As the saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Fortunately, providing solutions is easier than you think.
Given that fraud and identity theft have claimed a mainstream spotlight in the past few years — impacting over 18 million in the U.S. in 2013 and leading FTC complaints for 15 years running — it might seem as though the average consumer would be well acquainted with these topics. However, being aware of a problem and grasping the full depth of the problem are not one and the same.
Without a clear understanding, consumers tend to jump to conclusions and fill in blanks with inaccurate information. And for matters as critical as those threatening one’s personal information and finances, consumers are largely being led by fear. In fact, a 2014 nationwide study by Chapman University found that Americans’ second greatest personal fear is “becoming the victim of identity theft.”
When you consider the extraordinary rate at which identity crimes occur — impacting consumers every two seconds according to Javelin Strategy and Research — such a high degree of fear seems logical. Identity crimes also threaten a consumers’ sense of control, a need so vital that people are forever seeking ways to gain it in all aspects of their lives.
A Three-Alarm Equation
The impact of identity crimes, the fear surrounding them and the resulting feeling of helplessness make for a seemingly dire situation. But there are important things a financial institution can do to help allay such fear and provide a better sense of control.
How, you ask?
- Addressing the Big Picture
Keeping tabs on the full scope of the issue provides the necessary framework to address it. Moreover, staying abreast of the problem aligns with your customers’ expectations — that their financial institution is attuned to fraud and identity theft and ready to handle it. Statistics back the importance of protecting consumers. Consider the Javelin Strategy & Research finding that 44 percent of consumers seek identity theft protection from their financial institution. The last thing any customer who has experienced fraud wants is to contact their bank to discover they can’t provide the necessary help.
- Knowledge Truly Is Power
Being an educated entity is key to your role in delivering fraud protection. And it is incumbent upon you to help educate your customers about fraud and identity theft. Providing clear information and pertinent tips helps them proactively protect their data. Simultaneously, it directly involves you in the process. Serving as this important source of knowledge, you engender trust — the basis of loyalty.
Among the greatest drivers of consumer trust are whether the financial institution protects the customer’s financial information and keeps their personal information safe, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young. Since these are such significant issues, you’ll want to do what you can to support your customers in order to develop and maintain trust.
- A Proactive Stance
Identity crimes demand action — before their damage ensues. Through EZShield’s ongoing dissemination of timely information, comprehensive protection services and world-class customer support, you have the power to help customers reduce risks and avoid stress.
Establishing a proactive approach for dealing with fraud and identity theft means everything to your customers at their most critical time: the moment they discover they have become a victim. Imagine the relief you will provide because you prepared for such a moment. Your readiness to help manage their crisis will further cement your relationship and their loyalty.
Start today to put your protection services in place. Download our eBook Every Two Seconds: The Financial Institution’s Guide to Protecting Customer from Identity Crimes. And be sure to share this valuable insight with all of your institution’s decision makers.