Banks Need to be Digitally Agile and Cryptography Should be the Enabler

by Ulrich Scholten (guest) & Stefan Hansen on 15. June 2020

For traditional banks to rise above the competition they face from big tech, neobanks, and fintechs, they need to add new digital skills to their traditional banking capabilities; positioning themselves as agile providers of financial services by providing demand-driven services at the right time and place.

To successfully compete against newcomers to the financial services sector, traditional banks will face several challenges. Cryptography will play a vital role in meeting the challenges they face instead of being a bottleneck holding them back.

#1. Focus on customers’ unmet needs

Banks will need to focus more on their customers’ unmet needs that can be solved by developing and deploying innovative digital solutions. They will also need to have the ability to engage with their customers individually and at a larger scale without fear of personal information or banking data being compromised.

#2. Scale in terms of number of customers

New digital banking platforms need to be scalable as the number of customers grows. This will avoid problems because of limited availability of services or security issues as new customers come on board.

#3. Open, scalable platforms

Existing banks will need open, scalable digital platforms enriched through partnerships with third parties. It will become the norm for these platforms to provide relevant products and financial services to their customers. But security must not be at stake.

#4. Maintaining traditional banking capabilities

It is essential for existing banks to expand their digital capabilities to meet their customers’ needs, remain competitive against new entrants entering the industry, and integrate open, scalable platforms to offer even more services. However, it is also essential that incumbent banks maintain their traditional banking capabilities that many clients still rely on.

Designing a cryptographic architecture which enables adaptability and scalability

The digital revolution in banking and financial services is coming sooner than many people think. Neobanks continue to gain a larger market share of newly opened bank accounts throughout major markets.

But traditional banks can continue to lead the banking industry in the future by investing in technology, including cryptographic capabilities, to increase their digital, personalized, and multi-channel offerings to their customers.

CSG Achieving Real-World Crypto-Agility

It is of utmost importance that the banks remain in control of data security, even if parts of critical data and services are moving to peripheral locations scattered across a hybrid cloud of data centers, cloud storage providers and external digital service providers.

A central enabler to such a development will be a centralized, intelligent, banking-grade cryptography management platform, which is able to deliver and control all aspects of strong cryptography and key management  throughout a hybrid cloud environment and thus remain control of data.

Such a system needs to offer crypto-agility in order to be responsive to all required strategic decisions or technological developments (e.g., post quantum) without causing delays in the go-to-market times.

And lastly, such a system needs to make it possible that even the most innovative service idea can be conducted in a way compliant to regulatory requirements and standards.

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References and Further Reading


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