Here’s how banks can continue to earn our trust after COVID


Whether it’s choosing vacation destinations or trying different foods, we humans tend to stick with what we know. Then came 2020 and the roles were turned: new experiences became daily norms, and daily norms became a distant memory.

The pandemic has forced us to rely on technology more than ever. This presented a major challenge for the whole economy, but in particular for financial companies and banks. They suddenly had to deliver their products and services to customers digitally, and with an increased demand for safe and reliable online transactions.

While the number of people using online banking has not increased significantly in the UK, the way we have used online banking has. Before the pandemic, many customers used online services to conduct low-risk activities, such as checking account balances. Lockdowns in 2020 forced customers to rely on technology for a wider range of financial transactions, including those that required higher levels of trust, like loan or mortgage applications and large payments.

All of this has put more pressure than ever on banks and fintechs to prioritize one thing: trust. For banks, proving that they are capable, competent, caring and determined will be essential if they are to continue to earn the trust of consumers.

Strengthen security

In the UK, bank fraud hit a new record last year with online fraudsters defrauding consumers £ 497million. This increase in fraud is one of the reasons people don’t fully trust digital transactions. Financial providers and banks need to show that they can protect their customers against fraud to gain their trust. This means strengthening their security.

To keep scammers at bay, a “hardened” authentication system is needed to ensure the protection of higher value digital transactions, such as payments or credit applications. Essentially, the riskier the transaction, the stronger the level of security required. Banks that can prove that they take security seriously are seen as competent and capable, deserving the trust of customers.

For example, while fingerprint or device recognition is suitable for checking balance or transferring money between customer accounts, facial recognition that confirms a person’s identity is more likely to be reassuring. customers for large payments or opening new accounts. This additional level of protection confirms to customers that their bank is concerned about protecting their data and their identity. Taking it a step further, behavioral biometrics, which confirms identities by assessing consumer behavior to create a unique digital footprint, could add an additional layer of defense.

The challenge for banks and financial service providers is to find a balance between ease and security. When making a payment, we want to complete the transaction accurately and quickly. Any additional step in the process is not always practical, but could be seen as reassuring, if banks tell customers how additional measures are protecting them. By finding the optimum balance between user convenience and security, customers will be more likely to trust the transaction.

Control customers

Unfortunately, digital transaction fraud isn’t the only one that worries customers about cybercrime. Customers also want to feel that their personal information is in good hands. According to Accenture

, only 37% of global customers trusted their bank to take care of their data in 2020, up from 51% in 2018, a steep drop, and asking for seemingly irrelevant data only makes customers more suspicious. In fact, 52% of U.S. consumers are more willing to trust a company that limits its request to only relevant data, according to McKinsey.

But for higher value transactions, banks should request more data from their customers to avoid fraud. Ensure that banks collect necessary data at the right touchpoints is the key to building trust.

At the heart of this goal, banks must explain and be open about how this data is used. This can be done through pop-up notifications that appear on the screen but don’t interrupt the checkout process, and for people who want to know more, additional links in the pop-up can let them know how their payments are. data is used. As a result, customers can stay in control and feel reassured about how their data is being handled. By deploying this type of digital toolkit, customers can count on an engaging user experience while feeling taken care of.

Purpose underpins public trust

Trusting the security of digital transactions is just the start. Everything a bank stands for becomes just as important to consumers – as it is to other brands across industries. According to Braze, 61% of UK customers have stopped using a brand due to a conflict of values. That is why it is essential to build trust with customers through strong brand values ​​and constant transparency with employees, customers and the public.

One way to demonstrate reliability is to manage expectations, indicating how long a transaction or process is likely to take, and then meeting those deadlines. Being open and honest about processes helps build trust in the brand by showing that it can keep its own promises and be trustworthy. For banks, deploying the right technologies to provide sufficient security and thinking beyond technology to prioritize the customer experience will help build a strong and loyal customer base.

The most important thing banks can do is start with trust – and build it with every transaction and interaction. For an industry that has spent the last decade recovering its reputation against the odds, what is clear is that trust is a process, not an event. To see continued success, banks must continue to build that trust with their customers, so that they feel reassured every step of the way.


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