Restoring trust with customers in a mobile world

Feb. 5, 2019

Restoring trust with customers in a mobile world

By Brett Lambing, Vice President of Global Solutions Engineering at Cybera


Data breaches that expose consumers valuable private and financial information seem to make the news on a regular basis and unfortunately it provides a surefire way to erode the trust of valued customers. Quite often these events affect millions of people. Recently, Marriott learned this the hard way when over 350 million customer passport numbers and 8.6 million credit cards were involved in a massive data breach. It has now turned into a full criminal investigation with many questions remain unanswered.

The seemingly unrelentless growth of mobile and smartwatch payments offers benefits but also known and unknown risks to protecting personal information. According to Allied Market Research, mobile payment will grow over 33% over the next few years, reaching in $4.5 billion by 2023. The main convenience of not carrying cash and easily paying a friend back proves to be a winning formula for mobile platform apps like Venmo, Zelle and Apple Pay.

With the increased popularity of using mobile payments and brand apps, the journey of unfortunate events like this starts with a business’ dedication to securing access at all points of possible entry to avoid this business nightmare. In order to curb costs, businesses have long relied on traditional VPNs for a growing population of mobile payers with highly-distributed remote sites, limited IT staff and tight budgets. However, data centers are now evolving to protect their own and customer assets by embracing innovative, multi-layered security solutions using Software-Defined WAN or, SD-WAN for short. Together with the right services, SD-WAN is well-suited to protect a variety of businesses from a data breach. SD-WAN technology offers deployment agility for distributed businesses, competitive cost structures, and high-performance connections to cloud-based services and applications.

Even if your business has never been affected by a data breach, your customers are at-best leery shoppers. According to a PWC survey, 87 percent of consumers will take their business to a competitor if they don’t trust a company to handle their data responsibly. Here are critical ways trust can be restored so retailers can be the preferred and trusted brand for consumer’s loyalty and purchasing funds.

Reputation – Consumers want convenience and have little patience for long lines. Brands that embrace the mobile payers with multiple payment options will win loyalty points. However, retailers should forgo creating their own payment apps and partner with reputable payment vendors such as Zelle and Square to makes transitions easy and safe for both parties.

Transparency - During a time of ongoing data breaches, it is vital that companies clearly communicate the importance of security and compliance and how they serve their customers to mitigate risk. If a data breach occurs, immediate and clear communication via email and social must happen, along with outlining concise steps of precautionary measures that are being be taken to ensure another breach doesn’t occur again.

Improvements - Communication should continue even after the data breach is resolved to educate customers about the company’s enhanced security policies. Research shows that 92 percent believe companies must be proactive about data protection and not wait for government regulation. Given the costly ramifications of a data breach, companies must invest in security infrastructure such as, expert staffing and companies that have a proven track-record of IT security and compliance.

Control – Consumers feel vulnerable to possible data breaches. Brands should re-establish their payment preferences and registration information to embrace online and mobile security upgrades -- take the extra step of offering complimentary credit report monitoring to ensure their customer’s private information is safe from hackers.

We live in a time where companies must go above and beyond minimum government standards. They must establish and clearly communicate robust cybersecurity policies to build greater brand trust among current and future customers. After all, earning and enhancing consumer trust in this mobile world should be every brand’s top IT objective.

Cover photo: iStock



Topics: Mobile Apps, Security

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