Balancing robust security and a great user experience
The banks of the future are transforming rapidly to be data-driven through the use of technology, while remaining purpose-oriented and efficiency-focused to embrace evolving business models. Most importantly, they strive to put customers at the centre of every strategy.
To keep both customers and regulators happy, banks will need to find solutions that blend security with convenience. They should aim to optimise the user experience and minimise security risks, which, in many cases, is easier said than done.
In today’s digital age, technologies like blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) make this possible — they both strengthen security and trust among customers and enable seamless user experiences. But to truly optimise security and user experience, digital systems and humans need to work together rather than in silos.
To execute this balancing act, banks can approach security and innovation through user-centred design (UCD) and design thinking, thereby putting the user at the centre of product development.
The great thing about these approaches is that they do not just consider the “hard” technical and functional needs of customers, but also their “soft” behaviours, beliefs, and emotions. Banks can, thus, discover and deploy solutions that address customers’ unique, real-world contexts and not just in a best-case, controlled environment.
This is important because the majority of security breaches are caused by human error or negligence. Even though governments and businesses tout the importance of cybersecurity being a “shared responsibility,” it's the consumers who still get the brunt of the blame when a breach occurs.
For example, one-time passwords (OTP) offer an added layer of protection by making users confirm their identities through their mobile phones. But this is only secure if users do not share their OTP with others. As experience shows, that’s not always the case. One could say that the customer bears some fault, but perhaps they are simply part of a flawed system to begin with. If banks are not able to reconcile security and customer experience, they risk aggravating and losing loyal customers who endure lose-lose situations.
UCD and design thinking allow banks to iterate and discover the most seamless and user-friendly solutions for their customers, who can then enjoy financial services without sacrificing security.