UK Survey: Consumers Have Trust Issues with Banks

By | March 12, 2013

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Ronald Reagan liked to say "trust, but verify."

The people of the UK have spoken, and they feel the same. They're having a difficult time trusting that the financial services industry -- and other organizations that use call centers -- are adequately protecting their personal information.

Banks top the list of organizations consumers trust least with their personal data, according to a newly released survey of 2,000 UK consumers. The report, issued by business communication providers Avaya and Sabio, indicates that consumers had the least amount of faith in the banking sector, with 46 percent of respondents suspecting high-level breaches of security at financial institutions as the norm.

Of those with concerns, 45 percent saw the largest breach risk as coming from their contact with various call centers, suggesting the public has grown wary of doling out their personal information to relative strangers and have little trust in the security measures taken by these phone operators.

Each year in the UK, six million consumers – or 10% of the UK population – end their relationships with organizations due to call center concerns, according to the report. A situation the issuers of the survey say could easily be redressed.

"The research suggests that consumers are becoming increasingly security savvy. Businesses need to build back confidence in traditional transactions methods. Customer service technology can help them achieve this, whether creating confidence in the secure nature of their own contact center organizations or encouraging the merchants that depend on their transaction services to do the same,” said Kenneth Hitchen, Founding Director, Sabio in a statement.

But when it comes to security and best practices, people are often their own worst enemy.

While UK consumers demand that their information be protected, they balk at the need for enhanced security measures that hinder the speed of their transactions. For example, 55 percent claim they are irritated by having to repeat their security information, while 51 percent they are put off by a provider that requires too many passwords and security details.

Simon Culmer, Managing Director, UK, Avaya, says that in order for trust to build, the consumer needs to have faith in the technology.

"Consumer trust in technology is key. It should be used to reassure customers that their security concerns are being addressed while simultaneously improving the customer experience, speeding up the time and driving down the cost of each and every customer service interaction," he said in a statement.

We shared the results of the survey with Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst, Suvradeep Bhattacharjee, who had some real-world suggestions on how Enterprise IT professionals charged with securing these call centers could re-evaluate security procedures to regain this lost trust.

"Enterprise IT executives need to automate the security procedures as consumers tend to trust machines more than live contact center agents with their secure data," Bhattacharjee told Security Bistro. "Also, multiple security questions needs to be streamlined where use of voice biometrics could be immensely helpful."

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