Four Dilemmas of a Troubled Financial Services Consumer


I opened my first bank account 25 years ago. Stepping into financial independence filled me with excitement, but also anxiety about all that I had to learn. A lot has changed since then, from the digitization of banking to the introduction of privacy and payments regulations in many parts of the world.

Today, I can’t help but be drawn to providers who put both customer experience and security at the top of their digital agendas. My tolerance for anything less has seriously diminished and shaped my rapidly evolving expectations. I realize that similar dilemmas are also playing out on the minds of many other consumers. Leveraging modern identity and access management (IAM) can help financial services organizations address these dilemmas head-on. Here’s how.

Dilemma 1: Is My Data Protected?   

The days of using password-based authentication to manage access to my banking app are numbered. I am encouraged to see that my provider has finally moved to context-driven multi-factor authentication (MFA). This is particularly reassuring given that password-based attacks increased by a staggering 450% in 2020. I am confident that my data is now secured whether I engage in branch, through the mobile or desktop app, or the contact support center. So, how can financial services build on that to ensure customer data is protected from malicious actors?


Modern IAM helps financial services organizations embed identity-first Zero Trust at the core of the rapidly changing ecosystem. Leveraging low-code/no-code interfaces allows providers to build context-driven access journeys across all devices, applications, and platforms to protect customer data and eliminate the need for passwords with standards-based federated identity (OAuth 2.0, OIDC, SAML, FIDO2), MFA, and strong customer authentication (SCA). This amplifies the trust in providers and removes unnecessary friction to accelerate access to services. 

Dilemma 2: Are My Needs Met Through Superior Customer Experiences? 

The days of my banker emailing me irrelevant offers are drawing to an inevitable close. The company has invested in systems that make smart use of my financial data and engagement habits to develop personalized offerings that stimulate my interest. Although I wasn’t looking to replace my car at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn't help but pursue a personalized car financing offer that was pushed to me through an in-app notification. I processed the offer in 10 minutes, and drove a car off the lot within days. So, how can other financial services organizations accelerate the conversion of their value-added offerings? 


Modern IAM helps financial services organizations build a single view of customer needs across multiple channels. Understanding changing customer needs across all devices, applications, and platforms allows providers to personalize offerings to customers’ financial needs and engagement behaviors. This makes them more likely to purchase financial products and bespoke services and reinforces their long-term loyalty. 

Dilemma 3: Can I Control With Whom My Data Is Shared? 

My banker recently rolled-out a number of “open finance” features on my banking app. These allow me to connect my accounts, investments, and loans into a unified dashboard and maintain 360-degree visibility of my finances. I am encouraged to see that I am now enabled to make decisions on who my data is shared with and for what purpose. Maintaining control of my data and privacy shows that my provider is serious about putting me at the center of the decision-making process. How can financial services organizations delegate authority for controlling the data to their customers?


Modern IAM helps financial services organizations build trusted relationships with their customers by giving them the tools to determine who gets access to their data. By leveraging user-managed access (UMA), providers give customers the ability to manage their privacy and consent settings from a single dashboard to solidify trust and the sense of being in control of their data. They can decide which third parties to trust and can get a 360-degree view of who has access at any time.    

Dilemma 4: Am I Protected from Unauthorized Access? 

The average employee in the financial services industry has access to over 11 million files. With 43% of all breaches in 2020 attributed to unauthorized access, this is cause for concern. To protect my data from internal (social engineering) and external (data breach) threats, it’s more important than ever for my bank to take the necessary steps to reduce overprovisioned and orphaned accounts across the rapidly growing financial services ecosystem. Receiving communication from my bank that clearly sets out their identity management strategy has given me the confidence that they are doing everything they can to safeguard my data. How can financial services organizations help mitigate unauthorized access? 


Modern identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate the management and enforcement of least-privilege access in a Zero Trust world. Reducing over-provisioned access, orphaned accounts, and entitlement creep through AI-driven identity governance helps providers reduce unauthorized access and protect customer data. 

A Modern Way Forward

To acquire, convert, and retain customers, financial services providers need to modernize their IAM capabilities at pace. This can make a difference in deciding whether customers remain loyal to their banks for the next 25 years or switch to a new provider. 

To find out how ForgeRock can help you achieve these goals and stay ahead of your competition, view our exclusive webinar featuring Forrester on-demand today, and find out more about our solutions for the financial services industry.