A secure contactless customer experience on mobile in this new-normal

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Leonard Chong

By Leonard Chong, VP of Business Development, APJ

COVID-19 has altered customer behaviour, and banks will have to enhance their business models to accommodate what’s new and next. Since the pandemic is still very much part of our lives, banks will be confronted by increased customer expectations and the need to make customers and employees feel safe. Innovative online digital services will be needed to allow consumers to continue doing their essential and leisure activities without leaving their homes; leading to a new trend that’s likely here to stay – the contactless customer experience.

The transformation in online digital services and our push towards contactless customer experience, will be spearheaded by mobile. Amongst the many benefits it brings, mobile technology is also the obvious solution to overcome the logistical issues associated with having a physical branch office everywhere.

With contactless experiences, customers can continue to perform their transactions digitally without having to be physically present at any location. Our mobiles being an essential part of our lives will be the perfect platform. With rising mobile penetration rates, providing contactless customer experiences on mobile would be ideal for digital and financial inclusion, greater service adoption, and ultimately, faster mass market penetration.

Digital inclusion will drive financial inclusion which is a key driver of resilience in the face of economic shocks caused by COVID-19. Digital inclusion is important for the development of the economy as digital services can help our economies to recover. Digitally agile businesses and communities can adapt and recover more successfully in this new-normal. Financial inclusion allows people affected by the pandemic to start rebuilding their lives. It gives them the ability to access financial services to meet their essential needs. For the unbanked and underbanked, this inclusion helps them to make daily payments reliably. Getting these communities to be digitally inclusive makes it easier to financially include them by onboarding and providing them access to the financial system.

The future is contactless and these key features will allow for a secure contactless experience on mobile – secure and frictionless confirmation, eKYC, PKI, and paperless office. This developing trend has resulted from a greater shift towards health and wellness due to the threat of virus exposure at physical locations. With contactless, there is no physical human interaction, no touchscreens, and no need to be physically present at any location. All transactions are done remotely.

We use our mobiles for practically everything today, and it would be ideal to use it as a personal digital signature to securely confirm transactions. In this new-normal, customers expect frictionless and personalised experiences at any touch point. Providing secure and frictionless transaction confirmation methods on mobile would be key to address this evolving need, and the customer journey should be designed with mobile-centric experiences in mind.

In this era of the digitally savvy customer who may perceive any visit to a bank as a hassle, banks should focus on decreasing time-consuming and frustration-generating activities. New-normal customers are reducing face-to-face contact and want the ability to perform all types of financial transactions regardless of time and location. eKYC provides opportunities to open accounts remotely, and should be used for customer onboarding, identity verification and ongoing user authentication. This procedure is not only efficient, seamless and provides cost-savings, it also helps to increase a bank’s image.

We tend to take for granted the safeguards we have developed in the physical world to ensure the legitimacy of individuals we are dealing with. As online transactions grow, these physical security mechanisms have to be replicated to meet the needs of the digital world. We seek for reassurances that the claimed initiator of the transaction is actually legitimate. PKI ensures that level of security and trust for transactions conducted in digital. The digital signatures from PKI create persistent, tamper-resistant evidence which is critical to electronic transactions carrying high legal risks or compliance requirements.

Most banks sign a lot of paper documents with their customers, which leads to significant costs associated with printing, logistics, and storage. It also limits customer service to in-person interactions at a branch office. Expansion of services and growth in customers will lead banks to reduce the financial and time costs of paperwork, and lower the risk of errors. A paperless office provides an effective solution that uses digital channels to execute and digitally sign agreements, ensuring the integrity and authorship of these documents. It is more convenient and accessible for customers, and as secure and legally effective as traditional methods. It has extensive capabilities for resolving conflict situations in order to avoid legal risks that may arise if a customer disputes their operation.

We see the importance of digital and financial inclusion; how having frictionless confirmation, together with eKYC, PKI, and paperless office features, can deliver a secure mobile contactless customer experience to address the evolving needs of consumers. Any failure to meet these expectations, may result in a customer choosing a different bank. What’s important is the customers’ satisfaction and trust. Customer trust, after all, is the cornerstone of the digital economy.