FICO: Malaysians are happy to provide their bank with a biometric as they struggle with passwords

FICO, a global analytics software firm, has released its Consumer Digital Banking Survey, which found a notable percentage of Malaysians not taking the necessary precautions to protect their passwords and logins when banking online.

The study found that only 46 percent are using separate passwords to access multiple accounts; 22 percent have between two to five passwords they reuse across accounts; and a staggering 14 percent use a single password across all accounts. Additionally, 23 percent of respondents use an encrypted password manager — which many consider best practice — while 22 percent adopted risky approaches to recall passwords, such as writing them down in a notebook.

“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,” said Subhashish Bose, FICO’s lead for fraud, security and compliance in Asia Pacific. “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.”

FICO’s study shows that consumers struggle to recall their current passwords. Nearly half of respondents (43 percent) reported that they have abandoned an online purchase because they forgot the login information, and 45 percent saying they were unable to check an account balance. Forgotten usernames and passwords also affect new account openings, with 20 percent saying that it has stopped them doing so with an existing provider.

This is noteworthy as consumers are more willing than ever to bank online. The study found that 78 percent of Malaysians say they would open some kind of financial account online, such as personal loans (28 percent), credit cards (45 percent) and everyday transaction accounts (65 percent).

Malaysians have at the same time become more accepting of biometrics, with the study revealing that 78 percent are happy to provide this information to their bank. The use of fingerprints was the most widely accepted approach (79 percent), facial scans came second (38 percent) and eye scans last (27 percent). A more popular alternative with Malaysians was analysis of how they type their password (74 percent), a technique known as behavioural biometrics.

The survey also asked Malaysians about the current security used when logging into their mobile banking apps beyond traditional usernames and passwords. The five most widely used security alternatives were, one-time passcode via SMS (63 percent), fingerprint scan (39 percent), one-time passcode via email (33 percent), one-time passcode generated by bank supplied device (30 percent) and facial scan (23 percent).

“Digital services are now an important part of our lives, it’s very important for consumers to protect themselves from online scams and fraud,” said Bose. “Malaysians have the highest adoption of one-time passcodes by SMS out of all ten countries surveyed, but they are also willing to adopt additional biometrics to secure their accounts. Financial institutions and Malaysian consumers have shown they are ready to adopt more secure authentication technologies in an effort to stay protected from fraudsters online.”

The survey was produced using an online, quantitative poll of 5,000 adults (over 18) across ten countries carried out on behalf of FICO by an independent research company. The countries surveyed were: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, UK and the USA.



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