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/   Insights

We're constantly being warned that fraud is one of the biggest threats facing the banking industry, but the true scale of this was revealed by a recent survey that suggests it could make up...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

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/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

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/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Identities are assets that can be commercialized. Outside of government organizations, who holds the greatest repository of trusted identities? If you guessed banks, you get a gold star. Banks around the world now have an excellent opportunity to create new business, increase loyalty, improve customer experience and mitigate risk using the vetted identity information they have worked so hard to build.

When we open an account at a bank, we have to prove our identity using an official identity document in a face-to-face meeting or during a secure online application process. Our identity information is then recorded to the bank systems, so you have continual access to the bank’s services and your money. These identities are stringently vetted and the identity attributes can be trusted.

Creating New Business Opportunities

For instance, in the Scandinavian region banks have been selling authentication services to third parties for years. On average, in one country an authentication event costs $0.30 for a third party service. These authentication events are consumed in services where vetted identities are required from eGovernment and healthcare to commercial services. Take $0.30 and multiple it by X, and you have a chance to grow revenue exponentially.

Outside of authentication, identity attributes can be delivered to third parties to help streamline the registration process by pre-filling form fields to online services, reducing the industry average of 70 percent cart abandonment rate. Furthermore as the identity is vetted and the attributes come from a trusted source, the bank, it can be very valuable in reducing online fraud.

Increase Customer Experience and Loyalty

Modern two-factor authentication methods no longer use the clunky one-time-password generators that need replacing when one is lost or runs out of battery power. Not to mention that the device is always at the wrong place when you need it. Mobile device based authentication methods provide an extremely easy way for end users to login not only to bank systems but to third-party services as well. If a customer can choose between yet another password or using a fingerprint reader on a smartphone, or using the camera for facial recognition, most would select the biometric method in a heartbeat. Ultimately, it’s all about customer experience and making it easier for your customers to conduct business with you.

Mobile device based methods also provide flexibility for the bank, the third party and for the end user. A simple transaction with a low value can be approved by just clicking “ok” on the screen. Higher value transactions could utilize a PIN code within the app, and sensitive/high value events would require biometrics.

Easy-to-use and convenient solutions generate more use. Loyalty increases when customers select your solutions over alternative methods because the user experience is so much better.

Mitigate Risk and Comply with Regulations

In Europe, the Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) is driving financial institutions towards two-factor authentication. Globally the demand for stronger, usable and convenient end-user authentication becomes more important each month. If you rely on authentication methods that the end-user can by mistake give to a malicious party, you are going to face challenges. Passwords and static one-time-passwords can be given to someone else.

Banks have a long tradition of offering stronger authentication options to their online users. These credentials that banks issue can be used to authenticate customers in other online sites as well and help them to mitigate risk.

How to Become an Identity Provider

When a user identity is transferred from one domain to another transparently, such as from the bank’s online system to an e-commerce site without re-authentication, it’s called federation. There are multiple standards available for creating these links between online sites. If a bank wishes to become an identity provider, they need to deploy software that can handle these federation links and at the same time connect to the bank’s user credential system and preferably offer alternative authentication method options, such as bank branded mobile application based systems.

Trust is the key in building these links and creating new business for banks. Banks around the world enjoy the status of being highly trustworthy organizations. In the digital identity world, bank issued identities can only be superseded by government issued digital identities. Becoming an identity provider is not a technical issue; the solutions to implement this have been in existence for a long time. Banks as identity providers have been proven to generate new revenue streams, increase customer loyalty and reduce risk and cost for the third parties using bank issued credentials when authenticating their own customers. For the banks, their customers and the online service providers, this is a fantastic win-win-win situation and an opportunity to further enable digital business to grow and thrive.

About Keith Uber: Keith Uber is Vice President of Sales Engineering for Identity and Access Management products at GlobalSign. He joined the company in 2009 and is a product expert leading a team responsible for consulting with customers to select, design, configure and deploy GlobalSign’s IAM product portfolio. Keith coordinates the IAM Academy training program for partners, customers and end-users. Keith has contributed his expertise to many large-scale governmental, corporate and research projects around the world.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.