Security concerns pertaining to financial services and online shopping run high amongst Indians: Study

Indians have a high level of concern about the security of shopping online, with 82% of Indians concerned about this issue, according to Unisys Corporation?s 2020 Unisys Security Index. Security concerns pertaining to the financial services sector were equally high with 82% concerned about unauthorized access to credit card or debit card details and online.

When it came to willingness to use a mobile app with facial recognition to access various services, the percentage of individuals willing to take this route to avail financial services, such as credit cards or home loans was considerably less as compared to other online services considered. Indians also expressed unwillingness to share personal data on buying habits with their banks or retailers, despite benefits such as alerts about suspicious activity or personalized offers from retailers. The top reason given for this unwillingness was attributed to concern around security of the data shared.

The findings also revealed that the majority of Indians are willing to share private data with the government in return for citizen benefits. This includes location data so police can find them in an emergency or data on their travel habits so they can get through airport security quickly, with 79% and 73% of respondents willing to share this data with the government. The study revealed that 73% respondents were willing to share health record data with insurance companies for recommendations on addressing potential medical issues and 72% were willing to share data with government agencies to expedite access to services such as driver?s license and government benefits.

?The findings show Indian consumers are very aware of data security threats in the digital world with financial data targeted by malicious attacks. While the pandemic has forced many of us to adopt digital platforms for financial transactions, consumers are very concerned about data security. This is a call to financial services organizations to secure their digital platforms and reassure their consumers about the safety of their digital transactions. A Zero Trust security posture is critical to building customer trust and loyalty in this space,? says, Sumed Marwaha, managing director, Unisys India and regional vice president, Services, Unisys.

Ajay Prabhakar, industry manager, Travel and Transportation, Unisys India notes: ?The survey revealed a whopping 73% of Indian consumers are willing to share data on their travel habits with the government so they can get through airport security quickly. The onus is now on airports to have the right mechanisms in place to enable travelers to share this data in a secure manner and use it judiciously to provide value-added services to consumers. Investments in biometric authentication, data security and analytics will help deliver a seamless and secure travel experience to travelers.?

Data Sharing Acceptable in Emergencies

Globally, consumers demonstrated similar preferences when it came to sharing their personal data with government rather than private organizations. Willingness is dependent on the type of organization and the purpose for which the collected data. In general, public sector usage, such as the police or government agencies, was considered more acceptable than usage by private sector businesses. And there is higher willingness where the data is used for emergency assistance or security alerts, rather than personalizing retail offers. People are most willing to share data if it is with the police and for the purpose of finding them in an emergency (61% willing); whereas they are least willing to share data with retailers in return for personalized offers (only 38% willing).

?The COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of contact-tracing in containing the pandemic appear to have played a role in defining the mindset of consumers towards data sharing. Like in India, security of the data shared is the most important concern globally as well that made consumers unwilling to share their data,? explained Seshadri PS, senior director, Office of the CISO.

The 2020 Unisys Security Index is a calculated score out of 300, covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security: national security in relation to war or terrorism, disaster/epidemic, bankcard fraud, financial obligations, viruses/hacking, online transactions, identity theft and personal safety. The index is based on online surveys conducted 16 March ? 5 April 2020. The survey is conducted across nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1% at 95% confidence level, and +/-0.8% at a global level. During the research, the COVID-19 pandemic was prevalent in each of the countries surveyed.

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