by Ron Daly
FinovateFall 2013 takes place in New York City this week. It seems like it was only a year ago that we were on stage with My Virtual StrongBox, the online safe deposit box. And there’s good reason for that - it was a year ago.
In that time, My Virtual StrongBox has been picked up by seven large financial institutions. Over 1.2 million users are allowed access with thousands of people uploading files of all kinds that they’d like to keep safe and secure behind their credit union’s/bank’s/financial provider’s online banking. CUES (the Credit Union Executive Society) thought so much of My Virtual StrongBox that it’s offering the service for free to its members. It’s been a big year for the little storage solution that could.
Barclays bank has been busy in the past year, too. They’ve come up with their own version of an online safe deposit box to fill the role for their customers and users. You might think we’re a bit put out that Barclays has come up with their own version of our product, right?
Wrong. We couldn’t be happier.
Why, you ask? Well, for starters, it shows that there is a concern out there for the well-being of customers’ data, as well as their money. It used to be that the bank or credit union branch was there to keep customers’ and members’ financial and personal information in one place, securely and professionally. As time has gone on, people have come to think about banks and credit unions as simply one more obstacle between their money and their daily lives. What a disservice this does to financial institutions – to be considered just another chore rather than a trusted partner in the personal lives of customers and members.
Barclays is looking to change that. So is My Virtual StrongBox.
As I write this, Apple is gearing up to announce yet another line extension of its wildly popular iPhone. There will also be new iPads, some say, and the new iOS 7 to make it all feel shiny and new again. Millions of Americans and people all over the world are buying up iPhones, iPads, and iEverything else. Those that aren’t will be buying similar devices from Samsung, HTC and what will soon be the lovechild of the Microsoft-Nokia buy. Smartphones are helping to fill in the gaps of limited Internet access for poorer areas and minorities and bringing the fire of the future to the hands, purses and pockets of the masses.
They’re also set to create a lot of privacy issues.
From USA Today:
“A cellphone nowadays is a portal into our most sensitive information and the most private aspects of our lives,” says Jeffrey Fisher, lead attorney for David Riley and co-director of Stanford University’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. “It’s also a device that is the gateway to your office, health records, [and] bank records.“
Increased access and increased penetration of smart devices come at the cost of increased risk. Hackers, phishers and thieves are getting smarter and working harder to sponge crucial information from innocent people who believe this new age of accessibility means they’re free from worry.
Services like My Virtual StrongBox can store important information that people want to keep secret and secure, information that might be compromised if stored locally on a computer, phone, or tablet. Services like My Virtual StrongBox are easy to use and can suggest documents that users should upload. Services like My Virtual StrongBox can give customers and members peace of mind, knowing their important information is accessible, yet safe.
But only My Virtual StrongBox is ready to do all of that right now.
To build a service like My Virtual StrongBox takes a ton of time, a truckload of money and a dozen commmittees-worth of input, design, creation, breakdown, and decision-making. To implement My Virtual StrongBox right now only takes a phone call or an email. We built it that way because we knew that, before the end of 2013, there would be competition and a real interest in protecting user data. You can spend the next 365 days laboring over what to do and how best to do it…
…or you can start today and be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the only trillion dollar financial instiutions on the planet. It’s up to you.
Welcome to the party, Barclays. We’d grown a little tired of being the only one dancing.