated in our journey team? And I know, Tammy, you will have experience to share with us when we discuss some of our client experiences as well. So what is our specific journey team focusing on?

Yeah, absolutely. So our journey team is really focused-- it's a very exciting topic for me. Our journey team is very much around the onboarding, and as it says, digital onboarding. Once again, something that is a very, very common term. A lot of the industry is really focusing on this.

But really, what does this mean? There is a difference between just creating a lot of digital practices. But if no one uses it, what have you actually achieved? So that first point on this slide is really important to us, which is we look for client pain points. We look for pain points in the process as it exists today, and we address them.

And going back to the agile methodology versus the waterfall, once you hone in on a particular problem or issue, it's a lot easier to try to solve that, and then you learn so much in that due course. Now by focusing on the friction points you're really going to enhance that experience. You're not building it for the sake of building it. You're building it with the end goal of really completely changing and digitizing the experience.

But there is also a lot of things that we've been able to build that have just actually fit together without us even intending. So really, we want to make sure that when we deliver, we aren't just thinking about short term, but we are thinking about that long term in the end. And we'll go through a few examples during this webinar where we're really going to see how that progression has happened, which has been really great to see because we didn't think of it, right?

And that's one thing that we have done on this journey team really well, which is we've taken an idea, understood it by using it with pilot and MVPs and POCs, and then really start to turn it up and make it better and better, and really get that adoption. And of course, at the end of it, where we want to make a great experience for all our clients.

OK. So one of the things that I know that we've all been focused on was about speed, because we just are so irritated about how long it takes us to get from beginning to end, and we want to make it a faster experience. So I've got a question that I want to share with all of you here. It's a polling question. Then we're going to bring it up to see what you might be thinking right now. Just choose your answer and hit Submit.

So what do you perceive causes your business the largest delay in experiencing a speedy implementation? So we picked what we felt were probably four different things. So while we're waiting for those polling results to come back in, how about if James, we've talked about how within our team we want to be fast. So let's just talk about how fast. Let's share our best example of how fast we got something to market.

Yeah, definitely. So first experiment-- and that's what we call all of these, right? We don't really call it a product or a capability, because it's an experiment. It's a thought. If it fails, if it doesn't work, then we can move on. If it is something that is beneficial, we can continue.

And so that first example is that document exchange capability, which came from the friction point of really focusing on how we exchange documents and files with our clients. And we really want to ensure--


There we go.

[INAUDIBLE] came up. Too much paper and too many documents.




All right.

So to that point, we had our first experiment. And so the journey team, which the journey team concept is a little bit of a unique opportunity. It's really where we have a cross-functional team. And to Nina's point around speed, it makes us fast where we have our developers working with our designers working with our researchers. So we are a very small eight-person team, but we're able to deliver very iteratively, because everyone is constantly working together.

So to that point of speed, document exchange. So as everyone said in the poll, we have a problem with documents and a lot of paper. So our friction point, what we wanted to deliver on was something that we use for anything we have to do, which is the exchange of documents.

And so when we first started this experiment, our only opportunity was either snail mail, which is paper, stamp, send, or our security mail concept. And so the security mail concept had a lot of negative feedback. And so we said, how can we solve this?

And so within five weeks, from idea to production, we were able to deliver the first iteration of document exchange, which was a one-way, right? So all of our clients were able to upload to us and just allow us to receive the documents. But we quickly learned, once again through the iterative nature of what we do, we quickly learned that that was not a real commercializable effort. And so that was in September of 2019.

By November of 2019, just two months later, we were able to build it and enhance it to a back-and-forth. So a two-way document exchange. And so we slowly were able to iterate, get feedback, get feedback. And so March of this year, March of 2020, we were able to fully commercialize it, fully enable it for all of our clients in order to really expedite and solve this friction point that we have seen. And so that was less than six months we went from didn't exist at all to now it exists for every single one of our clients in SinglePoint.

So those of you who use SinglePoint may see that over in the left-hand margin of choices. And it is available to all clients on SinglePoint. So don't hesitate if you want to use it.

But you know, Tammy plays a very, very important role with our clients from the implementation perspective, and I wanted her to be able to talk to you about what this really meant from the implementation perspective. So Tammy, tell us.

