Consumers Want Fast and Easy Authentication, But Security is Top Concern

Security breaches continue to be an ever-present threat for financial institutions. Defending against attacks and authenticating customers without creating undue friction is something financial institutions have not yet completely solved. Consumers seem to be willing to use more secure methods to access their accounts, but not necessarily give up on ease and speed of transacting.

“Attacks haven’t died down,” said Will Lasala, director of security solutions at OneSpan, a cybersecurity firm. “The amount of loss is through the roof. Stopping losses and the need to analyze what’s happening in those transactions is important.”

Security is a chief concern in choosing a bank, according to a new study from IDology, a fraud prevention, and identity verification company. The study reveals that the majority (56%) of US consumers would be, at least somewhat more likely to choose a bank if they knew it was using a particularly advanced identity verification method.

The most secure method for authentication was biometrics, according to respondents. In fact, 54% of respondents said methods that use fingerprint, face or voice recognition are very, if not extremely, secure. Third-party authentication was the least secure method of authentication, with around one-fifth of consumers seeing this as very secure.

Biometrics in lieu of a password is a great convenience to consumers but is seldom used for account origination.

Security, over ease and speed, is especially important for onboarding consumers. About nine in 10 consumers said it’s extremely important that the process of opening an online account is secure. The report found that 1 in 3 consumers would abandon the process of opening a new account because it was too difficult or took too long.

There was also a disconnect between the level of concern of a breach or misuse of data and actions to prevent fraud. For instance, 47% of consumers were “extremely” or “very” concerned about malware on their mobile devices and yet more than three-quarters of consumers only change their passwords once a year or less.

“Both on the consumer side and the commercial banking side we always advise customers to update their passwords on a regular basis and to not reuse usernames and passwords between financial websites and non-financial websites,” Secil Watson, Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of digital solutions previously told Bank Innovation.

Read the full report here.

Tune in to Bank Innovation on Tuesday, June 26 at 2 PM ET for our webinar with OneSpan on best practices for financial institutions migrating to authentication software.

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Monica Melton is an Associate Editor at Bank Innovation. She has worked as a Staff Writer at eMarketer and written for Time Out New York, The Real Deal, and POLITICO among others. Monica obtained her M.A. in international journalism from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and her B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington, Tacoma. She loves to cook vegan treats and dabbles in photography.