Keeping Accounts Safe and Accountholders Happy

Jul  13 
Ricardo Font  Director, Product Management, SecureNow™ 

Balancing account security with accountholder satisfaction

Imagine this scenario: One of your accountholders is on a tropical vacation and leaves their cellphone in their hotel as they go on an excursion. A question comes up about how much money is in one of their accounts. But when they borrow a cellphone to log in, they can’t remember their password or their security answer. Frustration builds because the account balance question needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.  

When something like this happens, consumers may wonder why financial institutions are so picky about security, particularly when they can’t get into their accounts. Are all of these hurdles really necessary?

Diligence Remains Important

The short answer, of course, is yes – security measures are critical. Your financial institution stays competitive by providing consumers seamless and unlimited access to their accounts. But protecting accountholder data is how your institution gains and retains trust. And while consumer trust in your financial institution is a measure of a strong relationship, for the good of your depositors, that trust cannot be blind.

Cybercriminals target financial institutions because they store vast amounts of private information, in addition to accountholders’ money. Data and account assets are threatened by botnets and other criminal practices that take advantage of lax security measures.

It’s important to remember that cybercrime is a business. Time equals money, and hackers are generally not looking for a challenge. They seek out opportunities that are worth their effort. That means going after high-volume, unprotected targets. For example, identity theft remains one of the most persistent crimes committed online, and it can result in major losses for both accountholders and financial institutions.

Living in an increasingly digital world where instant gratification is the expectation, consumers are accustomed to some level of friction – but don’t want time-consuming barriers. However, there are actions both financial institutions and consumers can take to ensure maximum security with minimum friction. As the fraud landscape becomes more treacherous, “working smart” to stay ahead of fraudsters can mitigate consumer frustration.

How Technology is Enabling Useability

Fortunately, there are security measures already embedded into the fabric of daily life – in consumer devices and the digital infrastructure of financial institutions – that many people might not be aware of.

  1. Hardware – Most personal computers come equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This specialized microchip secures identity through integrated cryptographic keys. Smartphones have enhanced, built-in security features (that get better with each new release). With TPM, applications can deny access if a device is stolen.
  2. Behavior Analytics – Machine learning and data analysis are effective at thwarting identity theft by interpreting data to recognize behavior patterns. Once irregular behavior is spotted, you can issue alerts to accountholders about sign-ins from unknown devices or terminate idle sessions to stop accidental unauthorized use.
  3. Advanced AI – Analytic algorithms can detect patterns and improve overall consumer satisfaction. Applied analytics streamline back-office processes, increase efficiency and facilitate accountholder access to financial tools. Everyone wins.
  4. Integrated Cybersecurity Platforms – When accountholder data is centralized within your financial institution, it closes security gaps. Frictionless, omnichannel security means that accounts are consistently monitored by a team of experts. Risk assessments can be made in real time, accelerating the response to threats.

We are living amid a digital banking transformation. Financial institutions that seamlessly integrate security into the user experience will lead by earning consumer trust and respect.