KPMG: Savvy youths value mobile banking security

Banks should be publicising their online and mobile banking security credentials as a way to differentiate themselves, according to a survey by the professional services firm.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Young professionals are embracing online and mobile banking technologies with open arms, but they are also worried about security and will be placing greater trust in banks that can give them peace of mind, according to KPMG.

All of the major banks have been ramping up their mobile banking and payment efforts, in line with changing customer behaviour. Commonwealth Bank released an Android version of its Kaching app in July, Westpac teamed up with MasterCard for an NFC mobile payments trial a month later, and ANZ announced that it was making a major technology investment with a focus on mobile and online banking in October.

ANZ is also running an NFC trial internally.

Mobile and online banking has made it more convenient for people to manage their money, as well as make payments on the go, but the security aspect of new banking methods is not entirely lost on consumers, according to KPMG's Major Australian Banks Survey Year End 2012.

The professional services firm surveyed more than 1300 young workers, aged 18-24 years old, employed at the company,with results showing that this group was adopting new banking technology at an alarming rate. Yet, they are wary of the security implications of online and mobile payment technologies, and will value banks that can address their concerns.

KPMG decided to run the survey internally, as the company saw this group of young professionals as a good representation of the "sophisticated banking customer of the future."

Key concerns from respondents were around data security and fraud.

"Banks need to ensure online and mobile banking security is robust, but more importantly, ensure consumers are aware of system security, and leverage this as a competitive point of differentiation," KPMG said in its research report.

Australian banks are traditionally tight-lipped about their IT security arrangements.

With banks now taking an increased interest in NFC mobile payments, it is important for them to strike the right balance between security and providing a convenient way for consumers to pay for items, according to ANZ Bank.

"I'm not saying [NFC] is a panacea for mobile payments, but maybe it's a good first step to start building a level of collaboration [between banks]," ANZ Bank Head of Payments John Collins said in September.

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