As today’s digital age continues to boom, industries across the board are feeling pressure to transform their digital capabilities to keep up with increasing consumer demands. Consumers have come to expect instant gratification and immediate access to services and information, and technology has played an instrumental role in helping businesses meet these new customer standards. In the consumer’s eye, digital is the new demand — and this no longer applies to just social media applications.
Take the banking industry, for example. According to Accenture LLP’s recent study, “Banking Customer 2020,” some customers have gone completely digital. In fact, 20 percent of bank customers are digital-only users, preferring to prospect and purchase online.
This startling statistic speaks to the immense pressure on businesses to embrace digital transformation — not only in the hopes of gaining new tech-savvy customers, but as a necessity to keep current customers happy and coming back.
Over the years, banks have taken numerous steps toward virtualization in an effort to simplify the consumer experience: from the creation of the first printed check in the late 1700s to the introduction of the ATM in the late 1960s. So, with the big push for digital transformation, what are banks doing today to achieve digital status and acceptance in the eyes of consumers?
They are beginning to introduce new services to meet the customers’ growing needs, making banking more convenient, efficient and accessible than ever before. Features such as video tellers and virtual ATMs have grown in popularity as the next generation of digital banking shifts toward virtualization.
And it turns out that the increasing demand for virtualization in banking benefits more than just the busy consumer who is constantly on-the-go. Banks are also benefiting from the use of virtual video visits, which help deepen consumer relationships with branch staff.
As is always the case with the deployment of new technology, there remains the question of security. In today’s digital world, if an application does not have a high level of security to keep customers’ private and confidential information protected, then it’s worthless. A security-first design is at the core of successful digital banking applications. After all, according to data from the Federal Reserve Board, 73 percent of consumers do not use mobile banking because they have concerns about the security of the technology, and 68 percent do not use mobile payments for that same reason.
As technology advances, so does the potential threat of cyberattacks — meaning that confidential information (i.e., credit card numbers, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers) becomes at-risk in the hands of hackers. Because of this risk, a security-first design is the most vital step in a company’s digital transformation process. Consumers are unlikely to trust a virtual application service if it is not first and foremost backed by a high degree of trusted security.
Designing a digital application that prioritizes security does not only benefit the consumer, however. There are numerous ways in which a secure design is advantageous for companies in the banking industry. Achieving robust security is a fundamental requirement for any application in the banking industry – meaning that security requirements must be at the heart of the application’s design, before any other part of the process has begun.
Another point worth noting is that security can be designed and built-in, but it cannot be tested-in. Attempting to layer security into an application after it has been developed simply will not work. As new threats arise daily, banking applications must be secure in order to survive for a reasonable time frame, giving businesses a shot at a positive ROI.
Achieving security for today’s known threats is hard enough. Building a system that is adaptable and flexible enough to meet future needs is possible, but it does require a concerted security-first approach.