Why finance & banking face a new Wild West
It's almost exactly 100 years since the last stagecoach robbery. Ever since, banks and thieves have been locked in a battle of wits. But today's tussles are being fought in a new Wild West — and the criminals often appear to be winning.
The last stagecoach robbery took place near Jarbridge, Nevada, in December 1916. Robbers ambushed the wagon, killed the driver and made off with $4,000 in bills and gold coins.
But the case also made history for another reason: It was the first time in American history that a murderer was convicted and sent to prison by the use of palm print evidence. Suddenly, the authorities had the upper hand, if you excuse the pun (though the money has never been found).
However, in today's world of money transfers, the balance of power seems to be tilting the other way — with banks and financial companies going to a gunfight, armed only with a penknife.
Welcome to the New West
Today, a new Wild West has emerged where it's possible for felons to plunder customer details and sometimes extract millions — before the law has got its boots on. Thieves are smarter, swifter and subtler. The crimes are still as brazen as a bank stick-up ... but the impact is far-reaching.
In 2014 JP Morgan Chase had the sensitive financial and personal information of 76million households and 7 million small businesses compromised. It was estimated that the cost would be $1billion. Global Payment Inc. found that 1.5 million card accounts had been breached affecting credit and debit card information. It was reported to have cost them $90million.  Citibank’s online banking systems reportedly had a ‘known technical vulnerability’ resulting in 360,000 credit card holders being affected at a cost of an estimated $19.4million
How the West was won
Warnings are great but action is needed. Just like in the old Wild West, thieves strike at specific points of vulnerability — like the lonely stagecoach rolling through the open prairie or the town bank's wobbly wooden doors, easily blown apart by a stick of dynamite.
Here are three areas of potential weakness where military-grade protection is needed by banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to keep winning:
#1 Secure transactions
Ultra-robust PCI DSS is needed when customers login, make payments or carry out money transfers via the web, mobile apps, IVR systems or when speaking to contact center agents. Fortunately, solutions exist today for banks and financial companies that will thwart criminals at every step.
#2: Secure self-service
Today's customers demand greater control 24/7. But giving them extra freedom can risk lowering the drawbridge and letting in thieves at the same time. However, solutions are now available that enable secure self-service across multiple channels.
#3: Secure Omni-Channel service
More bank and finance customers are expecting an integrated experience that moves seamlessly between web, Live Chat, mobile and voice channels. Now it's possible to offer free-spirited Omni-Channel service without any weak links in security. Get the ebook here.
- Eckoh has vast experience in the banking and financial services sector, providing solutions for the likes of Allied Irish Bank, Bank of America, CIMA, Charles Schwab, Client Financial Services, First Data, FIS, Northern Trust and Wells Fargo. Read our client stories here.
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