93% of Australian consumers worry about digital bank fraud. Here’s how to mitigate their concerns.

93% of Australian consumers worry about digital bank fraud. Here’s how to mitigate their concerns.

By Michael Robertson (pictured), VP Sales – Bureau Solutions, Asia Pacific at Entrust

Mobile banking in Australia has grown exponentially over the past year or two, as consumers embraced the convenience — and growing necessity — of digital payments. Research by Roy Morgan suggests that nearly two-thirds of Australians now use their mobile phone for banking, up by 7% over the past year.

However, like with any data hosted over the internet, the potential for financial information to be breached by bad actors is also surging. During the same time period, global identity fraud losses reached a whopping AUD $76.7 billion (USD $56 billion) with financial institutions, businesses and consumers all suffering.

Further, those figures do not include indirect costs such as damaged reputations or time spent remediating the situation. In recent study by Entrust 43% of respondents from Australia indicated that they have switched their bank or credit union as a result of a credit or banking fraud incident.

Consumers are security-conscious, and a lack of security can have damaging consequences

Consumer demand is high for digital banking and payment experiences. The report found that 93% of respondents from Australia prefer to do their banking online, and digital banking capabilities are the single most important factor when evaluating banks. With more than half of all respondents indicating their preference to open a bank account digitally, digitally issued cards can be an effective selling point, enabling customers to launch an account with a bank and instantly receive a ready-to-use card.

But just because consumers are eager for digital experiences doesn’t mean they’re willing to compromise on security. Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents from Australia said they were concerned about the potential of banking or credit fraud as both become more digital.

There are good reasons for their concerns as many of these consumers have experienced fraud themselves: Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents from Australia were notified of a personal banking or credit fraud in the past 12 months.

Financial institutions have a lot to lose from fraud — not only the direct costs of the fraud itself or non-compliance fines, but also indirect costs like lost customer loyalty. Given the amount of competition in the space from established traditional financial institutions to emerging fintech disruptors, today’s consumers have more options for who to do business with than ever before. To avoid these consequences, banks and credit unions will not only need to improve their security offerings, but also communicate with customers on how advanced technology keeps their payments and accounts secure.

4 ways to secure payments and ease customer concerns

Given consumer concerns regarding fraud, banks and credit unions need to strengthen their security posture with high-quality security tools that help reduce the frequency and severity of data breaches.

By investing in advanced technologies, banks and credit unions alike can capitalize on consumers’ growing interest in digital banking and online payments right now and more importantly, build their customer base for years to come. They should consider a security portfolio built on trusted identities, data and payments. Here are three pieces of advice to get started:

1. Tokenize sensitive information: First, ensure sensitive customer data is protected at its source and when shared using tactics like tokenization or encryption. Tokenization is the process of obscuring personally identifiable information so it’s only interpretable to systems or authorized users with the correct security key.

In the context of digital payments, when a consumer charges a cup of coffee to their contactless credit card, instead of sharing the credit card number directly, a merchant-specific encrypted token is provided for each purchase. In the event the coffee shop suffers a data breach, the customer’s payment information is unreadable to hackers and effectively worthless.

2. Authenticate identity: In addition to protecting sensitive data, be sure to leverage authentication solutions that ensure users are who they claim they are. Considering 61% of breaches are caused by stolen or compromised ​​credentials, authentication can effectively block the majority of today’s attacks.

Tactics like passwordless access, device reputation management, transaction verification and adaptive authentication can help fight fraud without disrupting the consumer experience. For online transactions, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) can help to confirm the identity of the use through a combination of unique security options and biometrics. These solutions both validate users and devices, while also proactively detecting and alerting financial institutions to fraudulent patterns for quick remediation.

Recently, there also have been advances in credit and debit cards technologies that allow for the use of embedded biometric readers for authentication. For example, the addition of a fingerprint reader, where authentication is done via a simple fingerprint scan. Not only does this add a layer of security that ensures the legitimate card owner is making the transaction, the payment experience is also frictionless and truly contactless with no need for entering personal identification numbers (PINs) into point of sale (POS) devices.

3. Enhanced security for digital payments: Today’s consumers also expect secure payment options. A digitally issued card provides layered protection against bad actors, including a secure, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant interface and the ability to instantly turn off a compromised account.

To assist in multi-factor security for online payments, some credit cards also include a Dynamic Card Verification Value (CVV). Rather than having a fixed CVV, there is an e-ink mini screen embedded into the card, providing a random new code at predetermined intervals. Even if the card details are stolen or the stored card holder’s information is breached, the CVV will no longer be valid.

Additionally, a user’s mobile device provides a convenient avenue for another layer of identity authentication measures which further protect the digital card. Highlighting the security capabilities of digitally issued cards will win over current customers and help to attract new ones.

4. Educate customers: While customers don’t need to know the mechanics of the security technology, providing them with ongoing education helps protect their accounts and transactions. 

When it came to account access security, survey findings revealed that most consumers are aware of basic security tactics like username and password, security questions, two-factor authentication and fingerprint recognition, but consumers likely need more education on advanced features like biometric authentication methods, that will work alongside other channels such as a token or an one-time password (OTP).

It’s clear that while there is an increasing preference for digital banking and online payments, fraud is a top concern for consumers. To continue to grow consumer loyalty in an increasingly competitive market, financial institutions need to meld their rich digital offerings with appropriate security measures to strengthen trust between them and their customers.