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What Can UK Banks Learn from Capital One’s new Browser Extension as an Example of Common-sense Fintech Innovation

In 2017, one of the US’ biggest credit card issuer and commercial bank, Capital One launched a digital assistant named Eno. Eno was designed to help customers effectively transact with their accounts through the easy and user-friendly means of SMS.

In 2018, Capital One has taken its innovation one step further by bringing Eno as an extension on the new versions of the Chrome and Firefox browsers. If you are a Capital One cardholder, this extension could be extremely useful to you. With the extension, you can avoid the plague that many cardholders around the world face – the plague of fraud

The extension functions by monitoring your online activity and detecting when you are on a checkout page. If you are on a checkout page, the extension will automatically create and provide you a one-time virtual credit card number. This number can then be used to complete your online purchase or other transaction. The benefit of this is using a unique virtual credit card number for every individual transaction provides you greater protection against data theft. And if making recurring payments, the one-time virtual number will prevent an online merchant from billing you in the future without your proper authorisation.

What can UK Banks learn from Capital One’s innovation?

Firstly, innovation doesn’t have to be a complicated affair

Data centres aren’t new, but many businesses are yet to take advantage of them. Similarly, virtual credit card numbers are not new, yet, major credit card issuers in the UK have failed to make the most of them.

Barriers to providing virtual card numbers are relatively low and Capital One has taken advantage of this by thinking outside the box and providing its customers with the Eno browser extension.

Eno is unique in the sense that it can on its own detect a checkout page and provide you a virtual number on the spot and without hassle to fulfil your transaction. You don’t even need to manually request for the numbers. If UK banks were to copy Capital One’s innovation, they’d be one step closer to providing services that their clients actually need.

Secondly, innovation will always provide a competitive advantage

While it remains to be evident that Capital One’s Eno has provided the company a significant advantage over competing banks, one can still assume the company is in a better place than its competitors since it’s providing something no one else is offering. And until Eno is duplicated by other major card issuers, Capital One will continue to own the lead on that front.

This shows that established financial institutions, just like Capital One can innovate and lead without having to build unnecessarily complex technologies. With Eno, Capital One can improve the safety and shopping experience of its cardholders which in the long run actually helps the company reduce fraud related costs it would typically have to endure. A UK bank that can duplicate such as an accomplishment would have scored a big win on multiple fronts.

Do you feel there’s something else UK banks should learn from Capital One’s Eno? Let us know in the comment section.