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Maria Hudson, Head of Corporate Marketing, Xura

After enjoying many years of goodwill, banks are witnessing an erosion of trust as customers lose confidence in how their personal data is being protected in an increasingly digital world.

Trust, however, is “the major banks’ biggest asset”, according to a recent report by Deloitte, so it’s perhaps little wonder that financial service providers are continuously looking for new ways by which to restore this trust in their services.

With this in mind, new entrants to the market are completely ripping up the banking rule book. In April, the launch of mobile-only Atom Bank saw the beginning of a new age of banking for a “digital generation”. Designed to appeal to those consumers who use their mobile devices in practically every aspect of their lives, and who rarely, if ever, interact with the big banks’ high street branches, the bank’s app employs a range of innovative features. Chief among these is biometric authentication, which uses, fingerprint, facial and voice recognition to verify the identity of its customers.

In doing so, the challenger bank has added its voice to a growing group of companies who recognise the benefits of biometric authentication. HSBC, First Direct, Barclays and Nationwide are just some of the more established names that have recently introduced biometric technology, alongside passcodes for their online, app and phone customers, not only for increased security, but for greater convenience.

In an age where consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the security of their data, by offering rich, sophisticated multi-authentication techniques such as biometrics alongside traditional passwords or one-time codes, it creates a greater level of trust between the consumer and their financial service provider.

A desire for human interactions

To enhance the experience of their customers and win back their trust, banks should consider how they can improve the convenience of all aspects of their mobile offering. Indeed, a report by KPMG suggests there is a real desire from more than half of all global banking customers for social, personalised and ‘human’ interactions to be integrated into their banks’ mobile and online applications.

For example, when dealing with their bank via a mobile device, consumers are increasingly interested in replicating the experience of the messaging services such as WhatsApp and FaceTime to which they’ve become accustomed.

Recent advances in rich communication technology, however, such as Real-Time Communication (RTC), are now enabling banks to provide customers with a mobile experience that suits their lifestyle, providing real-time interactions such as instant messaging, video calls, and the encrypted sharing of screens and files.

Not only can such features improve the functionality of an app, but they can also add that desired “human touch”. Then, by combining this rich communication technology with security features such as multi-factor authentication and biometric authentication techniques, it’s possible for customers to fully interact with a bank remotely without ever having to visit their branch.

Context at the heart of every transaction

Employing rich communication technology means context around a user is always at the heart of every online or mobile transaction.

It means, for instance, that when a customer initiates communication with their bank, and their identity is authenticated, their chat, voice or video call can be routed to the most appropriate member of staff available, who is provided with full access to the customer’s banking history or can pull relevant contextual information directly from the customer’s web screen or mobile app if need be.

With this information to hand, the call handler will be able to quickly and satisfactorily resolve the situation, whether they’re in a branch or a call centre. As well as delivering substantial cost savings to the bank, the personalised feel of the service, expedited process and the peace of mind it offers go toward increasing the loyalty of the customer.

The integration of rich communication technology such as RTC with sophisticated biometric authentication techniques will support banks in their efforts to improve their remote interactions with customers, allowing them to conduct secure, personalised two-way dialogues across any device.

With over six billion devices expected to be WebRTC-capable by 2019, and with more applications and services available than ever for connecting and communicating with customers, banks hoping to improve customer loyalty and restore trust must take advantage of the opportunities that the digital revolution presents.

The launch of Atom Bank back in April saw the dawn of a new way for consumers to interact with financial service providers. With the current authentication and rich communication technology only set to grown in sophistication, it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.

Global Banking & Finance Review


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