Well, when we rolled this new process out to implementation and all the teams that work in that group and our clients, everyone was really excited to start using something that was going to eventually replace the need for secure mail. Again, as James mentioned, we had received just a lot of negative feedback, that it was difficult for our clients. And it was actually difficult for us as well. So we were real excited to actually have something that would eventually replace this feature, since we do communicate so frequently back and forth with forms and other documents.

So once we got into using it and understood how it worked and what was the benefit for our clients and ourselves, we really realized that, hey, you know, this is going to be better if it works both ways. Because when we first got it, it was only the one way, the one direction that James had explained. And we could upload to the client, but they couldn't upload back to us, or vice versa.

So what we did is we talked to the journey team about it. You know, brought it back and said, hey, here's our feedback. This would be great if it could go both ways. And we really think the clients would use it a lot and would be really happy with it. And so would us in implementation. We would have more of a streamlined approach, and we would just save a lot of time.

So the journey team, I think what really surprised everyone in implementation was once we brought it back to the group and James and everyone started working on the problem and the asks that we had, it was just barely a month. Like, maybe-- I think James said five weeks-- that it took to go bi-directional. So we went from this concept and then got it out into production, and then once we started using it said, hey, this would be better if we could do it this way, and it was done in about a month.

So it was such a fast turnaround. And we're just not used to seeing results that quickly. And our clients just quickly adopted it, and the usage has gone up astronomically. And we hear nothing but great feedback for that.

So I know while we launched this, the design team within our journey team was working on what we call our next experiment, so we didn't just stop. So James, I thought maybe we could talk about what that next one was that we worked on.

Yeah, absolutely. Our onboarding tracker. So in short, once we were able to get doc exchange into the hands of our developers, we had the other half of our team, the design side, get right in front and start building out our next opportunity. So now this friction point, semi-related but definitely a little bit different, is status updates and helping our clients understand, where are they in the process?

You know, right now, there is no other way. The reliance on emails and phone calls is just the way we operate. Now everybody's email is too full, and we all understand that, so we said, how do we give visibility into our processes so that way everyone that's involved knows and understands what's happening?

So in our first iteration of the onboarding tracker, our goal was to deliver a visibility to solve transparency and really ensure that we had a 24/7 available status tracker, visible via SinglePoint, for all of our clients. And so this first version got released in January of this year. We had several pilot clients, and we were able to really start learning about what makes this tool that much better.

And of course, we had some solid feedback in terms of, how do we make this even better? And so what we had from our first pilot opportunity was this is great, but now I know the status. That's wonderful. But now how do I send you something if I need to remedy that problem, if something stopped, if something is waiting on me? So we'll talk about that in a second, but that is how we got into our 2.0.

So Tammy, talk about that onboarding tracker a little bit more from your perspective, because co-creation with a client I think has been the key to the success for this journey team to bring the right things to the market.

Oh, absolutely. It's pretty exciting, because these things are all kind of going on at once between the document exchange and onboarding tracker and the other features James was going to talk about next. But when the onboarding tracker was brought to market, it's helped both the bank and our clients to have that quick, easy snapshot view of where their implementation is in the process of onboarding the products or services that they need.

Our clients can see if we're waiting on paperwork or information from them for a particular product, say. And the implementation team can easily also quickly see what they need to follow up on as well. Maybe a client forgot that, hey, there's some document I need to get back so they can set up this ACH transmission, and they need these pieces of information.

So we can quickly take a look at a project on the onboarding tracker and say, oh, we're still waiting on this from Jim at the company, so I'm going to give him a quick notice that I need him to get that back to us. So the onboarding tracker makes it more efficient for us to determine the status of an implementation without having to search through emails and documents and other project plans, and the same goes for our customer.

Perfect. So what did we learn from that pilot in January, James?

So we learned a lot of things. As I was mentioning, we assumed visibility and status would be sufficient, right? Because that was the friction point. But why not, right? We can always make this better and better. And it's a perfect example going back to the way we started this, right? Had this been a waterfall, had this been a 12-month delivery, we would have walked out the door with that first type of iteration, and it wouldn't have been useful, right?

So we quickly were able to understand the need for the ability to do two things. One is for our clients to message back and forth with us and communicate through the tracker. So instead of saying, OK, there's the tracker, I'm going to go email, you're now able to message back and forth within the tracker.

