How wealth managers conquer new market segments with digital onboarding

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This report is based on surveys and in-depth interviews with industry experts throughout APAC, with a specific focus on Hong Kong and Singapore.

The wealth management industry is in the midst of transformation, the effects of which are particularly palpable in Hong Kong, Singapore and broader Asia. Customers are demanding faster, more seamless service and wealth managers are competing with an increasing number of providers. To top it off, increasing regulation has made onboarding new clients a complicated task across the APAC region.

Despite challenges, the wealth management industry in APAC is growing. Fueled by a rising number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Asia, the demand for wealth management services is increasing across the region. Between 2009 and 2014, Hong Kong’s wealth management assets surged by 108%.

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Growing competition and regulation coupled with inconsistent regulatory implementation practices are major speed bumps for wealth managers. Wealth management providers of all sizes are looking for unique solutions that will set them apart from their competitors.

Technology is a key enabler for client onboarding. While the adoption of technology within client onboarding varies greatly, leveraging technology is becoming increasingly important for wealth managers. That said, making the shift to a fully-automated and digital client onboarding system is a challenge. This is because organisations generally lack a good understanding about the costs of client onboarding and often utilise cumbersome legacy systems across several business units.

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China presents a critical challenge and opportunity for Hong Kong. Seventy-five percent of wealth managers stated that they conduct business across borders in Asia, but longer onboarding times driven by more extensive KYC and background checks are necessary for dealing with Chinese HNWIs.

Onboarding is a differentiator. Through automation and simplification of the onboarding process, banks are able to shorten the client onboarding cycle and quickly set up personalized, revenue-generating products and services.

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