UK banks losing half of new online account applications due to outdated ID checking processes

Pope david

On average, only 53% of online banking account openings in the UK are carried through to completion, meaning that 47% of online account opening attempts are left abandoned.

One of the key drivers of abandonment is that the traditional process of name and address checking against credit reference agency databases fails – in just under a third of online account applications in the UK.

When name and address data checks fail and customers are asked to email or bring their ID documents to a branch it causes a huge hole in the onboarding funnel.

UK banks are investing heavily in marketing to attract customers to the bank’s site or app, however abandonment in online account opening is causing cost per acquisition to rise.

The information comes from identity confirmation provider HooYu’s recent Digital Banking Benchmark Report.

The report analyses the online account opening performance of five of the UK’s top retail banks to investigate where banks can improve their online account opening processes.

The report also reveals how online account opening volumes are growing and how long it takes on average to open an account online. 

David Pope, director of marketing at HooYu (pictured above) said: “UK retail banks still have a clunky customer journey that kills the momentum of the application when a customer fails the traditional name and address data check. Sometimes the customer is asked to come in-branch or sometimes the bank emails the customer to ask them to return to their site to upload an identity document.

“Banks should integrate ID document checking and digital footprint analysis into the heart of their online application process so more customers complete and less customers abandon.”

Randolph McFarlane, head of partnerships at Intelligent Environments added: “UK retail banks are still too slow to add new KYC (know your customer) technology to cater for the 30% or so of customers that fail the name and address check.

“Banks need to look for new technology partners so the customer’s identity document and digital footprint can instantly be analysed and verified to support a quicker, smoother account opening process.”

HooYu was established as a global identity verification platform to help financial services firms to authenticate customer identity at point of online application.

The HooYu service is integrated into financial services merchants’ online application processes. It cross-references and analyses data from a person’s digital footprint to confirm their real-world identity. HooYu also extracts and verifies data from ID documents at the same time as authenticating the ID document and conducting a biometric facial check comparing a selfie of the customer with the facial image on their ID document.

The report can be downloaded at