FICO: Consumers prioritize fraud protection when opening accounts

A majority of consumers prioritize quality fraud protection programs before opening bank accounts, according to a recent FICO survey

Thirty-three percent prioritize fraud protection, according to the survey, which included responses from more than 14,000 consumers in 14 countries. Thirty-one percent cited ease of use as their top consideration. Sixteen percent prioritize receiving “good value for money,” while lesser percentages cited good customer service and ethical use of consumer data.

According to the report, 40 percent of Americans reported that they either know someone or believe that their own stolen identity has been used to open a financial account. Consumers in the 35-44 and 25-34 age brackets were most often victimized by identity theft.  

“Financial institutions are feeling the burden of finding the balance between safety and customer-centric experiences,” says TJ Horan, vice president of solutions product management at FICO. “With fraud increasing and consumers’ needs changing, it’s more important than ever for institutions to prioritize and implement seamless customer experiences that protect against identity-based frauds.”

A little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) said they preferred to use fingerprint scans as a security method. That was closely followed by facial scans (34 percent) and entering a username and password (33 percent). 

Consumers also prioritize efficiency in the account-opening process. According to FICO, more than two-thirds of consumers expect the checking account opening process to take less than 30 minutes. Twenty-five percent said they had abandoned the account-opening process due to overly complex identity verification methods. 

“Banks need to be mindful of the security processes, as overtly tedious processes could affect the customer experience,” FICO stated. “The report found that 74 percent of consumers say they understand that banks need to perform identity checks to protect them from fraud, but consumers’ patience with identity verification processes has a limit.”

According to the report, many consumers are also being deceptive to secure credit access. “Many think that falsifying information in applications is OK to gain credit,” FICO stated. “The report found that the risk of first-party fraud is high with about a third of consumers saying that exaggerating income on applications for financial accounts is acceptable in some circumstances or even normal behavior.”