Will banks embrace the social frameworks of modern society

Time and time again I am amazed at how integrated Social Frameworks are into our everyday lives. It seems every week that a new service is added to the mesh that is Facebook, Google, LinkedIn or Twitter. Each of these frameworks provides the base building blocks for enabling connected services between individuals and/or businesses. But to date none of these services have come from one of societies must traditional industries, the Banks.

With the reputation of banks continually under the spot light with recent systemic issues, bailouts and large scale misconduct, you would have thought that banks were keen to find a distraction or ray of hope to defer the eyes of the world. Just like a politician likes to distract voters from issues towards tax cuts, new infrastructure or better benefits, banks should have take the opportunity to pounce on the convergence of social frameworks and financial services.

Lets start with a really simple example. Imagine the possibilities if you could get a bank to endorse the validity of you're Facebook or LinkedIn profile. Therefore enabling other business's to trust the information you present through your social media. Thus applying for a new gym membership could be entirely linked to your profile, therefore allowing the individual to self maintain their information which automatically feeds into the clubs database for communications, marketing and Analytics. Such a service would not only do away with the customer/member systems the clubs have today, but also provide a great plugin to better utilize the network of the member.

Banks already have access to information stores for the purpose of minimizing risk and fraud. Such as national credit databases, electoral roles, fraud databases, etc. Such data could be used by the bank to not only valid profiles, but also bring the concept of security or valid identity as a potential new revenue line.

The idea of self maintained information can be applied to almost anything once the source is validated: credit card applications, additional product applications within the bank, updating of address details, exchanging of contact information with a new associate, and the list goes on.

What we need is a bank brave enough to take a controlled step forward to demonstrate to the industry that such innovations are not only possible, but benefit both the business while decreasing product risk.

Here is a simple use case:
1. John Citizen has been with HSBC Bank now for close to 10 years. He has multiple service relationships for utilities, banking, financing, postal, club memberships, government services and employment.
2. John opts for HSBC's new ConnectSecure ID service, in which he complete on online linkage if his customer record at the bank with his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
3. Once linked John's bank does the following via existing data services:
a) Validates his Name & Address against the electoral role
b) Validates employment history against the taxation department
c) Validates select photos against existing KYC images
d) passes a validity status to Facebook and LinkedIn for the validated fields
4. John wants to join Fitness First, and signs up via Facebook. The Fitness First member database links John's membership information to the validated fields on Facebook
5. John also links his utility bills to his Facebook profile
6. John and his family moves house. But instead of updating all separate customer systems. He simply changes his address on Facebook which checks the updated address against the electoral role, saves the newly validated address and now all the associated service providers have his new address.

Look for more future use cases in future blog posts

Happy New Year

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