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Most UK consumers resistant to mobile banking amidst security concerns

Mobile security needs to improve before mobile banking and payment services can take off in the UK, according to a new survey.

A June survey commissioned by software company Intercede found that more than half of UK consumers would "never use mobile banking services" because of security concerns. Of the total 2,022 UK consumers surveyed, 24% expressed concern about shopping online via a mobile device.  

"In the wake of the Heartbleed security breach, only a minority of consumers (18%) still feel confident that they are secure," Intercede said. "Concerns over mobile security and the safety of personal financial information were rife across all generations surveyed – overall 54% of consumers are worried about the level of security of their device."

Intercede said that young adults aged between 18 and 24 were the "most distrustful" of financial services available on mobile devices, with 62% of respondents in that age group stating they would not use mobile banking services and 60% claiming they never make mobile payments.

Respondents raised concerns about "mobile login and authentication options", it said. Richard Parris, chief executive of Intercede, said the survey showed that passwords are "no longer fit for purpose".

The Intercede study found that 75% of consumers that use social media on mobile devices are automatically logged into their accounts, with 23% of mobile banking users also automatically logged into their accounts.

"We all already have multiple digital identities, from online banking to social networking to email and others, but these identities are becoming more and more prevalent, and how we secure them is a growing concern for consumers," Parris said. "The industry needs to sit up and listen – we need more sophisticated forms of trusted identity."

A report by Cisco earlier this highlighted the problems businesses face in addressing IT security concerns as a result of the increasing move towards mobile services. Separately, a security researcher identified a range of security vulnerabilities in mobile banking applications which it said could be exploited by hackers to steal money.

However, last year the European Central Bank (ECB) proposed a raft of new mobile payments security standards (26-page / 361KB PDF) that banks and other payment service providers (PSPs) should have to adhere to, although payments made on a mobile device via a standard web browser are outside the scope of the recommendations the ECB made.

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