In the last few years, we have seen great levels of change in the banking ecosystem. New competitors arrived, such as alternative finance companies and challenger banks, which have propelled the banks to be more nimble and flexible to consumers’ needs.
Over the years, banks have innovated to make personal banking more convenient and consumer-friendly, but are they also more secure?
Although tentative at the beginning, consumers have increasingly adopted mobile and online banking. The Office of National Statistics reported that in 2014 71% of UK adults aged between 25 and 34 were using Internet banking services and, according to a report by the British Banking Association, by May 2014 the adoption of mobile banking apps had increased to 15,000 downloads a day in the UK alone.
Yet, full technology adoption has a major obstacle; the fear of data being stolen or accounts hacked. Even today, almost half (46%) of British Internet users in 2014 believed traditional over-the-counter banking is safer than banking online and 49% feel vulnerable when making financial transactions online, according to a survey carried out by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. But, is this fear unfounded?
People are concerned about their digital security. They are increasingly familiar with two-step authentication, login alerts and third-party security services to better protect their email and social media accounts. They expect a similar, if not more secure, level of protection from their banks.
Users need to protect their information and be aware of malware and scams such as phishing and vishing. Measures such as using and regularly refreshing secure passwords and PIN codes, not sharing your bank details or personal information with other people, scanning email attachments and avoiding jotting down your online banking credentials, go a long way in keeping money safe.
On the other hand, banks need to find the right balance between usability and security, integrating security methods at different levels. Many banks’ security measures are not visible to customers and aim to detect fraudsters targeting or accessing accounts, so that users enjoy as smooth an experience as possible. Banking institutions and retailers in particular strive to find the right balance between scrutiny and security. Methods of fraud protection that are too relaxed can cause sensitive information to be at risk. Too many levels of authentication can lead to frustration and the abandonment of the services.
Consumers feel better when they recognise a familiar ad trusted process that is appropriate for the transaction they are preforming.