Banks Build On Twin Pillars Of Security And Service

Security part of focus as banks try to distinguish themselves from competition

Convenient payments are one key to keeping customers happy. Ireland's AIB Bank says consumers have flocked to its international-payments service. The bank says customers have made 30,000 online international payments to 85 different destinations since AIB rolled out the service in early April. Poland and the UK were the two most popular destinations for these payments. AIB processed three-quarters of the payments for free because they were money transfers of less than (euro) 5,000 within the eurozone. "AIB International Payments is an automated, cost-effective, self-service customer solution that eliminates the need to complete paper application forms or queue in the branch," the bank says on its website.

On the corporate Internet-banking side, popular services include digital-check imaging, which allows business customers to make deposits electronically and remotely. Wells Fargo reported on July 19 that it had already processed $ 65 billion in deposits via the check-imaging services it introduced in response to federal legislation adopted in 2004. The San Francisco-based, $ 500 billion-asset bank said the number of businesses using its Wells Fargo Desktop Deposit service since the end of 2005 nearly tripled to 1,400, while the number of checks scanned grew by 500% to more than 8 million. "Wells Fargo worked closely with hundreds of customers to design a service that would make depositing checks simpler, easier and more convenient," says Stephanie Sturgis-Griffin, senior vice president of wholesale Internet solutions for Wells Fargo.

Global giant HSBC has found that corporate-banking customers seek centralized, streamlined transaction capabilities that can be easily integrated with accounting and treasury platforms. It has implemented those enhancements plus security and ease-of-use upgrades as it has rolled out its flagship HSBCnet corporate-banking platform around the globe. In February HSBC made all content from its Research@HSBC website available on HSBCnet to further boost the integrated suite of research, investment, trade and commercial-banking services.

The overriding theme of these awards is that the winners are able to successfully enhance their offerings while simultaneously enhancing security measures and getting customers to believe in them.