A look under the hood: Performance is key to ensuring a quality digital banking platform


Slick enhancements and a modern UI may make a digital banking platform look like a winning solution, but are the nuts and bolts of the platform in place and working effectively? Digital banking requires a tremendous amount of infrastructure to maintain security and deliver the 24/7 availability that users demand. If your users cannot access accounts or complete banking functions due to latency, outages, or fraudulent incursions, this failure reflects directly on your institution. It is important to conduct due diligence to ensure your digital banking provider can meet your required performance goals and SLAs.

Security is a top priority

Just as you would have a security presence in your branch locations to ward off potential threats, you also need information security and protocols in your digital banking platform to protect you and your customers from breaches or attacks. Fraudsters continue to devise clever ways to bypass security controls. For example, in credential stuffing attacks, fraudsters identify a percentage of working logins, which they then sell on the dark web as compromising information to be used in a brute force attack. The strongest digital banking platforms will have tools in place to detect and block attacks like these.

Consumers care intensely about the security their digital banking platform provides and whether it has adequate fraud controls in place. This may not be their first concern when selecting a bank or credit union, but once faced with a security issue, it becomes a top priority. According to FICO’s 2021 Global Consumer Fraud Survey, 83 percent of customers would complain or leave if they are unsatisfied with an institution’s fraud management.

As you examine a digital banking provider’s security tools and processes, ask the provider to demonstrate how its network infrastructure can counteract malware, ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service attacks and injection attacks.

What do you mean my account is unavailable?

As one financial institution recently discovered, platform availability is crucial to customer satisfaction. When this institution experienced issues after a conversion to a new online banking platform, its customers were unable to complete many basic banking functions. Unfortunately for the institution, its customers took to social media to express their frustration and its reputation took a hit.

When assessing the performance of your digital banking platform, pay close attention to its system availability. The best platforms have uptime that exceeds 99.9 percent. And if downtime does occur, the provider should have an aggressive response time to restore systems. Historically, cloud-based digital banking providers have better response times and higher availability than those that utilize private data center environments.

Room to Grow

Banks and credit unions are not static businesses. An ever-shifting banking industry means financial institutions’ accounts and customer bases expand and contract frequently. For example, your financial institution may acquire another entity that significantly increases your account size. In a situation like this, you require a solution that allows you to scale and grow your digital banking platform without disruption.

Additionally, a peak time, such as annual tax day, requires the flexibility to scale up as needed and scale back when traffic levels return to normal. When conducting your due diligence, ensure that the digital banking provider has flexibility built into the platform to allow for shifting business conditions. Again, cloud-based platforms have an advantage in this scenario, as they can provide access to additional network capacity on demand.

Performance matters

When a secure, reliable platform is just as important to your customers as features and functionality, your institution must ensure that tools are in place to keep the digital banking platform in-tune and running smoothly. When evaluating providers, be aware of availability and security systems and controls and ask how the platform has performed historically.

For more insight into the questions you should ask when evaluating a digital banking system, download Apiture’s white paper: Beyond Features and Functionality: Five Critical Questions to Ask When Evaluating Digital Banking Solutions.