Prioritizing Online Banking Security for a People-Centric Customer Experience
In the constantly evolving world of banking, it has become increasingly important for banks to focus on creating a people-centric user experience that prioritizes privacy and security measures while showing empathy towards customers. This is especially crucial considering recent reports highlighting basic security flaws in some of the largest banks’ websites and apps. According to a recent investigation by consumer product and services testing body Which?, several banks are missing basic online and app protections, leaving their customers at an increased risk of falling victim to fraud.
During the investigation, Which? assessed the customer-facing security systems of 13 account providers, with help from independent security experts. The banks were scored based on four key categories – login, navigation and logout, account management, and encryption – for both their online banking security and app security. Among the issues found, banks were marked down for failing to adequately block weak passwords, sending sensitive information via text messages – the least secure approach, and failing to log customers out after five minutes of inactivity. Additionally, six outdated web applications with potential vulnerabilities were found at Virgin Money, with minor vulnerabilities noted on three of them.
While Starling, a bank without physical branches, scored the highest for online banking security at 82%, HSBC – last year’s top scorer for online banking security – followed closely behind with a score of 80%. However, with basic security flaws still being reported, there is a pressing need for banks to up their game and make improvements such as blocking weak passwords to prevent fraudsters from stealing money and personal data from their customers.
To shed more light on these key considerations, we spoke to an industry expert, who shared their insights on what a truly people-centric banking experience entails. Louis Granger, Head of EMEA Solutions Consulting at UserTesting provides his thoughts on the characteristics of a people-centric user experience, the advantages of building privacy and security services around customers, and the role of customer empathy in delivering an exceptional banking experience:
“The rise of fintech over the last decade has been stratospheric. According to reports by the London Stock Exchange, there are more than 2,500 fintech companies in Britain, and the UK has one of the highest levels of fintech adoption rates in the world at 71%. The rise of the digital economy has increased the demands of consumers, which continues to lead to increasing demands and higher expectations from customers. Keeping up with these expectations requires a people-centric approach to digital banking. Generally, this approach keeps customer experiences at the heart of the design process. One way banks can do this is through optimising digital touchpoints to meet changing expectations. By prioritising customer empathy and predicting their needs and questions ahead of time, banks can provide an easier experience for consumers.
“In terms of banking security, sensitive information, like passwords and answers to authentication questions, are becoming a burden on customers as fraudsters become more adept at breaking weak passwords and mining customer information from different sources. In addition, security measures like automated logouts can frustrate customers and lead them to look elsewhere. These are just some situations that can be addressed with a customer-centric approach to banking security. Banks must leverage customer data and user testing to build quick, easy logins and authentication processes that don’t overly encumber customers, all without compromising digital security.
“Emerging trends in financial products like crypto wallets and automated savings have driven innovation in digital banking and this has helped boost the sector’s growth. By keeping customers front of mind, and leveraging the value of human insights, banks can continue to grow and expand their offering to meet changing customer expectations.
“A key component of a customer-centric approach is customer empathy. Banks should know what issues are concerning their customers and this understanding through human insights can allow them to proactively address those concerns or issues before they become real pain points in the customer journey.”
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