Digital banking security 101: Protecting your customer's data

By Mandy Pattenden, Marketing Communications Director

The COVID-19 fueled rise in digital banking adoption means that in the coming months, more and more consumers will be making use of direct bank transfers to pay for goods and services.

Offering the ideal solution for consumers that never want to miss a collection deadline for recurring payments like mobile subscriptions and utility bills, the appeal of setting up a regular payment so you can simply get on with life is easy to understand.

Plus, many savvy consumers are finding they can benefit from the money-saving incentives that are on offer should they elect to make a direct payment from their bank account.

However, organizations that want to keep in step with evolving customer behaviors will need to keep in mind that forging lasting loyal relationships begins with gaining their trust when it comes to guarding their privacy and their payment details.

That is especially true when it comes to sharing highly personal information, such as their bank account number.

The impact of trust on consumer confidence and purchasing behavior

New research from Dasera reveals that customer trust in how businesses use or protect their data is lower than ever. Headline news stories have served to make consumers hyper-wary about the security of their data. Indeed, according to Dasera, just 21% of consumers now trust big brands with their personal information.

However, the Dasera report reveals that 32% of consumers trust businesses more when they know meeting compliance requirements mean brands must handle their personal data in a regulated way. This explains why 68% of consumers will actively check an organization’s security and regulatory compliance certifications before deciding to transact.

Interestingly, the research also found consumers feel more assured if they encounter a tangible security layer of security when handing over sensitive information like payment details.

This should serve as a wake-up call for organizations that want to take secure bank payments over the phone or via digital channels.

Giving customers what they want – peace of mind

Security and protection against fraud loss is now top of mind for consumers who are now reliant on digital channels and remote options – like the contact center – in the face of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Organizations that want to give customers the option of setting up an automated recurring regular debit or ACH payments or making a one-off credit transfer from their account will need to ensure their contact center operation is set up to make it both secure and easy for customers to share their banking information.

This includes ensuring that any sensitive personal financial information is redacted from call recordings and that staff are appropriately trained in all related security protocols and processing methods.

To authorize payment, you’ll need to collect important information such as the customer name, bank name, account type and number and bank routing number or sort code. In much the same way as taking credit card payments, there are stringent guidelines relating to how you protect and process this sensitive information. In the US, this is regulated by Nacha and in the UK by Bacs.

When it comes to securing sensitive customer bank account information, best practices include employing encryption, utilizing appropriate network segmentation – including the VoIP Network – and ideally preventing banking data from entering the contact center entirely.

Plus, customers need to be confident that there is a process in place for them to exchange their banking details with contact center agents to kick-off the entire process from the get-go.

Securing banking information via the telephone

Whether you’re handling direct debit transactions or ACH transfers, Semafone’s Bankprotect Voice+ is a trusted solution for protecting customers’ sensitive banking information, while adhering to the security requirements set out by Nacha and Bacs.

Once the contact center agent reaches the point in the call when they need to securely capture a customer’s bank account information, they simply open the Semafone Bankprotect Voice+ page, place the call into Securemode, and ask the customer to enter their bank account number into their telephone keypad. Agents can see the status of the customer’s progress, but their sensitive bank data is hidden.

As well as giving customers the assurance of knowing that their sensitive banking information is being withheld from agents by masked DTMF tones, Semafone’s solution also checks the accuracy and validity of the account and routing/sort code numbers provided to ensure the proper account is debited. Following this verification process, the bank account details are made securely available to your CRM system for processing.

Moving ahead with confidence

Thriving and surviving in our post-COVID world depends more than ever on ensuring that the payment methods you offer are fully aligned with consumer demands. Today’s customers want a smooth and frictionless experience that is secure, but they also expect you to take care of compliance too.

Solutions like Semafone’s Bankprotect Voice+ addresses all these needs, providing a discernible layer of security that shows customers you take the protection of their banking data seriously.