Protecting digital customer engagements against fraud: Top consumer trends banks and retailers should watch in 2021

Published: April 19, 2021 by Stacy Schulman, VP of Digital Communications, Global Decision Analytics

The surge in digital demand over the past year reinforced the deep connection between recognition, fraud prevention, and the online customer experience. As businesses transformed their operations to accommodate the rapidly growing volume of digital transactions, consumer expectations for easy, secure interactions increased at an even faster pace. And that meant less tolerance for the interruptions caused by security and risk controls.

Our 5th Annual Global Identity and Fraud Report highlights these shifts and more, drawing on three waves of data collected throughout the pandemic. The business and consumer surveys took place in waves from June 2020 to January 2021 across 10 countries spanning North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The breadth of data reveals notable changes in consumer and business behavior and priorities as each navigated the crisis.

One of the many heartening discoveries included the fact that 8 in 10 businesses said that they now have a customer recognition strategy in place, up 26% since the start of the pandemic. Many companies also developed digital strategies as they strove to improve their online experience and provide security and fraud prevention measures when customers needed it most.

When it comes to fraud prevention, companies are continuing to invest in securing online experiences. This is an encouraging trend, especially given that we anticipate fraud attacks will increase significantly in the near term.

Here are some key consumer trends from the 5th Annual Global Identity & Fraud Report:

Consumer digital trends and behaviors

  • As of January 2021, 43% of consumers plan to increase their banking and shopping transactions in the next 12 months
  • 60% of consumers globally have used a universal mobile wallet, a +7%-pts increase since the pandemic began and highest (66%) among under 40s
  • 55% of consumers say security is their top priority online. This has been the case for the past 5 years of our study, with privacy (23%) second.

Consumer concerns for fraud

  • 44% of consumers globally said they were most concerned about protecting credit cards and bank account details
  • 1 in 4 consumers (only 23%) were concerned about protecting personal data e.g. date of birth, address, and SSN or equivalent
  • 33% of consumers are worried about identity theft compared to 28% of consumers who were worried about it before the pandemic

Consumer preferences are shifting towards invisible security

  • 74% of consumers prefer the security of physical biometrics, which is most applicable to mobile devices and include facial recognition and fingerprints
  • 72% of consumers prefer the security of PIN codes, requiring the use of two devices, each connected to the users’ account
  • 66% of consumers prefer the security of behavioral biometrics, which is passively observed signals across browsers/ devices requiring no effort from the consumer

Even as businesses prioritize the customer experience and support, our research found that they’re still sustaining pre-pandemic levels of investment in security and fraud management.

Access the report here to get more consumer trends and find out what businesses are focusing their investments to improve their customer’s digital experience, including fraud prevention.

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