New research from Experian finds that consumers have more confidence in invisible security. And as David Britton, VP Industry Solutions at Experian tells Douglas Blakey, consumers want to be recognised digitally without extra steps to identify themselves.

Consumers are open to more practical solutions in today’s digital era and above all, they do not want to have to remember yet another password.

As more consumers engage with businesses digitally to bank, shop or pay, online security remains the top concern. Survey insights from Experian’s annual Global Identity & Fraud Report found that since the pandemic, consumers have an increasing level of comfort and preference for physical and behaviour-based – or invisible – methods of security.

In fact, for the first time in four years, passwords did not even earn a spot in the top three most secure methods for authenticating a customer’s identity.

The most popular authentication methods

Instead, the top three most preferred methods for authentication are:

  • physical biometrics, such as facial recognition and fingerprints;
  • pin sent to mobile devices, and
  • behavioural analytics, passively observed signals that require no effort from the consumer

The top three methods consumers prefer actually give people the added security they desire when accessing their accounts, according to David Britton, VP Industry Solutions at Experian.

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Sharp rise in digital activity post-Covid

The pandemic caused a surge in digital activity, far greater than expected and many believe this trend is not going away. In fact, there has been a 20% increase in consumer online transaction activities since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

There has also been a sharp rise in the percentage of consumers using online banking, even among market segments that have been slow adopters.

For example, the percentage of consumers over age 40 who report using online banking increased from 33% pre-Covid to 38% in January 2021.

But at the same time, fraud rates are currently on the rise and consumers are still prioritising a safe experience. Around 55% cite security as the most important aspect of their online experience. In addition, 2 out of 3 businesses have increased concern about the overall level of fraud.

Britton tells RBI: “Businesses must be able to properly identify their customers from fraudsters otherwise they are not only risking financial loss but also customer trust, which is critical for today’s digital consumer. There’s an opportunity for companies to modernise their authentication that doesn’t require heavy customer involvement and doesn’t take away from a seamless digital journey.”

Interview with David Britton, VP Industry Solutions at Experian

The 5th annual Global Identity and Fraud Report can be downloaded here:

Subhead: Additional key findings include:

  • 34% of consumers are worried about online privacy compared to 29% pre-pandemic;
  • 33% of consumers are worried about identity theft compared to 28% pre-pandemic;
  • 44% of consumers are most concerned about protecting credit cards and bank account details while only 23% were concerned about protecting personal data such as their date of birth, address and social security numbers;
  • 49% of consumers under 40 are more concerned about fraud now than before the pandemic, compared to 37% of consumers older than 40, and48% of consumers under
  • 40 feel safer using biometric security features than before the pandemic, compared to 37% of consumers older than 40.