With Stripe Treasury, platforms can offer financial services that offer fraud prevention and regulatory compliance. Use this guide to onboard your users and reduce friction in the onboarding process.
Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) are client data collection procedures that financial services providers must employ to verify a user’s identity and prevent fraud or financial crimes. Building a compliant KYC process is one key part of the onboarding process. The onboarding flow also improves customer conversion rates, mitigates risk, and helps your customers be successful with your product.
This guide describes how to build your onboarding process, including:
- How to maintain a compliant KYC and KYB flow
- How to create efficient and frictionless customer onboarding
- How to implement onboarding to Stripe Treasury (hosted versus custom)
KYC/KYB and onboarding
Before you launch your embedded finance capabilities, implement an onboarding flow that collects the necessary KYC/KYB information from your users. The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) sets and enforces the requirements for customer due diligence, which each financial institution or partner can then supplement with additional requirements.
With Treasury, Stripe only presents your platform with the core requirements needed for your business to be compliant while onboarding users. You, as the platform, are then responsible for collecting the required KYC information from your platform’s connected account owners and passing it to Stripe using Hosted Onboarding or through the Stripe API. After you collect this data, Stripe performs checks to determine if these connected accounts meet KYC and KYB requirements and flag potential risks of money laundering or fraud. These checks include:
- Verifying ID documents against public and private databases to make sure they’re valid
- Screening application information against lists of criminals (such as known terrorists and money launderers)
- Checking applicant information against databases of known fraudulent actors
- Validating addresses
- Making sure that the application is from a registered business with the appropriate licenses
What information do your users need to provide?
Information you need to collect to open a Treasury financial account for your end users include (but aren’t limited to):
- Business name
- Legal entity type
- Tax ID number
- Merchant category code (MCC)
- Company name
- Company address
- Company owner information
- SSN of company owners
- Owners dates of birth
- Owner title
- Ownership percent of company
You can review the full requirements for opening a Financial Account associated with a Connected Account here.
Ways to onboard end users to Treasury
You can use two methods to onboard your users onto Connect and Treasury—use the Stripe hosted onboarding flow or the Stripe API to pass verification information to Stripe.
Both options offer different benefits:
- No need to design or build a custom onboarding UI. Stripe provides a customizable web form that collects the required identity information from your users.
- Dynamically adjusts input fields depending on account capabilities, product usage, country, and business type.
- Optimized for mobile browsers, accessibility, and localization.
- Automatically collects all information currently required up front or incrementally, depending on what’s needed from the user (see onboarding flows for more information). To use Stripe Treasury, end users must provide all information to satisfy KYC requirements, whereas information collection can be incremental for Stripe Payments onboarding.
- Full control over the onboarding UI and user experience.
- No need to redirect users to an external Stripe-hosted page.
- Ability to design the flow of how to collect information from your users.
Keep up with changing requirements
Changing requirements can necessitate gathering additional information from users. While Hosted Onboarding dynamically updates to reflect new requirements, platforms using API onboarding need to make sure they update their UI and collect this information to prevent disruption to business because of missing information. If a user has already onboarded using Hosted Onboarding and requirements change, forwarding them the link to Hosted Onboarding prompts them to provide the new required information. You can obtain new requirements for accounts using the methods detailed in the Required verification information guide.
You can also use a mixture of Hosted Onboarding and API onboarding. If you use Hosted Onboarding but have already collected some information from users from a different source, you can pass this information to Stripe through the identity verification process and prefill the Hosted Onboarding page with the provided information. In this case, the user can modify or verify the information within the Stripe-hosted UI.
Tips to optimize your onboarding
To ensure a successful onboarding experience and boost user conversion for your Treasury product, keep the following tips in mind:
Many platforms choose to collect as much information upfront as possible to minimize the number of times they need to request additional information from users. While incremental onboarding (such as onboarding users to Stripe Payments first, and then completing Treasury onboarding later) can get a user into their account more swiftly, regularly asking for additional information as users look to use more features can cause confusion or frustration. Consider onboarding users to the
treasurycapability to start, even if you don’t plan to create a Treasury financial account until later. If you instead decide to hold off Treasury onboarding until later, set clear expectations during onboarding that additional information might be required to use all aspects of the product to head off any potential friction.
If you already have a Connect integration, or have otherwise collected identifying information from your end users, consider leveraging the API to pass data you already have to reduce the amount of information a user needs to provide through Hosted Onboarding.
If your financial product includes an issued card, you might consider leading with the card use case in your marketing and promotional material. Signing up to get a new card is a common experience for many and they perceive it to have less complications than signing up for an account, even if you plan to give the user both a card and a Treasury financial account.
Depending on your Treasury use case, users who are just starting businesses tend to have a higher conversion rate because they might not have a business bank account yet (or have a strong affinity for their bank). However, if the user has just incorporated their business, they might not have their TIN entered in the IRS database yet, so their TIN may come back as unverified until the IRS database updates. The account is still usable, and Stripe periodically attempts to reverify the TIN.
Hosted Onboarding is a great way to get started quickly and test out your integration. If you eventually want more customization, you can always switch to Custom onboarding. You can modify the color scheme and logo of Hosted Onboarding in the Dashboard. Since the Hosted Onboarding page is hosted by a third-party (Stripe), users are redirected to another page, so providing disclosures around that process might help set expectations and prevent friction.
Reduce wasted time and user frustration by only onboarding users that are supportable on Stripe and Treasury. Review the Treasury requirements for supportability, as well as guidelines on how to market Treasury to users to ensure you’re onboarding the right users and providing the most accurate information.
Iterating on the onboarding experience can make a big difference on conversion rates. Even seemingly small changes to phrasing, colors, and information organization can increase onboarding completion rates.
Offering incentives to onboard, such as a free subscription period or incentive funds, can help boost early user activation and engagement. Users who fund their financial account and spend money within the first week of account opening correlate with higher long term engagement rates.
Small business users might not move high volumes of money at first. However, a significant percentage of smaller users grow into larger users, so keeping users engaged and supported as they grow can pay dividends down the road.
Consider reaching out to users at regular intervals to encourage certain behaviors and keep your platform top of mind – platform owners who engage with their users see higher rates of card spend and user activity. Be sure to leverage the Treasury marketing guide to ensure your marketing and communications are compliant with regulations.
- Required information to onboard Custom Connect accounts
- Onboarding users through the API documentation
- Incremental versus upfront onboarding documentation
- Testing API onboarding
- Connect onboarding documentation
- Treasury documentation on opening Custom Connect accounts
- Documentation on opening Treasury financial accounts