Why “mobile-first” must mean “trust always”

Sherif Samy|05 June 2019
Why “mobile-first” must mean “trust always”

Trust is inherent in banking, and has been since the beginning, when people decided to store coins and bills in vaults. Sherif Samy, SVP: North America, explained in a podcast with PYMNTS.com on 26 February 2019 why pairing the trust factor with the mobile can help banks adopt a successful omnichannel approach to boost engagement.

There is quote attributed to Archimedes that goes something like this: “Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world.” In the banking world, amid the continued shift to digital services, the mobile device might just be the fulcrum; in other words, the central point that will help financial services become truly omnichannel.

Engagement is of paramount importance in financial services, no matter the setting — at branches, online or even through the internet of things (IoT). Even though banks want to bring customers into the digital fold (it saves time and money, and 58 percent of consumers prefer digital banking to other methods), there will always be a need to also serve them across physical locations. The goal for financial services then, is a unified service model.

Banks have an inherent advantage in place when seeking to bring new features and services to clients: trust. It’s an asset not to be squandered.

Trust at the beginning

The very idea of storing funds with a bank — in both digital and literal vaults — requires trust. Banks are grappling with a significant level of transformation tied to how they interact with consumers, and they need to find ways to serve several different demographics of consumers, from tech-savvy millennials to individuals who prefer to bank at physical locations.

For banks, it’s about transferring trust from the physical world to the virtual, digital world. To build confidence in embracing sophisticated technologies to conduct sophisticated transactions, the mobile device is an ideal tool. After all, the smartphone is a universal gadget that consumers have with them all the time, so it can be used in the branch, in the car, and even with a voice-activated assistant. If you take the mobile device as the primary factor of identification and authentication for the consumer, combining identity with that device means the consumer is holding in their hand the portal and the key for all the other channels accessible, and valuable, in an omnichannel banking relationship.

The device will tell banks where the consumer is at a certain moment, so they can engage that user with an eye on context — offering special services tied to location, or sending push notifications to ask for transaction approvals, in an effort to combat fraud. It’s a type of healthy friction that a consumer will ultimately come to value.

Leveraging the trust factor

Leveraging the inherent trust in the consumer-bank relationship at its beginning, and as it evolves over time in the digital realm, will also give rise to consumers feeling more comfortable with higher-value transactions, and value-driven banking services. At present, financial institutions are moving at a calculated pace to enable users to do more on their mobile devices than they might have done previously — well beyond checking balances or transferring money. Technology is the core driver, and security is the enabler, in getting consumers to latch onto new use cases, for example, a transaction that could impact a credit score, and how an alert might make that consumer think twice about taking on an additional credit burden. Thus, the relationship with the bank becomes an advisory one — a shift that will likely transform the branch experience itself.

As they slowly adapt, consumers will really start to understand the power that’s in their hands.

About the author

Sherif Samy

Sherif Samy

SVP North America

Sherif manages Entersekt’s North American business, where his experience in establishing brand presence and building strategic partnerships positions us well for growth. A perfect fit at Entersekt, he has long been focused on cyber security, digital Identity, and payments innovation in fintech.

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