Lack of trust impedes banking communications

By Frans Labuschagne, Country Manager, Entersekt
It’s getting increasingly difficult to build trust in the digital era...

It’s getting increasingly difficult to build trust in the digital era.

While financial institutions need to be vigilant against cybercriminals, so too do consumers need to be wary of compromised and fraudulent correspondence from banks. So, while these organisations are, quite rightly, engrossed in fortifying their systems, defending against threats and verifying the legitimacy of their customers, they may forget that they also need to prove trustworthiness.

According to a survey conducted in March 2020 by YouGov on behalf of Entersekt, 2,300 UK consumers were asked to share their experiences regarding banking-related digital communications. The results showed that more than one-third (34%) of respondents did not trust digital communications from their bank and so ignored them. 

And now, as we find ourselves in unprecedented times when more of us are having to rely on digital channels through which to bank, these findings are even more concerning. So, what can financial institutions do to improve their trustworthiness and ensure their communication strategies engage their customers, helping them determine what’s important and what could be fraud? 

A starting point would be to open a trusted line of communication; one that doesn’t rely on the well-documented, easily compromised text and email channels, and which elevates itself above the deluge of spam and robocalls consumers receive daily. One way of doing this is to use a secure banking app –a channel consumers often use that’s on a device that’s always with them. 

To leverage a banking app in this way, it’s important that the mobile channel is sufficiently protected. Digital certificates simultaneously reassure the bank and the client of the authenticity of both parties. Adding further levels of protection – end-to-end encrypted data and a second two-way communication channel between users’ mobile devices and the bank – helps to ensure true security.

Once the security is locked down, a bank’s app provides it with a safe environment from which it can establish a dialogue with its customers; an experience consumers say they want – the ability to engage in matters that are important to them. 

For example, perhaps a customer has just landed overseas. The app recognises this and sends a prompt reminding the user to activate their card so they can use it in that country. A few taps later and the card is ready to use. In the unfortunate case of suspected fraudulent activity, the client can easily and immediately notify the bank, and disable the card or freeze the account depending on the nature of the fraud. Messages can be sent notifying customers of updates, PIN delivery, and insurance upgrades, depending on changing situations.

By concentrating on customer needs and wants, this type of secure messaging allows a bank to step into the role of a trusted financial advisor, assisting customers in their financial decision making to promote financial wellness. The key is to establish a dialogue. Communication and trust is a two-way street; talking at someone is a sure-fire way to have them ignore you. Only when they trust you, will they listen.

This article was contributed by Frans Labuschagne, Country Manager at Entersekt

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