Growth & Marketing

October 25, 2020

July 12, 2022

How to improve the UX of your KYC form

Table of contents

Does your KYC form not have a good conversion rate? Well, you probably need to check and improve its user experience.

If you suspect that your form is too long, too difficult to fill out, or you just can't find exactly what the problem is, this series of solutions will help you discover and improve it.

1. Make it multi-step

One of the basic strategies when it comes to reducing friction in any form is to divide it into multiple steps. Few things are more overwhelming than opening a form and seeing that there are a dozen of fields in the first step or a single step with a score of them.

Finding a good balance between the number of steps and fields per form step is essential to improve the UX of any form and, with it, the conversion rate. Bearing in mind that KYC forms tend to be lengthy on their own, this becomes fundamental.

2. Define a logical sequence

Order form fields and steps in a way that makes sense. Group related fields in the same step and try to make the sequence of questions as natural as possible. Would you ask a person you just met for a phone number before knowing their name? No, right?

Then apply that same logic to the form. A good way to do this is to group the questions by topic and organize them as sections within the form. These sections may be visible to the user (or not) but they will help you display them in a reasonable way.

You can also include related fields in the same step. For example, ask the user to indicate the country and then automatically display the proper international phone code.

3. Use indicative placeholders

To help the user avoid errors in certain fields, it is very useful for the placeholder to show the type of data or format that it is expected to input. For example, with phone numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, etc. 

The formats of some data change depending on the country, so it is very useful if the placeholders automatically display the appropriate format in each case. It will help the user a lot and will further benefit the experience of using your forms.

4. Guide the upload of documents —and check them

Uploading documents can be frustrating for any user and even more so for those who have to validate them if this is done in any way. So allowing the user to upload them one at a time, step by step, can greatly enhance this experience.

Adding a field for each document, with the appropriate indications, is a good option when it is necessary to upload a few of them. 

For example, you can ask them to upload the front of the document to one field and the back to another. In this way, you can also perform inline validations to see if the file really corresponds to the requested document, if the image is clear, etc.

5. Save data from partial submissions

Are you missing a document? The form can't be submitted without it? Who has not happened? Having to fill out a 10-step form again because you're missing a document is frustrating for everyone, so save your users this trouble.

Storing the input data of the fields the users have already filled in will save them a lot of time when submitting the form after getting the missing information. Just remember to check and follow the privacy policy of your country, since this varies in some of them.

6. Get data from external services

To reduce the number of fields and steps, you can get data from external services and databases, either yours or third parties. So you won't have to ask the user.

For example, you can use Clearbit's data enrichment service to get information on people and companies from a corporate email, a risk scoring service to evaluate the user's IP and activity, or simply check in your CRM if you already have any associated data to the email.

You can also use them to pre-fill and validate data in your forms. For example, using Google Address Autocomplete to make it easier, faster and more error-free for the user to fill in their address, and get the country or postal code without having to ask for them.

7. Add conditional logic

Dynamic forms improve the UX of any form and, of course, their conversion rate by dynamically reducing the number of steps displayed. 

Using conditional logic in forms allows you to show or hide certain form steps based on the user responses and the data obtained from external services or your own database.

This is a common and useful feature in Know Your Customer forms, for example, to request different KYC documents depending on the user's country of residence.

8. Use progressive profiling flows

To avoid building a lengthy form, many companies implement progressive profiling strategies for their users and they typically involve splitting the form into two or three smaller forms, which are displayed at different moments.

For example, signup forms usually consist of only a few steps, but once registered, the user will be prompted to continue filling in some data in order to activate the account. 

In the most common strategies, an additional form is usually displayed when users log in for the second time or ask them to complete their profile on the platform.

9. Send links to partners

Some KYC workflows require documents from different people to submit the form, which often adds a lot of friction for the person filling it out.

Although storing partial submissions is a good option, as we have seen above, some companies like Mercury have created an even more frictionless solution.

Sending a link to each user whose documents are needed, so they can upload them in their own form and then be automatically attached to the main application. 

This option allows you to divide the work of collecting KYC documents and transfers the responsibility to each of the users who need to be verified, making it easier and faster.

10. Show the progress

As KYC flows tend to be long, another good option is to show the user in which phase of the request they are in, and this can be shown in different ways.

For example, display the titles of the sections that remain to be filled in, add a form step counter, or include a graph or percentage of completeness in the user's profile. 

All these options are useful and valid in the KYC forms, this choice will depend on how you have structured your flow and in which sections you have divided it. 

Just remember that it should give a positive sense of progress, but it should also realistically correspond to the steps you go through. Don't try to trick the user, it will negatively affect the user experience.

Test and iterate fast

Optimizing the UX of a KYC form can be a long process, and A/B testing is the best way forward. Progressively testing each of these solutions will allow you to check the impact of each option on the overall user experience and the conversion rate of your form.

Duplicate forms and flows in one click, and iterate in no time by dragging and dropping components, and copying and pasting data.

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