Gaining Trust in Mobile Financial Services: Achieving Security and Performance

By Cheryl Chiodi, Industry Marketing Manager: Financial Services, Akamai Technologies, Inc.


Mobile banking is growing faster than ever, according to a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Mobile Phone Users: H1 2014 Forecast and Comparative Estimates.” The report states that worldwide penetration of mobile technology is expected to reach 2.5 billion users by 2017. This explosion of devices provides a unique opportunity for financial institutions to deliver an exceptional user experience while simultaneously reaping the benefits of diminished transaction costs from an average $4.25 to just 10 cents per transaction1. However, financial institutions must gain their client’s trust and prove that they are able to provide reliable and secure mobile experiences.

Building Trust through Mobile Security in Financial Services

Financial institutions must embrace mobile technology as a critical part of the digital transformation to fully engage with their customers, and thereby find ways to build trust around this low-cost channel to compete and increase revenue. According to the March 2015 Federal Reserve Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report, customers are concerned about the security risks of mobile banking, and with good reason. In January, 2014, security firm IOActive analyzed 40 banking apps3 from various institutions. Over 90% exposed their users to vulnerabilities, and many were embarrassing flaws such as storing sensitive information in unencrypted databases in the device itself or not validating the authenticity of SSL certificates before making a connection back to the bank.

Financial services IT experts must make data security the cornerstone of their mobile device strategy with a full understanding of the differences in security between the desktop and mobile world. In many cases, for example, visual indicators of a secured connection are omitted from a mobile app, so the user has no idea if the connection is secured or not. Network encryption, secure authentication, minimal data storage, and passcode locking ensure the financial institution’s enterprise data can be securely transmitted to its mobile users. Today’s modern work platform offers solutions to mobile-enable a financial institution’s enterprise applications and processes while maintaining a high level of security and access control without compromising performance.

Reasons Consumers Do Not Use Mobile BankingAkamai Image

Source: March 2015 Federal Reserve — Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report

Performance as Trust Factor

Securing mobile transactions is not enough to satisfy users’ expectations. Mobile site and mobile app performance are also important factors for a financial institution’s customers.  According to recent market research by Akamai, 49% of mobile customers expect a site to download in two seconds or less, while one in five expect a site to download instantly. When a site or app is slower, or doesn’t perform to user expectations, it can affect a customer’s trust in their financial institution, and can create a negative brand image. Mobile sites and apps are the face of financial services institutions in an increasingly competitive online and mobile financial world and a negative web experience could increase the likelihood that a customer switches to a competitor. According to recent Forrester research, 34% of consumers will switch to a competitor if the mobile app performance doesn’t satisfy their expectations.

Delivering the experiences customers expect can be particularly challenging on mobile platforms, given the variability and complexities of the many devices, screen sizes, resolutions, and connection speeds. In order to fully realize performance gains, financial institutions must first understand their baseline. Real user monitoring (RUM) measures performance as experienced by actual users and provides the data financial institutions need to make necessary adjustments to optimize for each experience.

With a commitment to delivering high-quality, secure experience across any channel, on any device, at any time, financial institutions can continue to gain the trust of their customers as they embrace mobile as a critical part of their digital transformation journey.


Contact:  Cheryl Chiodi


About Akamai

Akamai is the global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services, making the Internet fast, reliable and secure for its customers. The company’s advanced web performance, mobile performance, cloud security and media delivery solutions are revolutionizing how businesses optimize consumer, enterprise and entertainment experiences for any device, anywhere.


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