Supporting financial inclusion with technology
We want to be worthy of our customers’ trust, reflecting our focus on best-in-class data security. We aim to use technology in a way that creates meaningful value for all our customers and supports financial inclusion. We believe that technology plays a key role in making our services more accessible and convenient. It is our responsibility to ensure the highest standards of security.
What this means for us
By unlocking the possibilities of digitalisation we believe we can help our customers and society find new ways to overcome some of the challenges of everyday life.
We have a responsibility to use the power of technology to support financial inclusion, improve cyber security, fight financial crime and protect customer privacy and security. At the same time, we recognise that the speed of digital change makes certain sectors of society vulnerable to financial exclusion, and we’ll work to tackle this issue.
Helping our customers take control of their finances has never been more important. My Money Manager, our new in-app feature, helps you save money with helpful insights based on what you do with your Santander accounts.
This feature is free to all Santander customers who have a current account, credit card or savings account with us. In a few simple steps customers can sign up to personalised insights to help put them in control of their finances
We send messages straight to our customers phone or device when a new insight arrives. So far, we have close to 1.7 million customers registered and shared over 23 million personalised insights, with an average insight rating of 4.6 (out of 5).
During the pandemic, we continued to offer a full banking service to our customers in branch, over the phone and online. We provided the opportunity for customers to self-serve where possible, and prioritised services for those unable to do so.
Cyber security is a key priority for us. Our customers are moving increasingly to digital banking. We recognise that digital banking presents different types of threats and in response, we’ve grown our investment in cyber security while partnering with other banks and law enforcement to share information and address threats.
We work closely with law enforcement agencies, regularly sharing intelligence to help prevent and detect potential malicious activity.
We’re a founding member of the Cyber Defence Alliance, a consortium of British based banks and law enforcement agencies, whose members work collaboratively in the broader interest of the entire financial industry.
We adapted our volunteer-led digital education sessions to safely deliver two main digital inclusion initiatives with partners.
We worked with national digital skills provider We Are Digital to create a free online safety course for 11-17-year-olds. Named ‘Explore Digital’ this course has been successfully used by teachers to support over 1,500 young people across the UK in 2020.
Written by internationally recognised online safety experts, the resources (developed with Covid-19 restrictions in mind) are a guide for teachers, youth workers and youth group leaders supporting young people, who are facing more challenges and difficult choices online than ever before.
Enhanced mobile and online banking
The last year has seen significant growth in the use of digital banking, in part driven by the pandemic. We’ve continued to make sure that digital banking is accessible to as many of our customers as possible. This includes developing and refining standards for accessibility and usability, and then testing this with customers and external third parties as we implement change.
We measure uptake and usage of biometric features such as fingerprint and facial ID, as well as ensuring we support commonly used accessibility tools such as screen-readers.
We helped customers transition to our digital channels, promoting these through emails and chat, and we added additional features to the mobile app to encourage usage.
During 2020 we’ve enrolled over 560,000 customers for voice biometrics which has exceeded the 500,000 we set out to achieve. We extended our voice biometrics service to our credit card customers to provide additional benefit to more people. In 2021, we will further simplify our voice biometrics journeys using voice driven technologies to ensure that as many customers as possible can benefit.
Through 2020, Santander supported Age UK, the leading charity for older people, to build awareness and develop digital skills and capability in communities across the UK. With Covid-19 forcing many older people to restrict their day-to-day routine, ensuring this group can still carry out essential activities is critical.
This initiative, called GoDigital, includes funding five of Age UK’s local brand partners to provide 1:1 support to older people, as well as a broad range of tools, awareness and guidance.
We use a network of paid and volunteer Digital Champions to enable Age UK to improve its understanding of what older people want to use digital skills to do, how to best improve their digital skills and to see the real life impact these skills can have on their lives.
older people reached through digital awareness raising events with Age UK
Digital Champion volunteers recruited