When’s the last time the banking industry moved this fast? Keeping pace is challenging. This report draws on perspectives from respected third-party resources and the experts here at Bottomline to give you a deep understanding of the current state of digital account opening and onboarding, as well as where it’s headed in the next few years.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for banks to provide robust online account opening and onboarding capabilities. Conversely, it also revealed the steep consequences for those without solid digital capabilities.

Unable to visit branches in person, customers flocked to online banking in droves. Bottomline research reveals that completed applications for online accounts grew by 40% in 2020, primarily driven by younger applicants. Banks also reached record-level deposits over the year. Yet, the digital surge didn't benefit institutions equally. The three biggest banks captured the majority of the deposit activity. That's even as regional and community-focused organizations did the heavy lifting of deploying pandemic assistance to consumers and small businesses.

Now, as we look toward what's next, we can see the risks and opportunities facing smaller banks. Given their local ties to their communities and emphasis on social responsibility, they're well-positioned to attract a younger demographic. "But small banks need their digital experience to match their brand appeal and provide the functionality that the younger customer base wants," says Doug Stotz, senior advisor to the Banking Group at Bottomline. "Fortunately, by partnering with fintechs, they can deliver on those expectations."

This year's Online Account Opening and Onboarding report draws on our exclusive research and insights from Bottomline experts, as well as industry studies. Dive in to learn:

The real story behind the increase in account openings and deposits

What younger customers prioritize and why they still rely on big banks

How smaller banks can meet customer expectations for online experiences and grow their relationships

Why Change

Bottomline’s research shows that started online applications grew by 25% and completed applications rose by 40% in 2020


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