HSBC Bank Lebanon has announced the launch of HSBC Secure Key for its Internet banking customers.
“One of the first banks in Lebanon to launch the Secure Key, HSBC provides its customers with an extra layer of security through the device when they access their accounts online, aiming to bring the best of HSBC’s global capabilities and technical expertise in a simple, secure and efficient way,” said a press release.
The bank said that is has also upgraded its mobile banking app in Lebanon, now also available for android devices. More than 50,000 HSBC mobile banking applications have been downloaded on smartphones and androids in MENA, it said. The bank has also announced that it expects a 60 per cent growth in number of Internet banking logons through mobile devices this year across MENA.
“At a time when online banking continues to suffer from a lack of awareness regarding its benefits and doubts about its safety, according to the results of customer research conducted by HSBC Middle East, HSBC Secure Key comes as one of HSBC’s latest innovations to ensure its customers are one step ahead of online fraudsters,” it said.
Understanding Customer’s Internet Banking Behaviour, a survey of 1,727 HSBC Personal Internet Banking (PIB) customers in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon and Jordan, conducted by Nielsen revealed that there were large discrepancies in the opinions of customers that have registered and those that have not registered for HSBC’s online banking services.
Francesca McDonagh, HSBC’s Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Middle East and North Africa, said, “Online banking has revolutionised the way that banks can provide customers access to their banking needs. Despite the relatively low penetration of online banking in MENA, the demographics of the region’s internet users and the growth in the number of people online suggests that this will change. HSBC provides many added-value services online to cater to these customers, such as our Global View – Global Transfer facility. We have also redesigned our internet banking platform, offering improved customer experience, firmly moving our digital offering into a strong position within the regional MENA marketplace.”
Kevin Portman, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Lebanon, said, “Our Secure Key device is small and lightweight enough to keep in the customer’s wallet or purse, so they can still do their banking transactions wherever and whenever they like. It’s a quick extra step to keep our customers’ details secure and away from uninvited eyes, through generating a unique code every time customers access their accounts. This way they can be confident they are the only people accessing their HSBC account”.
According to the survey mentioned earlier, registered customers lauded HSBC’s online banking platform for its speed, convenience and ease of use, calling it “faster than other channels” (28 per cent) and “can be used at any time” (28 per cent) as the main reasons for their preferences. On the other hand, amongst unregistered customers, one third (34 per cent) stated that they don’t believe that they need it, while 13 per cent still do not trust it.
In fact, even though nine out of 10 registered customers said that they would continue using HSBC’s online services in the future, “security fears” was one of the primary issues that would hinder them from using this platform.
McDonagh believes customers can protect themselves better by working with banks that are taking the right precautions: “HSBC recognises that the main factors holding people back from the advantages of using internet banking is a lack of awareness of its benefits and the fear of cyber fraud. However, we have the right security measures in place to mitigate these threats – a good example is HSBC’s Secure Key, which is provided by HSBC to all customers free of cost,” she said.
Consumers too have a key part to play in keeping their online accounts protected from cyber criminals, as they are the first line of defense against online crime, warned HSBC. Keeping their PIN and passwords secret is vital and this is why we have added the HSBC Secure Key to our range of customer-focused online protection.