What’s next for payments and banking?

As more people choose to manage their finances online and in the digital domain, ensuring that these services are accessible to everyone is becoming increasingly important.

The importance of accessibility in payments and banking

Nowadays, the payment industry players are expected to offer modern and digital services that enable its clients and their cardholders to enjoy a convenient, effective and secure way to manage their money. The reality is that millions of people are being left behind due to difficulties in interacting with these digitalized services.

Those with a visual impairment, including over 30 million blind and partially sighted persons in the EU, can find it difficult to interact with banking apps due to small and busy user interfaces.

Those who don’t speak the local language as their first language, including 66 million people in the United States, can find it challenging to understand and interact with the banks' digital services.

Those aged over 65, representing over 21% of the EU population, often need more digital skills or confidence to use the bank apps.

Recognising and addressing the diverse needs of the end-users, Netcetera focuses on creating solutions that would enable its clients to strengthen their relations with the different customer groups regardless of age or impairment. Regardless of their ability, everyone should be able to access their accounts and benefit from technological advancements. And there are already plenty of ways this can be done:

  • Voice recognition technology could assist those with visual impairments.
  • Multilingual chatbots could help those who don’t speak the local language.
  • Simplified user interfaces and more regular confirmations could support older users.

Such is the innovative approach of Netcetera regarding the newly designed challenged screens associated with consumers’ needs and addressing the cardholders pain points; an approach based on an extensive research. Netcetera’s redesigned screens align with EMV 3DS 2.3.1 protocol, prioritize accessibility, overcome usability obstacles, and adhere to the latest UX/UI standards.

Redesigned styles feature optimal colour combinations, improved content structure, and enhanced typography for better readability. Innovative features like autofill on touchscreen devices enhance user experience. By emphasizing control, familiarity, efficiency, and design quality, the aim is to instill comfort and trust at consumers’ side. Netcetera’s commitment to accessibility ensures inclusivity and meets WCAG standards.

While some banks and other financial institutions have begun to incorporate this technology, the pace at which this is adopted across the wider financial industry must be accelerated.

Why is now the time to address accessibility in payments & banking?

The digital banking sector is on the brink of a significant transformation, partly thanks to the constantly evolving market environment and consumers' needs, but also thanks to the upcoming introduction of the Payment Services Directive 3 (PSD3).

PSD3 is a new regulatory framework set to align the existing regulations with the market trends and customers’ needs by addressing customer authentication, expanding open banking protocols, standardising procedures, etc.

In addition, what makes PSD3 particularly noteworthy is its strong focus on inclusivity and accessibility while bringing progress to the industry, protecting the cardholders and the businesses from the everevolving fraud.

Amongst other provisions, it includes:

  • Expanding Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements: PSD3 requires financial services to accept more diverse authentication methods, such as hardware tokens and SMS codes. This could benefit older people, those on low incomes and physically challenged users, for example. In that regard, having Out-of-Band (OOB) is another way to enrol cardholders for SCA and ensure their eligibility. Being a robust customer 2-factor biometric authentication method, the OOB adds extra layers of security and removes risks and failures from passwords, always complying with the SCA regulations.
  • Boosting financial inclusion through competition: PSD3 should help expand financial inclusion by standardising the access to and sharing of financial data, resulting in fintech startups that don’t have banking licenses being able to offer more innovative products. These might include micro-loans for those without bank accounts, prepaid cards with fee waivers and targeted savings products with features such as automatic micro-deposits.
  • Simplified account opening and management: The new framework should help simplify the online account opening process and enable account management via third-party apps, making banking more accessible for those unable to visit branches.

The forthcoming introduction of PSD3 has turned banks and other financial providers’ attention to improving accessibility and inclusion.

This presents the perfect opportunity to capitalise on this focus and reassess payments and banking accessibility.

Now is the right time to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities in making payments & banking more accessible to everyone.

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