TwitterFacebookLinkedInEmailMessengerThe entire financial industry is navigating the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and reacting day-by-day to changes in the situation. Shelter-in-place mandates, remote work requirements, social distancing and economic turmoil have all affected the ways in which banks and credit unions conduct their daily operations. Through all the ambiguity one thing is clear: digital banking has never been more important to your bank and to your customers. As a result of the pandemic, the digital channel has become the primary—or in some cases the sole—channel for customers to engage in basic banking functions. Banks can no longer afford to think of digital as an alternative or supplemental channel. Digital is your bank now, and you should expect a significant increase in digital banking adoption as the situation continues. This increase can be overwhelming when it comes to engaging your customers with digital tools like online account opening, mobile deposit and P2P options, just to name a few. And while the immediate areas of focus might center on these practical digital features, institutions must not forget the importance of security. A sudden increase in digital banking adoption, coupled with the unprecedented amount of financial fraud tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, can create a dangerous combination. Ensure your institution is prepared to secure your new and current digital banking customers using these helpful tips. Secure Digital Interactions Providing your customers access to self-service capabilities like digital money movement and online account opening are essential during this time, but these features are only useful if you’re securing those digital interactions. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are using the fear and uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to cash in. Out-of-band authentication—commonly known as a one-time passcode—is a great extra layer of digital security. This simple method sends a unique passcode to your customers’ personal mobile device when they attempt to access their accounts. Using out-of-band authentication thwarts fraudsters who have access to stolen credentials while allowing legitimate banking customers to log into your institution’s mobile and online banking platforms with ease. Automated Monitoring for Suspicious Behavior Another best practice to boost your institution’s security is to make sure that digital banking activity is being monitored regularly and automatically for suspicious behavior. During the COVID-19 pandemic, your institution will likely see a spike in fraudulent activity, and attempting to manually mitigate that increase will put undo strain on your limited employee bandwidth. Identifying anomalies in real time, using automated software or a trusted digital banking security vendor, is the best way to catch and block digital fraud. Customer Communication While practical security measures are important during this critical time, banks and other financial institutions cannot forget the importance of customer communication. Many customers will be using digital banking for the first time and they may be worried about whether it’s secure. Ensure that your customers are aware of the security measures your institution has put in place and reassure them that digital banking can be done safely and securely. Learn More About Digital Banking During COVID-19 Using the above security practices, your institution can continue to serve a growing pool of digital customers with confidence. For more information about the digital banking tools and practices your organization should implement as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, watch this short video. Steve Kent is senior director, Digital Strategy, at CSI.