UK consumers unwilling to pay for Web banking security

UK consumers unwilling to pay for Web banking security

Two out of three UK consumers are unwilling to pay extra for increased security for online banking according to research from IT services group Unisys.

The survey of 1000 UK households found that although just over one in ten (11%) adults has been a victim of fraud, nearly two-thirds (61%) remain unconcerned about the security of bank services.

Unisys says despite the high incidence of identity theft, most consumers are not interested in proactively helping to manage the risk of fraud. The findings will be a blow to banking expecations of sharing with customers some of the costs of delivering new two-factor authentication programmes.

The majority of adults - 66% - would not be prepared to pay for increased fraud protection. Over half (58%) admitted that they don't want to be educated about banking security or fraud protection and 50% wouldn't switch banks to obtain better security or protection.

When asked what they personally can do to help protect their identity and prevent card fraud, the most frequent response (80%) was to destroy personal information, such as bank statements, more carefully.

Unisys says banks appear to be doing little to overcome consumer apathy, with 73% of consumers claiming that they had never been contacted by their banks to discuss potential fraud alerts or to verify transactions. Only a small minority (nine per cent) had heard about the threat from phishing from their bank.

Nigel Moden, retail banking partner at Unisys, says UK consumers appear to be happy to continue banking blindly, regardless of the threat of identity theft: "This laissez-faire attitude not only encourages increasingly audacious and industrial-scale fraud but also translates into millions of pounds being stolen each year from customers in the UK. At the moment, consumer self interest and the interest of the banks is not aligned, as the financial risk largely rests with the financial institutions."

Moden says banks need to combat fraud before it happens through improved fraud detection technology. Firms also need to to get much better at integrating data across all channels to create a fraud monitoring 'ecosystem' that holistically addresses the problem.

At the same time there needs to be a renewed commitment to educate and incentivise consumers to join the fight against fraud, he adds.

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