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Managing Digital Clicks And Cyber Risks In Times Of Covid-19

Given the serious ramifications of security breach, it is critical for banks to not just invest in innovative cybersecurity solutions but also empower the consumer and build controls on the customer layer.

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India's 670 million internet users would rise to 914 million by 2027 and online shoppers would jump to 590 million from 190 million in 2020, Morgan Stanley said in a 53-page report India's Digital Economy in a Post-Covid-19 World released in May this year. We have also observed that Covid-19 has accelerated consumers’ adoption of digital banking and payments at a staggering pace, and most of this change in consumer behaviour is here to stay.

The projections seem to be on track. Since the pandemic and the consequent lockdown, banks have seen a double-digit growth in banking through internet, mobile and new-age digital channels such as Bots and social platforms like WhatsApp. We have also seen similar trends in our bank with four times increase in digitally on-boarded savings accounts during the lockdown. Customers using net and mobile banking have doubled in the last quarter, and so have investments in fixed deposits and SIPs through these channels.

The spurt in adoption of digital channels has certain inherent risks. With every new channel comes a new set of vulnerabilities. The evolving complexity and sophistication of cyberattacks, such as malware, spoofing, phishing and DDoS, has taken cyber risks to a whole new level. Digital payment frauds account for about half of all bank frauds in India. However, digital fraud management strategies are evolving too. Building trust in digital channels and transactions is paramount for us. To address this challenge, we have opted for a multi-layered approach in cybersecurity across multifactor authentication, risk-based access, behavioural biometrics and end-to-end encryption across the omnichannel framework.

We also use AI-enabled anomaly detection to ensure preventive monitoring of any untoward activities. Consumers, today, demand frictionless on-boarding and seamless transition while transacting across channels. The foremost challenge faced by most banks is setting the right balance between consumer experience across digital channels and managing fraud risk, regulatory compliance and data security. The effort is towards minimising downtime and avoiding disjointed customer journeys.

Given the serious ramifications of security breach, it is critical for banks to not just invest in innovative cybersecurity solutions but also empower the consumer and build controls on the customer layer. It is a four-pronged approach that includes robust regulation, card control implementation, application management features and customer education.

Such features are unique and implementing those while enhancing customer experience has always been our main priority. The features include:

1. The app enables biometric authentication, such as thumb imprint and face recognition, to log in and transact.

2. Our customers can manage limits, lock or unlock transactions, and renew or order new cards in the debit card management centre in our channels.

3. Step-up authentication with multiple factors is used to authorise transactions.

4. From a service perspective, we support online help in case a customer is stuck in the midst of a transaction. There is a click-to-call facility pinging our contact centre and the customer receives offline help through a call in 30 seconds.

Another novel feature is ‘Remote Wipe’. In case of an untoward incident such as the loss of a handset, the customer can wipe the app remotely through our contact centre. It is similar to blocking a card in case of loss.

Finally, we as a bank, have been actively spreading awareness of cybersecurity. From speaking to customer cohorts at camps and branch events to messaging on social media or through creative advertising, we have done it all. While enablement and engagement are critical for our newly-abled and growing base of digital customers, building trust is the key enabler, especially in this paradoxical environment where adoption and risk are growing hand in hand.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
Post-Covid-19 india economy digital banking Cyber Risks

Topendra Bhattacherjee

Head-Digital Banking, RBL Bank

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