Accelerated KYC process: How Hamburg Commercial Bank digitally onboards its corporate clients

February 2021 – Before any new corporate client relationship can begin, an immense amount of bureaucracy needs to be dealt with. Hamburg Commercial Bank is now using an innovative digital hub to minimize the time this takes, in some cases reducing onboarding times down to one working day.

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Today’s finance business is one thing above all else: highly regulated. In the worst case scenario, it can take several weeks, if not months, to onboard new corporate clients. The primary reason that regulatory authorities set their requirements so immensely high is the fight against international money laundering. However, for the vast majority of law-abiding corporate clients, the legally required Know Your Client (KYC) verification process repeatedly becomes a test of patience when entering into new banking relationships – taking up valuable time that no company can afford to lose in today's fast-moving markets.

Is it even possible to reconcile the understandable desire of banking supervisory authorities for accuracy with the desire of banks and their clients for fast onboarding? The simple answer is: yes. With their digital onboarding process in the Commercial Bank, for around two years now, the experts at Hamburg Commercial Bank have been proving that the KYC process can be notably accelerated.

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70 percent faster onboarding

Whether they be new or existing clients, treasurers of medium-sized domestic and international companies have been able to use a digital solution for onboarding and the KYC process since spring 2019. This makes opening accounts in particular significantly easier. "Our secure cloud solution can accelerate the KYC process by up to 70 percent," says Jan Sojka, Head of the Digital Excellence Center (DEC) at Hamburg Commercial Bank. When performed digitally, onboarding can be completed in as little as one working day.

Companies wishing to use Hamburg Commercial Bank's digital solution don’t have to fulfill any special IT system requirements. "clients simply receive a request from us along with a link to an upload portal, where can then easily upload their data," says Sojka. The big advantage: "The days of media discontinuities between the analog and digital worlds are over."

According to Sojka, this not only benefits corporate clients, but also the bank itself. "The new centralized onboarding platform has massively simplified our back-end processes and made them much more efficient than they were in the past," says the HCOB digital expert.

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