Banking In Silos

Posted by Claire Scholz on 14 August 2019
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The Problem. 

Banks have historically purchased software in pieces, silos. Why? It is a result of client type and channel specific requirements. This resulted in large technology providers; such as IBM, to build a client executive strategy, focused on a specific set of products. Let me share an example:  

Say you're a technologist with a budget. You focus on risk and fraud, and you have an account executive that would learn your line of business, your requirements, your needs – ultimately, your silo. They would implement a specific risk product and professional service to go along with it, but in order to do so, layered on top would be a specific integration, essentially a set of handcuffs to the technology. 

This was okay at the time because client journeys and experiences weren't changing at the rapid pace they are today. Nothing other than the advance of the internet, followed mobile apps really forced banks and large technology providers to rethink their monopoly and silo approach to business.  

 

Times Have Changed.  

The speed in which customers demand service/instant answers and customized offerings is continuously progressing. It's astonishing to think that Instagram is able to provide more tailored recommendations based on pattern and regression models than bankers are able to give for financial advice.  

Now that customers are demanding better service and customized experiences, how are banks to keep on track and change with pace? How are they going to deal with FinTechsocial networks, and Amazon trying to steal their clients? Will the notion of "trust" be enough? 

So how will banks keep up with the change? What choices do they have to make in order to adapt and change at the same speed in order to stay relevant?  

As a technology company trying to sell into banksI am continuously trying to place myself in their shoes, to understand what and how we can enable them to rethink their business models. What have I come up with? Identity. That's the currency, as David Birch says, and the path to not only rebuild what could be the new payments rail. Having said this, what many people don't realize is that identity is also a data re-aggregation tool.  

 

Think About It. 

Historically, banks have purchased different pieces of software to perform specific functions that each build a "client profile" – Essentially, each one creating another "Bianca's identity" over time, and these records are the so-called tremendous amounts of data that the banks have today. The issue is that all this data is siloed, or disaggregated. The bank cannot join and make sense of the 7-14 "Bianca's" they have on file. There is no way to fully understand a customer to better offer a bundled service. 

 

Here is a real-life example of what happened to me: 

My bank pre-approved me for a mortgage in private banking. Then, a few months later, my apartment building was completed, and I called to check what remaining paperwork the bank required for me to proceed with occupancy. I received an email back saying, "We don't have this approval." I then had to send them not only their own pre-approval letter, but was forced to go through the entire mortgage process again. Why did this happen? Because the bank had changed systems and lost the original record of approval. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one with this kind of story. And this isn't my worst banking story, it's just the easiest to get out in 4 sentences!  

Bank to my main point – how does identity enable banks to better identify, better understand and better predict their clients? 

Banks need to rebuild on top of existing infrastructure, centralizing the one thing that could live as an abstraction layer between the old and the new. Don't worry, it's simpler than it sounds. Look at Walgreen's and what they did with photo booth printing in stores  It's brilliant. They used an old asset, abstracted the interaction, and made it frictionless for the end client by exposing API's in a centralized fashion.  

BioConnect is that for all things identity, offering biometric expertise and fundamentally believing you can #BeYou to prove who you are.  

 

What We Do and How We Do It  

We have built a platform for authentication and biometrics; where there is only one Bianca, where what makes Bianca unique are all the things that are hers and only hers, the things she touches, owns and accesses. 

This centralized identity lives in between the old enterprise stack and the new innovations and products that will use this the technology for identification and authentication. It will enable the identity of the user to be the variable where the context data gets attached to; the audit logs, the history  so that no one forgets that Bianca was pre-approved for her mortgage  even if it is an old system. How? Simple, using the API call used to access that old system travelled with the identity token of Bianca which logged that history and data in a centrally unified fashion.  

This allows for innovation of just about everything as identity becomes the dynamic brain for authentication of modular platforms. So, let's talk about the platform; the engine behind what makes this really powerful.  

Think of a customizable, dynamic brain that can decided if you are you, or not. Like when you call a friend or your parents and they (without checking Caller ID) automatically know who you are. 

This is what the BioConnect AdminConsole is for the enterprise. A way for machines to react differently, just like humans do, depending on the context of the situation. It offers modular variables for the enterprise human to decide where they place their acceptance or challenge. 

For example – if I work on the security team for an enterprise and based on research and known facts, I know where the location of most fraud for my customers originatesI would take this opportunity to place a heavier weight on authentication in that location versus a different location. Depending on the known information I could even decide which cell phone brand (Device ID) for which most fraud occurs and apply the same challenge settings.  

The example above offers bare minimum variables to get the point across, but think of numerous variables that the bank could utilize; the channel, product owners, customers, transaction amounts, geography, frequency, device, time, patterns of access, etc. Essentially a variable is granted a weight that can change; whether it learns overtime or is manually adjusted based on the situation. 

So now, imagine the enterprise being able to decide that all email money transfers done on Samsung Galaxy's in Toronto on Sunday at 2 AM are risky. Anyone who meets the above criteria are going to perform transactions that will be considered risky, even if they are not. The bank could select the risk variables and the platform allows them to attach one, or a combination of authentication methods that customers have registered in the central system to secure said transactions.  

The key here is that the product or channel owner in the enterprise can also decide on the combination of available variables, take into consideration their own desired product results and create the best authentication experience for their customers.

Find out more how BioConnect can help make client security frictionless using Biometrics. 

 

Topics: FinTech, Innovation, Digital Security