On paper, new technology is great – it solves pain points that customers are suffering and can often save them money too. However, as the old adage says, ‘if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’, and as a result, many banks’ customers are wary of new technology as they don’t feel like they can trust it.
This means communicating trust effectively and securely must be a top priority for banks and challenger banks too. Enticing people to try new technology can save them time and money while also benefiting the financial institution – once overcoming this hurdle of trust, everyone can be a winner.
Attempting to make this possible, Alex Cambell, director at Webex CPaaS Solutions at Cisco, provides some pointers on what banking institutions must do to make this possible. Cambell has 25 years of experience working in the telco, mobile and digital space.
He currently leads the European CPaaS Sales Team, where he works with top retail banks and financial services institutions to build secure and safe customer experiences underpinned by advanced technologies.
Cambell told The Fintech Times:
Customer behaviour is ever-changing. Advancements in technology and new, emerging channels have fuelled an always-on customer that has adopted a digital-first way of communicating. For any business, navigating the proliferation of channels, applications, and platforms can be difficult; however, as customers continue to demand better experiences throughout the whole of their journeys, today’s organisations must keep pace.
Recent consumer research from Webex found that 75 per cent of respondents cite good customer service as a reason for repeat business and 55 per cent of respondents would change brands to receive better customer service. And yet conversely, 75 per cent worry about how much personal data they share with businesses.
Balancing personalisation and security
With the significant increase of authorised push payment fraud (APP) in the last year, it seems that fraudsters are developing ever more complex ways to deceive consumers – all methods of communication, from phone calls to emails and messaging are all increasingly subject to these scams. This coupled with an increase in apprehension in sharing personal data, financial institutions have a problem to solve.
Challenger banks are often considered to be synonymous with cutting-edge technology – usually providing services via a mobile app and therefore becoming popularity with digital generations. They have a better reputation for customer communication, yet conversely research by Finder.com found that a quarter of Brits don’t trust these newer providers.
In banking, trust, transparency and security are paramount to the loyalty of customers and ultimately the success of the business. Fraud promotes a lack of confidence in the communications consumers receive from their banks which in turn impedes the ability to provide the seamless customer experience that customers want to receive.
This has created a tipping point for the industry and has led to an uptake in CPaaS technology (Communications Platform as a Service), as organisations continue to understand the importance of offering personalised, real-time, secure communications to their customers. Low-code solutions like CPaaS can help businesses to stay relevant, offering the latest channels with intelligent automation to provide the seamless experiences that consumers expert.
Here are three key ways the technology can help:
1. Keeping customers safe from threats
The advent of newer digital communication channels such as RCS Business Messaging, Apple Messages for Business and WhatsApp Business help to safeguard customers from threats. These channels offer end-to-end encryption to ensure that customer data is protected and remains private. There is also a strict process to verify businesses using these channels, hindering the ability of fraudsters to impersonate businesses. They allow the use of ‘green tick’ verification badges, previews and company information to promote reassurance to the user that the messages are from a legitimate source. The presence of logos and company branding in these channels also increases brand recognition for the business.
Communication platforms also enable the provisioning of one-time passwords and two-factor authentication, integrating with existing business systems to use data sources and allowing extensive profiling of every customer. For example, in the case of SIM swap fraud – the process by which fraudsters clone a mobile phone number and then assign it to a new SIM card, through which they can access online bank accounts, messages and calls – the technology can combine geo-location checks, mobile network information and customer behaviour to run automated security checks. Account suspension can then be activated if the criterion for suspicious activity is met.
The financial services industry is constantly looking for ways to reduce fraud and protect consumers. The Financial Conduct Authority is currently consulting on ‘in app push notifications’ that hope to allow communications channels to sync with online banking apps so that customers can verify their identity (and vice versa) before communications take place.
2. Making transactions easy
According to Statista, the UK mobile payments market is said to have had more than 10 million users since the coronavirus pandemic, accelerating a shift towards a more cashless society as many people use less banknotes and coins for in-store transactions.
With the ever-growing number of ways in which consumers are able to pay for goods and services, it is essential that banking providers must be able to offer their customers seamless and safe payment experiences across any channel.
Utilising the latest in-channel payment solutions such as Apple Pay ensures better protection by directing customers to an app which is protected by face ID or two factor authentication. This also improves the payment journey for the user by directing customers to an app or connecting them to a customer service agent so they can fulfil their promise to pay. Automated payment reminders and transaction validations trigger real-time notifications for both the user and the institution so that both parties are aware of the status of payments due or completed.
Banks can also build intelligence around their customer’s channel preferences and send notifications about upcoming bills through the channel that best results in successful payments. They can also optimise payment collection journeys that direct customers to an app or connect them to customer service agents so they can fulfil their promise to pay.
3. Maintaining a healthy bottom line
Automated, end-to-end customer journeys with real-time communications that respond to who customers are, what they are doing, and what they need when will always improve the customer experience. And at the back end, the ability to track, monitor and manage all interactions and touch points across the consumer journey (including messaging, voice and video channels) in one central platform gives banks the data they need to understand their customers and promote accurate profiling and business reporting.
By integrating data from different customer touchpoints and siloed business systems, banks should look at creating system-triggered journeys that deliver personalised interactions for each customer. The banking industry must also move away from traditional channels like email and voice and embrace two-way digital messaging channels like RCS and WhatsApp Business to promote their services, share policy updates, send reminders and much more.
Increasingly tech savvy consumers are demanding this quality of service and it is critical for the survival of any business but particularly in the banking industry where the consumer places such high regard for transparency, trustworthiness and security. Ultimately, providing a first-class customer experience using cutting-edge fraud prevention techniques will keep your customers loyal and positively impact the bottom line.
From seamless payment experiences and personalised banking communications to enhanced sender verification and real-time fraud notifications, it is clear that tailored banking solutions improve customer experience, safeguard customers from threats and inspire user confidence – and this is undoubtedly the kind of service that will be increasingly demanded in the future. Those banking institutions that put customer experience at their heart will be the ones that are truly successful in meeting and exceeding the needs of today and tomorrow’s digital customer.