A Quarter Of Brits Would Provide DNA To Boost Bank Security

fingerprint, biometrics

Telstra study shows security is becoming more important to UK bank customers than interest rates

Security is now the top priority for most most younger UK consumers when choosing a bank, and many would even consider providing a DNA sample in order to improve the security of remote banking access, according to a new study.

More than half of UK consumers cited the security of their finances and personal information as their top priority when selecting a financial institution, along with the organisation’s reputation for security, beating out previously top factors such as interest rates and ease of accessing funds, according to the Monday study by Australian telecommunications company Telstra.

Mobile security concerns

Mobile securityThe study focused on consumers between the ages of 23 and 50, finding that smartphones are the primary means of accessing banking services and managing finances for this group.

Twenty-five percent of those surveyed said they would consider providing DNA for security purposes, further emphasising the importance attached to security by British consumers, Telstra said.

“One in four UK consumers would even consider sharing their DNA with their financial institution, if it meant it would make authentication easier and their financial and personal information more secure,” stated Telstra banking executive Rocky Scopelliti.

Only one-third of UK consumers were found to be “very satisfied” with their banks’ authentication methods, with one-third willing to pay an extra £11 a year for more sophisticated mobile security measures. Nationwide and NatWest customers said they were the most satisfied with their identity and authentication methods.

Two-thirds of the UK consumers surveyed said they believed biometric techniques would result in more secure mobile banking applications and would reduce the risk of fraud, according to Telstra.

The Mobile Identity – The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobile and Identity”report is based on a six-month study that included interviews with 318 executives from financial services businesses across Asia Pacific, Europe and the US and a survey of 4,272 consumers of financial services in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the UK and the US.

Bank security fraud rises

A recent study by Halifax found that UK consumers are relying increasingly on mobile banking services and contactless payments, and less on cash, with only £18 of every £100 spent in current account transactions being in cash.

The trend has been accompanied by a rise in fraud targeting online banking services, with European infections of the Dyre banking malware surging in the first quarter of this year, according to Trend Micro.

“The quality of the (online banking) applications and security controls on mobile platforms are still maturing and cybercriminals are seeing these as ‘easy pickings’,” said Trend security consultant Bharat Mistry.

The Dyre malware has been used along with sophisticated social-engineering techniques to net criminals more than $1 billion (£674m) to date, according to IBM figures from this spring.

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