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Insights Digital & Analytics

The Need to Reinvent Trust

Saba Shariff March 12, 2019
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The world’s most valuable currency is worth more than gold or bitcoin. Finding it can be more elusive than mining for diamonds. And that currency, is Trust.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of everything realtime and everything digital, Trust is often broken – which is why we need to Reinvent Trust.

The ease with which an organization can determine the “trustworthiness” of their customers and their actions can make the difference between gaining new customers and losing existing ones.

Imagine the experience of a customer new to a bank who’s trying to open a new account. The information requested, time required and the entire onboarding process can either be a great customer experience, or one that leads to high friction and customer abandonment. Abandon rates for online banking applications are now at an all-time high of 97.5%. 

Before being onboarded, customers must pass a bank’s trust test, however, it’s difficult for a bank to establish that Trust these days and that’s because today, more than ever before, we have a Trust Gap.

This is the gap between the Known and Trusted and the Unknown and Untrusted. It’s the chasm a bank needs to overcome to make a decision – a decision to onboard a customer – a decision to extend credit – a decision to allow or deny a transaction.

Closing the Trust Gap has never been more difficult in today’s world. Here are some reasons why:

When 60% of bank traffic comes from bots and not trusted customers … how does a bank know who to let in or who to block?

In a world where synthetic ID fraud accounts for 85% of ID related fraud … how does a bank know who’s a real customer and who’s not?

If fraud will account for 40% of credit write-offs by 2021 … how does a bank meet lending objectives without slowing things down?

When the UN notes that 80% of cybercrime and cyberfraud is committed by Organized Criminal activity … how does a bank compete with those who have unlimited funds and all sorts of motivation?

And, in a world where data breach and stolen personal credentials have led to a record rise in account takeovers … how does a bank protect customers while minimizing friction? How can the banks manage the balance between fraud prevention and customers’ demand for speed and instant gratification?

In this world, it’s harder than ever before to know whether or not the person a bank is dealing with is who they say there are and whether they’re a good guy or a bad guy.

In this world, it’s clear that Trust needs to be redefined, if not reinvented.

The challenge is that banks must navigate this increasingly fraught cyber and fraud environment to maintain/earn customer TRUST while remaining nimble to meet consumers’ expectations for immediate gratification.

The impact of not doing so can be quite significant to the bottom line: 43% per cent of businesses said they have moved their banking activities elsewhere after a fraud incident.

There is hope and promise though – from our vantage point at Symcor, we can say there is. We know that Canadian banks take their fraud and cyber fighting efforts seriously, and we believe that through collaboration, the use of AI and high-quality networked data we can all make a difference and Reinvent Trust. This is the game changer. And this is what our COR.IQ platform sets out to do.

Fraud comes from falsifying data, impersonating a person, an account or a transaction. When there’s the right data on the other side, such falsification becomes nearly impossible.

Although bad actors may know enough about the system to beat a basic rule, it’s difficult for them to replicate the complex pattern of machine learning and disparate data sources. Whereas in the past, we relied on things like batch processing and face to face interactions to establish Trust.

As we move increasingly towards real-time and ubiquitous payments, we must now rely on automation, AI and data to make better and faster decisions.

The positive impact of having your customers Trust can be great.

By 2022, digital businesses with great customer experience during identity corroboration will earn 20% more revenue than comparable businesses with poor customer experience.1

If as a bank, you could reinvent Trust, what impact would that have on your business:

How many more customers would you retain?

How many more customers could you onboard?

How much more protected would you feel against the threat of disruption – whether that be from Fintechs or Big Tech?

Canadian FIs house just over $3T in deposits, yet more than a third of consumers report that they are underbanked or unbanked. Imagine the opportunities to make a difference there.

I do believe we can help to do all of these things – by reinventing Trust and closing the Trust Gap.

They say that data is the new oil. If that’s the case, then Trust is clearly the new currency. At Symcor, we feel our clients’ Trust has been earned through a 20+ year track-record on safety and security, and we believe that the power from reinventing Trust is great.


Saba Shariff

Saba Shariff is an acknowledged leader at Symcor Inc., a leading provider of business processing and data management services, supporting major banks, insurance, retail, and telecommunications companies in Canada. As Head of New Product Development and Innovation, Saba leads a passionate team of professionals in designing new and exciting ways to solve real customer problems and leverage data to both improve today's services and discover new ones. With over 20 years of experience in IT and Product, Saba is a frequent public speaker in the private and public sector on topics such as Collaborations or Partnerships in Canada, and Breaking Stereotypes in Business Technology Management. In her spare time, Saba enjoys being active while managing the joys and tribulations of raising a teenage son.

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