Data Security

Security vs. Customer Experience: How Banks Can Find the Balance

By Mark Grainger 8 August 2019

Last year, criminals stole £1.2 billion through fraud and scams. It’s clear that banks – who not only deal with sensitive customer data but also are responsible for safeguarding money – have a responsibility to take security seriously.

But how do you marry up security and customer experience (CX)?

After all, enhanced security often requires additional customers to jump through additional hoops. And the conventional CX wisdom is that journeys should be as simple as possible to keep customers happy.

Ultimately, security should always come first, but you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a streamlined CX. Here’s why.

Two-factor authentication is now the norm 

Two-factor authentication (2FA) isn’t just for the extra-cautious anymore. The increase in sophisticated phishing scams means even the most complex passwords are no longer enough to keep a customer’s online account safe. This means banks should require customers to enable 2FA.

While 2FA adds an extra step to the login process, the longer customer journey is more than worth it. It doesn’t matter how seamless your digital journey is if your data and money are at risk.

What’s more, customers are already used to it, with major companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix using it for customers signing in on new devices. And new online shopping regulations are requiring it, anyway. As long as it’s easy to execute – without device-hopping, and with an easy way to access customer service if needed – it can be positioned as a CX enhancement.

Collaboration between banks and mobile network operators pre-empts issues

2FA generally works by sending a one-time code to a customer’s mobile phone. SIM swap fraud or SIM swap identity theft allows criminals to reroute a person’s mobile number to a new SIM card. While less popular and harder to pull off than other types of fraud, SIM swap fraud is growing in popularity.

Technically, it’s up to the mobile operators to perform adequate security checks to stop this. But there’s an opportunity for collaboration that offers customers a better overall experience.

Banks already have sophisticated security systems that help identify fraudulent or suspicious activity. If they notice anything unusual on a customer’s account, they could alert the mobile network, thereby limiting the damage.

It’s a valuable way for both parties to offer pre-emptive customer service, which is a key way to enhance the customer experience.

Voice recognition improves security and speed

Biometric checks go one step beyond 2FA – offering a more full-proof (and faster) way of ensuring account security. Many banks already use fingerprint ID for mobile banking apps, and face recognition is becoming more common, too.

But what about instances where a customer isn’t physically present to confirm their identity?

Enter: biometric voice authentication.

Perfect for allowing call-centre agents to identify and verify a customer, voice authentication does exactly what it says on the tin: it confirms someone’s identity from their voice. While mother’s maiden names, telephone passwords and even 2FA passwords sent can be fraudulently obtained, it’s much harder (although not impossible) to steal someone’s voice.

What’s more, customers who are wary about handing over biometric data like their face or fingerprint may be more comfortable with voice authentication, which feels less intrusive. And you eliminate that frustrating experience of trying to remember yet another password – and the additional time spent with verification. This speeds up resolution times, leading to happier customers and more efficient staff.

Security and customer experience aren’t mutually exclusive

Extra authentication is becoming the norm, and as long as it’s easy to execute, customers are happy to put up with the added friction if it prevents issues. And by showcasing your pre-emptive approach to customer service, you’ll be rewarded in the long run.

Learn more about the importance of seamless and secure journeys, watch our on-demand webinar, featuring my guest speakers from Avant Money, Gillian Garrett, and Forrester, Joana de Quintanilha. Download your free copy here

See other posts by Mark Grainger

VP Sales

For more than ten years, Mark Grainger has been a key player in customer engagement solutions by helping enterprises amplify their marketing activities using the latest technology. With extensive experience gained in the marketing services industry, he specialises in SMS and mobile marketing in order to achieve maximum brand penetration whilst delivering an unforgettable customer experience.

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