The early periods of the twenty-first century saw an integral revolution in internet banking, or what is commonly referred to as online banking. The advancements in e-banking technology are implausible. These days, you do not require to visit the physical banking facility. A couple of clicks on the banking portal, and the transaction will be complete. What an incredible world we live in!
But hold on there! I didn’t say that the conveniences that come with e-banking are without inconveniences. Cyber insecurities and data breaches are some of the major challenges facing e-banking. In addition, banking websites are never entirely secure. As a result, cybercrime connected to e-banking is nowadays the talk of the town. According to Accenture’s Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Report, in 2018, the banking industry incurred the highest cost of cybercrime at an average of $18.3 million. The report is a clear indicator of what a menace cybercrime has become in the banking sector.
The insecurity trend should be a wake-up call to all the stakeholders in the banking sector- from banking website owners, bank managers, employees, and customers. All stakeholders need to rise to the occasion and put in place proper measures to prevent this menace. However, none is as effective as the SSL certificate of the many security measures and protocols needed for banking websites. This article explains the importance of an SSL certificate to banking websites.
What Is SSL Certificate
Plain text transfer of data can be so risky for websites. They can cause insecurity threats. Third parties such as hackers and Man In The Middle attackers can use network sniffers to eavesdrop on the communication. HTTP protocol employs plain text transmissions over the internet, so HTTP websites are prone to attacks.
Data, information, and all communications between two points on the web need to be encrypted. The Secure Socket Layer certificate, commonly referred to as the SSL Certificate, is the web application protocol that encrypts data transferred between web servers and client browsers. Blending SSL certificates with the HTTP protocol results in the HTTPS protocol, the secure version of HTTP.
The SSL certificates code the data and communication, turning the communication into indecipherable gibberish that anyone cannot understand other than the intended recipient. Therefore, it would be useless for a hacker to try and breach the communication because they will not understand it.
Usually, the SSL certificates are acquired from trusted certificate providers. Some of the best certificate providers that can give the best SSL certificate for your banking website include; Comodo SSL certificate, GoDaddy, RapidSSL, GlobalSign, and Geotrust. You can visit their respective websites or those of trusted resellers, such as SSL2BUY, to have a look at their SSL products.
Banking websites and financial institutions need to have the certificate for the sake of their security. So let’s have a look at the importance of SSL certificates to banking websites.
Reasons Why Banking Websites Should Use SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates as a Security Measure for Banking Websites
Banking websites usually handle very sensitive personal and financial data. For instance, users will be required to share their personal details, such as names, age, physical locations, and contact details. They will also be required to share their social security numbers, debit card information, credit card numbers, and other financial records. Such information is not safe in the hands of the hackers who might want to use it for malicious purposes.
Users expect maximum levels of privacy for all the information that they share with you. They also expect that all the transactions they make with you remain secure and should never be compromised in any way whatsoever. In the past, sensitive data interceptions were rampant because the information was shared through plain texts. Today, with so many financial frauds and data breaches, data encryption remains the cornerstone that secures banking websites.
The surest way to secure data and transactions on banking websites is to use SSL certificates. Whenever a user’s browser accesses a banking website with an SSL certificate, the browser and the website will establish a secure connection through the SSL handshake. As a result, all the sensitive information transferred between the website and the browser will be secure.
Today, most users are cautious about the security of their dealings, and most of them will check if a website has an SSL certificate before they can go ahead with the transactions. Today, according to Google’s Transparency Report, 93.2% of the browsing time on google chrome is spent on those websites that have SSL certificates. Therefore, it is high time you secure your banking website with an SSL certificate. It is for your good and the good of your customers.
Important Note- The SSL certificate is not only used for security purposes. Banking websites are bound to have other benefits by installing the certificate. Some of the benefits are explained below.
SSL Certificates Enhances Users’ Trust
Trust is a vital success factor that determines the success of a business. For example, customers are keen when making transactions on banking websites, and they will want to establish the credibility of the banking website before they can go ahead to complete the transaction. SSL certificates establish trust in your customers by providing credible authentication.
“But can anyone have an SSL certificate? How does it prove that you are legitimate?” To answer this question, you should first understand the SSL acquisition process. We can tie the credibility of an SSL certificate to the Certificate Authority. Web browsers usually come with a Trusted Root Certificate Authority. The Trusted Root CA is a list of trusted Certificate Authorities. The CAs undergo serious scrutiny and frequent audits to ensure that they comply with the security and compliance standards. Users’ browsers will only authenticate banking websites with SSL certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities.
Before a Certificate Authority can issue an SSL certificate, the CA will first have to extensively vet the organization applying for the certificate. The ideal certificate will be the EV SSL certificate for banking websites, which provides visual cues referred to as EV indicators. In addition, web visitors can establish more information and identity of the website/organization by clicking on the padlock symbol next to the address bar. Thus, web users get absolute assurance about the legitimacy of the banking website.
SSL Certificate for Preventing Phishing Scams
Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) 2019 reveals that 32% of all data breaches involve phishing attacks. This means that the probability of a phishing attack hitting your banking website is more than 3/10. Mathematically, this is a high probability, and if nothing is done to stem phishing attacks, then it might just be a matter of time before hackers come visiting.
Phishing scammers work by tricking unsuspecting users into sharing their sensitive information and financial details on fake websites that resemble the real ones. Phishing websites are based on identity deception. The thorough scrutiny procedure organizations go through before and during EV SSL certificate acquisition helps web visitors distinguish genuine from fake websites.
On clicking on the padlock icon, the name of the organization will be prominently displayed. Phishing sites will not have the same name, and it will be easy for the customers to easily spot the difference and avoid the phishing trap. If you want to protect your customers from phishing attacks, you should install an SSL certificate on your banking website.
SSL Certificate for Compliance
There exist laws and regulations that require banks and financial institutions to protect users’ data and privacy. In addition, compliance standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) require websites to take reasonable maximum-security measures to prevent the loss of sensitive customer data. One of the best ways to ensure that you comply with the rules and regulations is by having an SSL certificate. Noncompliance can lead to fines and penalties.
SSL Certificate for High Rankings in Search Engines
In 2021, Google announced that HTTPS websites would rank higher than HTTP websites in search engine results pages. Later on, Google also announced that an SSL certificate would be used as a tiebreaker in a situation where two or more sites had equaled in all other ranking factors.
This has been the trend ever since. Do a random search, and you will notice the dominance of HTTPS pages on the first pages of the SERPs. Although SSL certificates do not carry much weight in SEO, studies have proved positive correlations between HTTPS websites and high rankings in the search engine results pages. Therefore, your banking website needs to be visible in the SERPs, and this is why you will need to acquire an SSL certificate for your banking website.
Improved Transaction Rates
Banking websites that have an SSL certificate receive a lot more traffic than those without the certificate. When visitors trust your sites and believe that they are secure, they will have no problems or doubts transacting with you. Banking websites with SSL certificates have high conversion rates, while those without the certificate have high bounce rates. Which direction do you want to take? High conversion rates or high bounce rates? The ball is in your coat, and the decision is yours to make.
Financial institutions are witnessing a lot of financial frauds and data breaches. Before a customer does any transaction with you, the customer will first need to establish how secure the transaction is. As a banking website owner, you ought to have an SSL certificate, not just for security purposes but also for other purposes. This article has explained the significance of the SSL certificate on banking websites. If you want to reap big out of your banking website, you better have the SSL certificate.