Additionally, you're also able to send files back and forth through the tracker. So now we've pretty much been able to really expand on that capability where now it's not just visibility and transparency, but you're able to manage, and you're really able to understand an action, what needs to happen.

And I would say my favorite learning point specifically around 2.0 was understanding our clients and understanding that the switch from email and phone call to an onboarding tracker does not happen overnight. And we can't just assume that, OK, now it exists, and now must be used.

So one of the pieces of functionality we built in which was really cool was an Export button. So yes, we have our dashboard. Yes, we have all updated information. But why not export it? And that way, if you do need an Excel to keep track of it or if you do need something offline, you still have that. And so that was a big learning for us, because we really wanted to just move everything digital, and we realized that it doesn't happen overnight. And so we have to be able to supply both sides of the process very well.

Tammy, what did you think about the feedback on the tracker?

Well, I felt that--

I'm thinking like the message board.

Yeah. I felt that from our experiences once we started using all of the new functions and features, the fact that clients can actually provide instant feedback from within the tracker has been a great feature for both the clients and our implementation team. The client doesn't have to go into their email and structure communication to explain where they were looking and they had a question about it when they were in the tracker.

They simply pop up the text and start typing out their question from that screen. And the implementation person is going to receive that and immediately know that the client-- what they're referencing. Implementation answers the client within the same feedback loop. And it creates just a faster channel of communication that's much more efficient and simple. And then clients can get their information almost in real time.

And I really feel that the fact that they can also download all of the project information to an Excel spreadsheet or whatever spreadsheet they want to use, whatever format and keep that someplace, that's also a really nice feature for them to have. Maybe they want to share it with their manager, and they just want to be able to show them a quick spreadsheet of where they're at. So I think we just have had a lot of great features that have benefited both the clients and the bank personnel.

You know, having been in a role as a consultant and a salesperson managing relationships over the years, I always like to keep an eye on things so that I would know what the experience was for my client and how things were moving along, and was it of good quality? Because I felt that it's the last step in a good sale, and that someone is pleased and they'll come again. So it's very valuable for me from an internal perspective then to see how things are going, and I can be very proactive with a client.

And so I'm thinking about for those of you who have joined us today, don't be shy. Ask to use this. And if there's things that you want to know more about, come forward, and we'd love to hear your ideas.

So there's still paper, right? There's still documents, legal documents, all those types of things. So if we move on to just talking about that, I was thinking less signatures. What can we do to take this all digital? Because it's getting a little harder recently to have those web signatures happen. So what are we doing with the digital onboarding for that?

Yeah, absolutely. So as you can see, this progression has really started with document exchange, right? It's a perfect-- going back to the beginning, right? Waterfall verse agile.

The document exchange tool could be seen as almost a stepping stone, and really getting us towards a fully digital interaction. The amount we've learned by having something like document exchange, and how do our clients work, how do we go back and forth, what is that normal process really has informed us in a lot of ways that we then built in the onboarding tracker. And then we've had the first iteration. The second iteration, we're piloting right now.

So we've slowly been able to learn and start moving workflow from email and phone calls over to SinglePoint and having capabilities within SinglePoint. So all of this process and this whole journey has been adding value along the way. But now to your point, this is really where we see some big changes happening.

And so what we are developing as we speak is really an e-onboarding solution that allows the entire paper process, or if you want to say offline documents, moving into SinglePoint through the e-onboarding application. And now we're not just taking paper forms and making it a digital form. That would not be the best use of everybody's time.

What we're doing is we're taking the documents, we're reviewing them, we're looking at them. We're trying to say, OK. What is the minimum information we need here? And let's move it into a digital experience, almost more like a form builder instead of, let me just fill out the information.

Now the benefits of that are astronomical. You have the ability to pre-populate information, the ability to source information, the ability to come back in and say, OK. I just did this last week. Let me do it again.

So moving the data and the whole process from offline, whether it be PDFs or docs, whatever, it really comes to the fact that now that we're collecting it in our system, the ability for us to really use that information for the benefits of all of you is really a helpful and useful tool that we're excited to bring. And then of course, having the electronic signature actually provide that authorization on those documents, is really going to make that process way more streamlined. No printers, no offline, and really, really expedite the process.

