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eBanking in Turkey: Credit cards you can bank on

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In the latest post in our Digital Turkey series, I’ll be taking a look at innovations in Turkey’s banking industry.

Alongside the fact that it has revolutionized the way we communicate, for many, what the internet does best is convenience. Online banking is a great example of digital convenience as users can manage their money with a few clicks of the mouse, at any time on the 24hr clock.

However, it is also understandable that while people want convenience, they don’t want the laissez faire attitude that is so often associated with things done quickly. People don’t want to take risks with their money; they need to have faith that their personal data is safe. For example, in a recent RSA Online Fraud Report, 86% of those surveyed were “somewhat” to “very” concerned about their personal information being stolen through an eBanking website.

Ensuring that online banking platforms are secure and trusted is vital for relationships between retail and corporate divisions, as well as for a bank’s clients and customers. The difficult part is to do this without losing the vital element of convenience. Now Turkish bank TEB has raised the stakes by becoming the first in Europe to give customers bank cards with built-in authentication technology, complete with keypad and screen. Having monitored this type of innovation for the past few years, it’s interesting to see it come to the fore in Turkey. This is just another example of how Turkey is far ahead of Western Europe when it comes to adoption of authentication technology.

In recent years, consumers have become used to their banks issuing them with smart card readers so that they can bank and shop securely online.  TEB’s innovative approach will make conducting secure online transactions even easier. It recently ran a pilot scheme in which customers were given a new kind of debit card, called a display card. It’s the same size as a standard bank card and has the same functionality – but it also features a keypad and a small display screen. When the user wants to securely access eBanking services or validate an online purchase, they simply enter their PIN on the card’s keypad and the card then displays an OTP. What’s more, with prepaid display cards on the horizon, users will be able to check their balance on the card’s screen.  Now that’s progress.

Whilst some may be surprised to see Turkey trailblazing such technology, those of us who know the market well can see that this is just one of a number of areas in which Turkey’s progress is outstripping that of its Western neighbors.

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