The top five reasons why mobile banking users don’t secure their transactions – and what that means for banks

Last updated: 22 December 2015

“It’s not my responsibility – it’s yours!”

That’s the message being sent loud and clear to banks by US mobile banking consumers. According to a recent study, more than three in four (77%) don’t use any security measures beyond what their bank provides. But why? Here are the top five reasons:


1: I don’t need extra security

More than half (54%) of US mobile banking users trust their bank: “My bank is bringing all the security I need. Why would I need to do anything else?”

2: It’s too hard

“Yes, perhaps there are other measures I should be using. But they are so complicated, so difficult to use! I’ll just stick to the bank’s measures.” This is the reasoning of 15% of US mobile banking users.

3: It’s not worth it

“Yes, there are other measures I could use. But do they really provide additional protection? Is it really worth going through the trouble, or the expense, of using them?” No, say 12% of US mobile banking users.

4: I don’t have time

“I should use extra protection, and I would, if it weren’t so time-consuming. I really don’t have time to do this!” That’s how 9% of mobile banking users in the US think.

5: What security measures?

Some mobile banking users are not familiar with extra security measures, or don’t even know they exist. “What’s that?” Say 6% of US mobile banking users.


What this means for banks

This is good news for banks. Firstly, because people are not afraid to use their mobile phones for banking. In fact, they even ask for it.

Secondly, as we have seen above, people trust their banks to take care of security for them. If you’re a bank, having your customers’ trust means you won’t be losing their business any time soon.

But it also means that you must keep this trust, by meeting customer expectations with an adequate level of security in mobile banking. As banks launch more valuable – and more risky – services on mobile phones, clearly, they cannot count on users for security.

So what should banks do? One option is to educate customers, explaining the importance of avoiding risky behavior such as jailbreaking their devices or activating a pass lock screen. Besides enhancing security, this would also show their customers that they take security seriously.

Will users of mobile banking heed such advice? Many probably will not, since it’s painful to change habits. And besides, do users really understand what this is all about?

The better option for banks, of course, is to provide strong security in their mobile banking solutions. That’s exactly what customers expect of them.

But there’s another thing mobile users expect: They also want their user experience to remain simple. If things get too complicated, they may well change bank.

If I were a bank, I’d be look for two things in my mobile banking solution. One: make sure it’s secure. Two: make sure it does not impact the mobile experience for end users.

But how do you increase the level of security without impacting convenience? That’s a very good question – which we’ll be tackling in a future post. Stay tuned!

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