Use of banking apps doubles


Daily usage of mobile banking applications has doubled in the last 12 months to 18.6 million transactions.

12.4 million UK consumers have downloaded such applications so far, according to The British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

This increase in using smart devices for personal banking has diverted common, high-volume queries from the contact centre and branches, while also significantly changing the way banks and financial services organisations authenticate customers’ identities.

Security measures have come a long way since asking for a date of birth, address and customer account number. In order to prevent the growing risk of fraud, banks have consistently innovated to make personal banking a much more secure process. Fraud will continue to be a growing issue, especially since debit and credit card fraud rose 35% in 2013, despite overall levels reducing 11%.

Chip & PIN and associated devices, two-, three- or even four-factor authentication methods, and more ‘futuristic’ tools like voice biometrics have been adopted to find less costly, quicker and more convenient ways to check a person’s identity.

But while in the past it was an education to demonstrate to the public that this was necessary to ensure that their accounts weren’t cleaned out or services applied for fraudulently in their name, modern consumers are much more accepting of security processes.

Smartphone and tablet applications have facilitated a quicker way to get your transaction completed or query resolved, at less cost to the consumer and the organisation, and combined with faster payments technology, this can all be done within minutes, rather than days.

In order to strike that balance between technology maturity and consumer acceptance of providers demanding additional layers of security, the increase in automation has been key.

This is both in terms of being much more difficult to compromise, unobtrusive, and requiring less effort on the customer’s part. There have been developments in interactive voice response (IVR) using voice biometrics. In addition, banks have even been trialling ‘SIM-swap’ detection methods which, when combined with location-based services, identifies whether the SIM card in the smartphone actually belongs to the customer.

Paul Thomas

Going one step further, the notion of ‘omni-channel’ means that a customer could text a financial services provider, get instant automated responses and move onto a secure web link to verify their identity, before using voice biometrics as a second factor, then speaking to a contact centre advisor without ever having left the conversation or repeating any information.

Everyone is naturally wary of how their hard-earned money is being looked after, and so acceptance of security is not as difficult as it once was. But it is about making it easy for people to do business with you, by peeling back the layers of security and using more covert levels.

With thanks to Paul Thomas, VP Northern Europe at Aspect Software

Published On: 16th Apr 2014 - Last modified: 12th Dec 2018
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