Digital Business Customer Onboarding Made Easy with A-Heads


Smooth cooperation with financial institutions is essential for SMEs and corporate business customers. A-Heads and Citadele partnered to develop a new digital onboarding solution to speed up the bank’s small and medium-sized business customer onboarding processes.

The customer onboarding process is critical for both parties, as it forms the client’s first impression about further cooperation with the bank. Pre-COVID, opening a business account could take up hours – bank visits, waiting in line, filling out documents, etc. 

Now, we are entering a new digital era where remote business customer onboarding is a requirement for any progressive financial and wealth management institution. With rising business customer expectations, there is a growing demand for a frictionless and straightforward onboarding solution.

What is Digital Onboarding in Banks?

Digital onboarding in banking is opening a business account virtually. It is convenient for small and medium-sized enterprises to save time otherwise spent in a bank branch doing paperwork.

Digital customer onboarding in banks has several perks:

  • Fully digitalized onboarding solution for bank customers;
  • Reduced time and costs, filling different forms;
  • Submit only necessary details;
  • Fast KYC/AML, ID validation.

A virtual customer onboarding solution facilitates the opening of a legal account significantly.

Why is Digital Onboarding Important for SMEs and Corporate Customers?

A smooth business client onboarding is crucial for business. Onboarding is no longer just about opening an account – the whole application process should positively impact customer life, being their first touch-point with a bank.

Considering the wishes of modern business customers, together with Citadele A-Heads developed a digital onboarding solution for Citadele Bank in Latvia. With this solution, the bank aims to strengthen the satisfaction of SMEs and micro-enterprise clients during the onboarding process. A-Heads helped to speed up Citadele’s application process up to ten times by developing a digital business customer onboarding solution. As a result, corporate clients were more satisfied and interested in continuing cooperation.

“Time is an important resource, and businesses highly value the digital availability of banking services at a time and place convenient to them. Citadele’s aim is to bolster business owners by giving them all the digital tools they need, allowing them to save time and concentrate on developing their business.

We have created a digital ecosystem where small and medium businesses can become our customers remotely and receive all the e-commerce tools they need, as well as, if needed, pick up an Instant POS terminal straight away from a branch. 

This means that both new and existing businesses can begin their digital journey in a matter of hours and start serving customers. In our test period, more than 100 businesses have already made use of the opportunity to open an account remotely,” explains Citadele Board Member Vladislavs Mironovs.

The digital onboarding solution is safe, complying with all Data Protection requirements. Once the business customer has applied, the information becomes available for the bank. If the business owner complies with all the criteria, opening an account takes up to 20 minutes, and they can then access their account and make payments through online banking right away while they wait for their bank card to be sent by mail. To open an account completely digitally, the company’s monthly turnover must not exceed €30,000.

The Result 

As a result, Citadele Bank business clients can open an account in about 15 minutes. The user-friendly plug-n-play platform favors SMEs and corporate customers, offering a fast, comprehensive, and intuitive interface throughout the onboarding process. This digital solution has made onboarding more cost-effective and efficient for customers and bank administration.

How Does A-Heads Digital Onboarding Solution Work?

The business customer can complete digital onboarding in a few steps. The front-end is just as easy to manage as the back-office dashboard. It will take three steps and 15 minutes for the customer to submit the form. 

Customer Identification

To qualify for remote account opening, the business must be registered in Latvia and represented by someone with unilateral signatory authority using a qualified electronic signature (SmartID QES, eParaksts eID and eParaksts mobile) to identify themselves and sign the application. 

Legal Information

In this step a business applicant provides necessary legal information, such as business name, address, and VAT number.

KYC/AML Procedure

KYC/AML is an essential component of digital onboarding for business customers. With digital onboarding, data processing becomes more efficient and decisions to onboard low-risk customers are performed automatically.

Phone Number Verification

All applicants need to verify their mobile phone number to validate whether the given number is authentic and in service.

Digital onboarding is not new; most FinTechs already practice virtual client onboarding. However, implementing this process for licensed banks is complex; they are more regulated than digital banks, and some solutions are legally prohibited. A digital business customer onboarding process should be considered carefully and ensure that the legal force is equal to a hand-signed contract.

A-Heads provides custom software development and integration services for financial institutions. In partnership with Citadele Bank, we helped to abandon cumbersome processes in the form of a single platform. Our FinTech solutions allow banks, wealth management companies, and eCommerce platforms to reduce costs and work more efficiently by improving their operations’ profitability. 

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