US-based data analytics company FICO in its ‘Consumer Digital Banking Survey’, has revealed that a “notable percentage” of Malaysians are failing to secure their passwords while banking online. The study also unveiled the rising interest in biometric technology among Malaysians.

The survey polled 5,000 adults online across Brazil, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, UK and the US.

Of those polled, nearly half (43%) were found abandoning their online purchases as they could not recall their passwords.

Twenty two percent of the respondents said that they have to write down their passwords in a notebook while 20% are unable to open a new account with an existing provider as they have forgotten their passwords.

However, as consumers continue to increasingly adopt online banking, they have become more accepting of biometric-based authentication to secure their accounts.

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The survey reveals that 78% of Malaysians are willing to provide their biometric information to their banks.

The most preferred method in this aspect was fingerprint authentication, followed by facial scans and eye scans.

As many as 74% of the respondents also accepted behavioural biometrics as the preferred method – which analyses how they type their passwords.

Meanwhile, the study found that only 46% of Malaysians prefer using separate passwords to access multiple accounts.

According to the study, 22% reuse two-to-five passwords and 14% use a single password across all their accounts.

FICO Asia Pacific lead for fraud, security and compliance Subhashish Bose said: “As consumers’ reliance on online services grows in response to Covid-19, criminals are preying on this, targeting consumers with malicious activities such as phishing and social engineering.

“With Malaysia’s movement control order, many Malaysians are only able to access their finances digitally, so it’s essential to stay vigilant and take the time to adopt security best practices.”

Other notable findings

The survey also polled Malaysians on the security used while using a mobile banking app beyond traditional usernames and passwords.

On this question, 63% preferred receiving one-time passcodes (OTP) via SMS, 33% via email, and 30% via a bank-supplied device, in order to log in.

Further, 39% of the respondents chose fingerprint scan and 23% chose facial scan as the preferred alternatives.