Convenience is vital for consumer banking cyber security

03 March 2017

Research shows as many as 11.7 million people in the UK had been victims of financial cybercrime

  • 11.7 million people victims of financial cybercrime in the UK
  • Phone type, social media habits and where you live might make you a target
  • People continue to use services they don’t consider ‘very secure’

Research by Equiniti, the FTSE listed FinTech and regulatory services business, shows that lifestyle factors such social media and banking habits can make people targets of cybercrime. The study, conducted by YouGov, revealed that as many as 11.7 million people in the UK had been victims of financial cybercrime*.

What makes people more likely to be victims?

1. Your Phone

Respondents with HTC (37%) and Motorola (27%) phones were the most likely to be targeted. Sony users (19%) and those without a phone (16%) were the least likely. Owners of the UK’s best- selling phone, the Apple iphone (25%), are in-line with the national average (24%).

2. Social Media habits

30% of cybercrime victims were LinkedIn users, making them the most popular targets. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users were in line with the national average around 25%, but the safest were those who don’t use social media, of whom only 17% had been victims.

3. Where you live

Londoners were the prime targets for cybercriminals (30%), while that number dropped to around one in four (24%) nationally and as low as one in five (21%) in the North of England.

4. Banking habits

Those who have switched bank accounts (28%) or used mobile banking apps (26%) were also slightly more likely to be targeted than average (24%).

5. Age

Under 25s were the least likely to be victims, with only 13% targeted. While those between 35 and 54 we the group most likely to fall prey to online criminals (26%).

The study revealed that many of the people who use digital banking (online or mobile apps) do not consider them to be ‘very secure’, suggesting that convenience outweighs their concerns. 87% of respondents said they banked online through a computer, however when asked how secure they thought it was, only 17% described it as ‘very secure’. Likewise, 48% respondents said that they did bank through a mobile app, but only 9% of all respondents thought it ‘very secure’.

Equiniti is developing a platform and support service which will allow its banking clients to use biometric security measures on their mobile apps. Facial and voice recognition technology can be used in tandem with geo-location recognition to reduce the risk of theft and identity fraud, including ‘proof of life’ validation for recipients of payments.

Commenting on the findings, Alistair Blaxill, CEO of Equiniti’s EQ Digital business, said:

“These findings show that people value the convenience of online services so much that they will use them even though they think there may be risks attached. While best practice regarding the use of passwords and public networks is important, Equiniti is developing security measures that mirror the convenience of these services. We are investing in biometric technology for the banking sector that will help reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals without adversely impacting the way services are accessed.”

* 24% of all respondents to a nationally representative sample said ‘yes’ when asked ‘Have you ever been the victim of financial cyber-crime? By this, we mean identity theft, hacking, transaction fraud etc.’

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Alex Child-Villiers / William Barker
Temple Bar Advisory
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7002 1128
Email: alexcv@templebaradvisory.com / williamb@templebaradvisory.com

Notes

Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,100 UK adults (18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th and 13th September 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted to be representative of the UK adult population.

About Equiniti

Equiniti is a specialist outsourcer delivering technology-enabled solutions to large enterprises. It processes £90bn in payments every year, handles 88 million documents and pays 20 per cent of pensioners in the UK. We provide sophisticated administration, processing and payments services powered by up-to-the-minute technology.

We are acknowledged leaders in many of our markets and keep things running smoothly for some of the UK's best-known brands and public sector organisations. Equiniti's services, which are delivered by over 3,500 employees across 28 locations, benefit 27 million people in the UK and 180 countries around the world.