Is online banking like playing Russian Roulette?

Four out of ten consumers suspect they are playing with fire conducting financial transactions online, according to Entersekt.

The study of 1,000 people, found that while the individuals questioned love it, rely on it, and aren’t willing to give it up, 41% are convinced their accounts will be breached in the future, making it comparable to playing Russian Roulette! With 53% either directly affected by, or knowing someone that has fallen victim to card fraud, their fears may be well founded.

In the physical world customers are reluctant to let their credit cards out of their sight with only 13% doing so in the last six months when completing a transaction in a shop or restaurant. However, slightly less consideration is shown online with just two thirds (69%) of people making sure they know how secure their transaction will be before completing the process.

Interestingly, when comparing the sexes, there was a marked contrast in attitudes towards the risks associated with online banking and shopping. For example, women had greater reservations about the security of online banking and shopping with 51% worried about conducting financial transactions, versus 41% of males.

Seventy-two percent will look at how secure the transaction process will be versus 65% of males. However, both sexes are agreed that they would change their bank because of lack of security (70%).

Misguidedly, when asked who would bear the cost if a card was used without authorisation, 85% believe it is the bank or card issuer. In fact, when fraud occurs, it is the merchant who is ultimately responsible and faces the financial hit! That’s bad news for everyone as the price of goods will factor in for this eventuality.

Reassuringly, customers are not deterred by robust security practices. Contrary to some perceptions, 78% of consumers are in favour of using keys, fobs and passwords foisted upon them by banks in an effort to increase security.

In fact, only 18% would prefer reduced security as a payoff to having less hassle. This is borne out by the fact that over two thirds of online consumers would change their bank if they thought it was lacking in security, yet rather bizarrely, 30% wouldn’t move!

Mobile banking perceptions

With banks investing vast sums in mobile banking, it seems consumers are split about carrying out online transactions on their mobile devices – less than half are in favour (48%), 36% are against and a further 16% remain to be convinced.

Interestingly it is men who are less adverse to the practice with 32% stating they would use it versus just 25% of women. However, when examining what financial transactions they would be willing to complete surrounded by fellow passengers when travelling on public transport, just 18% would feel confident and secure to bank and shop online from their mobile phone, with a further 3% comfortable only to bank and another 18% would only shop.

Schalk concludes, “Just as people are looking to banks and retailers offering strengthened security, I believe mobile banking applications and services critically, should reflect this requirement. Trust is at the heart of any financial transaction and the very fact that 19% of the people surveyed are already taking advantage of mobile banking is a strong indication that it’s a service people require. Security becomes a critical requirement and all parties involved in a financial transaction need to consider security. Mobility and freedom to transact anywhere, anytime is no longer negotiable – it is the nature of the lives we live today.”

Schalk Nolte from Entersekt explained, “In today’s world, consumers are not only aware that fraud exists, but many have either experienced it personally, or know someone that has and this is verified by our survey. This criminality impacts all of us through increased insurance, increased prices, and increased hassle. However, what I think is interesting and actually quite comforting, is that people are happy to be inconvenienced if it means they’re better protected.”

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