According to a Harris Poll/Feedzai survey, only around 25% of Americans trust banks with their data.

One clear path to regaining that trust is to via robust ID protection services.

“While consumers may not think about the complex wiring and plumbing of companies and organizations and how they wheel and deal personal data, there is an expectation that they’re using the latest technology, such as machine learning, to protect it, said Nuno Sebastiao, CEO at Feedzai. “While trust with merchants and companies is varied from person to person, all of these organizations need to live up to the expectation by not breaking consumer trust.”

“There is still a long way to go to make people trust the firms they share their data with,” Sebastiao added.

A Path to Trust, Via Technology

A study from Salesforce offers more downbeat news for banks on the consumer trust front – but the study does offer a clue on how identity protection is a key in bank’s regaining consumer trust. According to Salesforce, while just 26% of U.S. adults agree with the statement that banks have their best interests in mind, a clear majority say that the key for banks in regaining their trust is preferably through technology (especially among millennials).

That combination – technology and trust – is exactly what identity protection products and services brings to the banking table. While financial consumers are still finding out how vulnerable their data is, ID protection services present a natural extension of a bank’s services, and something that customers would expect from the institution that handles their money.

Three Steps to Increased Trust with Bank Customers, Leveraging Identity Protection Services

Consumers increasingly view identity protection services as a good way for corporations to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding customer data. A separate study shows that a clear majority of Americans are more likely to do business with a company that does a good job of protecting their identities.

Consequently, facing increased competition from fin/tech firms and digital financial services providers, banks need to get into the identity protection, and sooner rather than later.

Here are three ways why offering ID protection services shouldn’t be a luxury for banks – it should be a necessity.

  1. Getting ahead of the issue will resonate with bank customers.
    According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 48% of consumers see themselves as most responsible for protecting their identity and 42% believe their financial institution is second most responsible. That’s almost half of financial consumers who have lost trust in banks to safeguard their data and that equation has to change. Thus, banks must not only do a stellar job of reacting to data breaches and stopping them cold, they must also develop solid preventative-based identity threat programs. Banks should have identity theft prevention systems that can detect fraud activity instantaneously, before the customers reports suspicious activity in their accounts. (After all, customers don’t want to be the ones reporting fraud to banks.) They want banks to be upfront and responsive to fraud and report any breach activity to them – and the sooner the better. If a bank does suffer a data breach, the way to win favor with customers is to be proactive and to resolve resolutions quickly, with minimum disruptions to the customer.
  2. Offer complimentary personal identity theft protection programs.
    Banks that provide complimentary identity theft protection programs at minimum costs to customers, will go a long way in building trust with that customer, especially those who have already been victimized by identity theft. Given the rising anxiety across the globe over data breaches, offering free identity theft protection services from a trusted provider like Experian is an effective, yet a relatively inexpensive way to help customers feel better about their data being secured, and plants a healthy seed of trust with that customer going forward.
  3. Be transparent and make your customer a partner in fighting ID theft.
    Financial institutions can build further credibility with clients by offering “on the spot” identity protection services fraud activity alerts and other real-time notifications related to the safety of their accounts. Additionally, providing 24/7 online access to a security partner’s identity theft alert center ensures your customers won’t have to delay acting; they can address potential fraud immediately, with the help of the financial institution.

Here are some additional ID protection services banks can offer customers, by partnering with identity theft providers like Experian:

  • Daily three-bureau or single-bureau credit monitoring of 50 leading indicators of identity theft.
  • Internet monitoring for their Social Security number, and credit and debit card accounts.
  • National change of address database monitoring.
  • Demand deposit account monitoring.
  • Lost wallet protection.
  • Education resource center with valuable articles on identity theft protection.
  • Alerts delivered via email, SMS, letter or website.

Partnering up With Customers with Robust ID Protection Services

By emphasizing the three issues customers care about on identity protection – theft prevention, theft resolution, and theft recovery – financial institutions can build a platform of trust and credibility with customers, who feel more empowered than ever in choosing a financial institution.

When banks show customers they’re in their corner on identity protection, they’re laying the first planks in a sturdy platform of trust that can last for decades, and through generations of client households, if they do the job right.

That job starts now, with identity protection a huge priority for banks, aimed squarely at customers who already view ID protection as a big issue, and who’ll take their business to a financial institution that feels the same way.