How customer convenience is driving email out of financial services
Email was the future once. It was so much faster than ‘snail mail’, so easy to use and so convenient for purposes as varied as setting up a face-to-face meeting and sharing large documents.
No wonder it quickly became the default mode of communication in and between offices – used by businesses, educational institutions and government bodies alike. It’s easy to forget that security was never a serious selling point of email. Why?
Companies don’t care about security as much as they should.
Right from the beginning, we were told, ‘Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t shout across a crowded room!’ After all, anything that’s emailed can be forwarded just as easily. But yet, every time a company asks us to email a document, we do, creating several copies of the files which makes it even easier for confidential data to leak.
Did we listen?
In a word, no. Even after multiple instances of making a snarky comment and accidentally hitting ‘reply’ instead of ‘forward’, of emailing the wrong ‘Mike’ from our address book, and even having our computers hacked by cyber-criminals, we continued to use email to share confidential business plans, make ill-advised romantic advances and even transfer money. Why?
We do care about convenience.
The fact is that, as insecure as email is, we can get away with it. In most cases, confidences are not breached, information is not leaked and our security is not compromised. So even if we hear about how easy it would be for such events to actually happen, it’s easier just to stick with the technology we’re used to and hope for the best.
Is email really all that convenient? How organised is your inbox?
Most people tend to have three or more email accounts: one personal, one for business, and another one for signing up to use a website or service, which is consequently rammed full of junk. Email providers now come with even comes with a ready-made folder called ‘Unwanted’ or 'Promotions'. How did that happen?
More to the point, isn’t there a better alternative?
Companies are already using better alternatives for internal communication.
In a word, yes. Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of platforms like Slack, which took off even more with so many people working from home during the pandemic. Companies have realised how inefficient email has become, and switched to secure instant messaging instead.
In a lending context, borrowers say email is particularly inconvenient for transferring large numbers of documents, especially when they contain sensitive, personal information. From a management perspective, the sheer volume becomes a major headache. Once Lenders on the Nivo network found an alternative means of document uploading and sharing, though, they realised the same platform can do so much more. The overall experience of instant messaging is much more convenient as well as much more secure.
Customers value a seamless experience too.
It’s not hard to take the next logical step. If these new platforms work so much better for internal communication, why not extend the same courtesy to customers?
Brokers have already realised how hard it is to move deals forward by email when their customers have inboxes as chaotic as their own. Typically on email, customers wait until the weekend before responding. On mobile, it's usually that evening.
Nivo’s secure instant messaging is all about adding convenience to the way regulated companies gather and share sensitive information. In finance, security concerns alone should be enough to drive change, but ultimately, it’s convenience that makes the difference. Email still has its uses, but paradox is that the more things we use it for, the less convenient it becomes. So let’s take one more thing out of our inboxes – and enjoy added security as a bonus.