Fraud protection is the highest priority for individuals when opening a financial account according to a consumer study from FICO.

It reports that 1.9 million Brits have had their identity stolen and used by a fraudster to open an account. But FICO reports that there is now a gear-change in acceptance of more advanced authentication methods.  A few years ago, biometrics were relatively unknown in the mainstream consumer market. Now they’re the preferred authentication method.

The FICO report uncovers a mixed picture of consumer attitudes towards fraud when it comes to financial services.

FICO report: Fraud, Identity and Digital Banking key findings

  • 4.3% of respondents have had their ID stolen and used by a fraudster to open a financial account – equivalent to 1.9 million Brits;
  • A further 5.4% think it’s probable their stolen identity has been used to open an account;
  • 34% rank good fraud protection as their top consideration when choosing a new account provider; 73% had it in their top three;
  • ID theft to open financial accounts is the type of fraud that worried Brits the most (30%);
  • 1 in 5 consumers most fear having their bank account taken over by a fraudster;
  • 16% are most worried about being tricked into sending money to a fraudster;
  • Biometrics are a favourite security choice, with 68% preferring to use fingerprints, and
  • 87% of consumers believe biometrics deliver excellent security

Consumer resistance to the use of new verification tools is waning

“With our data showing that nearly 1 in 10 UK adults believe they have probably been the victim of identity mis-use, vigilance is obviously key”, said Sarah Rutherford, senior director, fraud marketing at FICO.

“This goes beyond just having their identity stolen. It’s about it actually being used in a fraud and all the pain that brings.

“It’s also important to note that our data merely indicates those who know their stolen identity has been used for financial fraud. Most people don’t find out immediately about fraud in their name – if ever. And, of course, a fraudster is unlikely to only use a stolen identity once, so the value of the fraud will be considerable too.

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“It’s not surprising, therefore, that consumers are looking for financial services providers they can trust who are doing the best to protect their identity and finances. And it’s good to see that the previous resistance to the use of new verification tools such as iris, face and fingerprint scans, is waning as individuals recognise the benefits.”