So Tammy, when you're asked by a client, I want to set this up just like I did this other one-- that's just the easiest way. Just mirror this account and just do it that way, how is that helping you to answer that quickly for a client?

You know, even though they want to mirror and we do have all of the specs or information on the first setup, we still need that paperwork sometimes. We just do. And you know, we've been working on reducing the amount of documentation that's needed to onboard the clients by consolidating or even eliminating some of the documents that we ask our clients to complete and return to us.

So we've really tried to take a look at that and say, how many times do we have to get this piece of information? Let's try to get it just one time. Or are there three different pieces of information that we really need that's on three different forms? Let's combine it into one and eliminate those other forms so it's just easier for everyone. So we wanted to drill down further and just make that process improved by not just digitizing our process, but simplifying it as well.

You know, I think the best part about that is when we do something like that, we're taking our own advice. So here we are, working with clients to advise them to get paper out of their process, to optimize things, we need to take a little bit of that advice on ourselves. And that's, I think, probably the best part about this.

So I have another poll for those of you that are online with us. And I'd like to ask if you would respond to this now that we've been through some of the material to tell you about what we're doing for you for implementation.

So the question is, thinking about the four experiments that we discussed today-- doc exchange, onboarding, and digital e-onboarding, the two variations, and the message board-- there's four possible answers. So thinking about the four experiments, which challenge would you say resonates the most with your business? Gathering documents for submission, lack of visibility in the progress, time to complete documents and obtain signatures-- that's my favorite-- and initiating the request itself. So if you'd be kind enough to answer that, we'll talk a little bit more about what we want to do next. James?

Absolutely. So all of these, as I was mentioning, really do build up to something really great. What we're involved in here-- and as I said, the journey team has been around for about a year and a half-- what we've been able to deliver has been exponential. Oh, Nina, looks like a lot of people agree with you.


Time to complete documents and obtain signatures. It's really hard, and it's got to be harder now. So I'm glad you stopped for that.


Thanks, everybody, for responding to these. It makes me feel a little better.


And we're getting there. That's for sure. And so the e-onboarding and this idea of moving everything digital, it can't just happen without really building up towards that. And it really allows us to understand the entire process and not just look at something in a silo, right? Having something like electronic signatures available but the entire process of getting your data into the forms isn't as optimized, it's still only pieces-- you know, it only benefits one particular piece.

So we really want to look at the entire journey that you have to go through with us from an onboarding perspective. And we really want to ensure that as we build each and solve each friction point, we get to a place for you where you have a seamless experience, a seamless digitized experience that is very, very fast and effective for your needs.

Terrific. So where we're going next, and I think that we'll just pull things together. We have just a few minutes left, James.

Yeah, absolutely. So this is the journey that we've identified, right? This is a normal process. So what we've talked about today has been really focusing on implement. The process of understanding the request, doing the request. That is one piece of this pie.

Now as we move into onboarding tracker, into document exchange, into the ability for e-onboarding, that opens up a plethora of different opportunities such as evaluate and buy. So what we're able to do now, if we have the entire back end streamlined for you, now things like initiating your own request, creating your own request, saying, hey, I want a new account with ACH now is much more in the realm of possibility because of how we have streamlined and really completely overhauled the implement process. So we're very excited. We've really created a foundation on which we can build a lot of beneficial tools for everybody's benefit.

It's kind of DIY, but I think it's just more of empowering those of us who do business with the bank. So I'm still amazed when I see how quickly the team can bring our ideas to life and then review and get the feedback from our clients and make suggested changes, and then bring a pilot on the SinglePoint platform. And then we just keep enhancing.

So I'm pleased that you joined us today and you gave us an opportunity to tell you how we're trying to create an easier and faster way for you to implement with us. That includes visibility, simplifying documentation, tracking, communication, and all in a digital and secure platform.

So we're anxious to continue the conversation. So as I said, pick up the phone. Call your treasury management consultant, your relationship manager. Tammy and James, thank you for sharing our journey team story and what it means for our clients.

Thank you.

And ask if all would join us next month for a look at our new solutions, accounts payable automation with AP optimizer. We look forward to seeing you again. Thank you. 

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August, 2020

The future of digital onboarding for U.S. Bank clients

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