Selling Security

Uzoma Dozie
3 min readMar 25

Let’s talk about security, beyond cyber crime. Let’s look at security in giving customers comfort; especially when it comes to the situation of cash shortages in Nigeria. At present, amidst the current cash scarcity issue, customers are having to rely on digital banking more than ever. This is an opportunity for people and companies in this space to help build trust and continue to bring people on the journey that is digital banking. Cash cannot be King forever, but how are we going to accelerate the change?

There’s a challenge here for marketers and professionals who work in the fintech and digital banking space. We expect, as a given, that decision makers have the right certifications - this helps to accrue trust in platforms and products. Increased professionalisation around banking and regulation is essential, and it is also an ongoing process - we’re always learning and this is something that I’m wholly supportive of. However - the professionalisation, the certification, the professional knowledge that’s stored within these companies isn’t really being transferred or communicated to the customers. I’d expect any reputable digital banking platform to have ISO 27001 - the world's best-known standard for information security management systems (ISMS) and their requirements. I know the importance of this, as does my compliance team, as does my data team. But does Temi who uses the Sparkle app to do her Instagram business banking and invoicing know what it means? Does she care? Should she care? How can we make her care?

There’s no transparency - it just feels like technical, pacifying jargon. But for me, it is the opposite of pacifying our customers - it creates mistrust as there's no transparency. The art is taking the extremely complex and building a simple, easily digestible narrative; the art of selling security. Having the security and then selling the security is what is going to differentiate banking brands in this space. Selling security is also going to help with digital adoption.

Electronic payment is much safer than cash. Just from a payment and transaction perspective, cash is only helpful in immediate proximity. Anything beyond that, then it’s a burden. Even close proximity can lead to disputes without receipts. Cash transactions aren’t safe or secure. We need to build security into our digital products - but then we need to market it and break it down into simple English. We need to do a much, much better job at selling security and digital to the Cash-is-King fellowship.

My job, now, with the rest of the Sparkle team, is to go back to the drawing board and be creative when explaining and transforming ISO 27001 from global safety spec jargon to real, useful information in layman’s terms for our Sparklers present and future. How can we explain to our tribe why we have invested so heavily in this security and why it may cost $1 more now to bank with us, however that additional $1 gives them a feeling of trust when it comes to their data and money safety? That’s what we’re working on as I write.