Marketing Security

The sensitive issue of publicizing security and authorization enhancements

Jim Bruene

June 2005

: OBR 119



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We’ve always considered online banking security more of a marketing issue than a technical one (see OBR 48, 93/94). It’s not that the technology doesn’t matter. It’s extremely important, complex, and must be managed carefully. But strategically, what matters most is the perception of security.
If customers don’t feel safe online, they won’t buy your products, they won’t use your self-service functions, and they certainly won’t recommend your bank to others. And even more important, if you have a perceived weakness anywhere in the delivery chain – be it branch, ATM, phone, or online – customers will question the safety of the entire bank.
This report provides recommendation on how to handle customer communications about security upgrades, fraud rumors, and actual intrusions. We also analyze the recent security upgrades at two major U.S. banks, Bank of America and Citibank.
Other Highlights:
Bank of America and Stanford Federal Credit Union, win OBR Best of the Web honors for being the first financial institution to use PassMark Security’s new authentication system
Citibank wins an OBR Best of the Web for three front-end security features

Marketing Security


Security, marketing, authentication, privacy, product management, multi-factor, login, customer trust, security perceptions