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The Year of the P’s for Customised, Secure Banking Services

As the financial industry prepares for the year ahead, we reflect on the technology advancements that have emerged and ponder those on the horizon. We see consumers clamouring for the latest and greatest tools – whether the use be personal or professional – and increasingly understand their desire to receive the same level of high tech, tailored service from their financial institutions. At the same time, consumers are more aware than ever of the data mining taking place – they experience it when they log into Facebook and see advertisements for items they recently searched; they see news reports on data breaches occurring at the retailers they frequent. As banks look to recast their focus in 2015 seeking to strike a balance between integrating customized retail banking services and ensuring the protection of customer data, they should be keeping a few key P’s in mind:

Personalisation. Consumers are increasingly demanding a value-proposition, where their needs are better met and services come fully customised. Doing so requires that banks collect and leverage data -including Personally Identifiable Information (Pii); however, the access to and use of customers’ personal data without their prior consent is not legal. Furthermore, the European Data Privacy initiatives will, by 2016, regulate the utility and self-sovereignty of Pii data. Fortunately, technology is on the horizon that will provide ways for banks to gain that consent directly from their customers in an easy and regulatory compliant manner, changing the way banks are able to personalise their products and their approach to customer service.

Permissioning. To remain competitive, banks will need to identify and invest in new tools designed to empower consumers to directly and independently grant this necessary approval to access Pii. Much of Europe and Canada already require this consent; with the U.S. moving closer to adopting the opt-in approach to customer communication. We expect that banks will need to develop and deploy customer-centric tools for permissioning (essentially, mobile technology applications that put customers in the driver’s seat to review requests and grant permission to use and share their Pii).

Provisioning. Mobile apps add convenience to every aspect of our lives. Soon, they will enable consumers to easily access and review requests to permission their Pii data, and then empower them to provision this information in real-time across a secure privacy bridge, providing it directly to the bank. From a smartphone or tablet, consumers will be able to control their own data and share it with their financial institution or another regulated entity on a demand basis.

Participatory. Engaging consumers and inviting more interaction is another key theme; even with a growing number of modern, self-service banking options, each emphasizing the personal service they receive. More frequent and varied touch points often result in greater client-retention. It also gives a bank’s customers a greater sense of comfort with the personal information they are sharing with the institution; making them more likely to return for a new account or a loan.

Partnerships: To create economies of scale, reduce implementation costs, improve customer service and increase security, it will be critical for banks to work in co-opetition and rely on strategic partners. Many individually lack the resources to invest in such technology while also managing compliance and security on their own. Financial institutions will be well-advised to evaluate current strategic partners and explore new relationships that can make it possible to change how they interact with customers and collect and leverage Pii data.

The availability and richness of customer data is a great thing for banks, businesses and end-consumers alike. Never before have offerings and services been as custom and pertinent. At the same time, it poses major problems if the customer data is not used in a way that is secure, ethical and compliant with new and forthcoming regulations. It is up to banks to find that balance by uniting the right technology, the right approach and the right partners. 



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