Is the desire to please customers putting your bank at risk?

Posted on: June 08th, 2016 by Art Barger

Call center representatives are known for going the extra mile to satisfy customers. That’s good, right? After all, telephone agents are trained to do whatever they can to meet the customer’s needs. But according to a new study, the desire to serve customers in need could set your bank up for fraud.

In the recent article, “Card Issuers Lose $10.9B to Fraud: LexisNexis,” fraudsters are targeting contact center agents that assist customers who appear to be struggling at remembering knowledge-based security questions. Falling victim to clever social engineering schemes can lead to criminals gaining access and taking over customer accounts.

A LexisNexis study found that 41 percent of U.S. credit issuers now consider social engineering of customer service staff either the most difficult or second-most difficult challenge in preventing account takeovers. The study noted that attempts to improve the customer experience over the telephone channel have led to more vulnerabilities to account takeovers and other fraudulent activity.

“CSRs are notorious for ‘rooting for’ the customer – aiding customers who appear to be struggling at remembering security questions in an effort to maintain a positive customer experience. Add the desire to serve the customer with a lack of effective tools to verify the identity of a caller, and fraudsters are free to spin a tale that is convincing enough to justify access to the account.”

While more than half of the survey’s respondents say they are successfully managing account takeover attempts, 56 percent can’t reduce it any further without creating friction to the customer experience. With telephone fraud on the rise, reducing fraud while simultaneously improving the banking journey poses significant security and operational challenges for today’s contact centers.

Balancing authentication and customer service

We all know the key to a successful call center is the ability to balance security and customer service. The challenge is when caller identification and customer interactions are functioning at the same time they can counteract each other. For example, enhancing your fraud defenses with conventional knowledge-based authentication (KBA) solutions can frustrate customers and impede your ability to resolve their problems in the timely manner.

However, by authenticating callers before your agents interact with your customers, your caller identification process is removed from the banking experience, altogether.

The TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication tool separates these two processes so they don’t work against each other. Using telephone network forensics to invisibly identify the physical location of the inbound calling device while the phone is still ringing, TRUSTID allows banks to take real-time action on each call to improve the security of their telephone environment and deliver a better overall customer experience.

When verified spoofed calls are automatically removed from the telephone system, agents don’t have to interrogate customers, which can negatively impact their banking experience and bank-customer relationships. On the flip side, verified good customers are quickly routed to the appropriate telephone operator, who can greet them and immediately begin addressing their needs.

Through automatic “pre-call” authentication, call center agents don’t have to go outside of their core competency to interrogate each caller. Instead, they can get back to doing what they are trained to do — deliver an exceptional customer experience.