Millennials are unhappy with mobile banking, falling for plenty of scams

25 Oct 2016

Millennials are not the tech superstars we were lead to believe they were. Image: Roman Kosolapov/Shutterstock

A pair of studies into millennials’ attitude to the online world made for two surprising findings: they don’t like mobile banking and they fall for an awful lot of online scams.

Picture the average victim of malware or some other type of phishing cyberattack. Now picture someone who’s more at home in a bank than using an app. Do they look the same?

Well they should, though you’re probably thinking of the wrong demographic. Millennials are, according to recent research, far from the polished article online.


Millennials: A surprise

Microsoft recently commissioned a major study into 1,000 people from 12 countries, investigating their experiences with online scams. The results were… surprising.

While two-thirds have experienced a cyber scam, and 10pc have actually lost money to a cyber scam, half of those affected were millennials.

India, China and the US were particular hot zones for fraud, across a survey that also took in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Singapore and South Africa.

According to Microsoft, these results may – at first glance – appear surprising, but the study reveals something quite telling: fraudsters’ tactics are evolving.

“By leveraging pop-ups, unsolicited email and scam websites as additional entry points for scams, fraudsters are reaching a broader number of people including younger than expected victims,” said the company.

While older people affected by cybercrime tend to be reached over the phone, it’s dodgy websites that hit millennials hardest.

Millennials: Educate together

“Above all, the best thing you can do to help protect yourself is to educate yourself,” said Microsoft although, as is proven each year when a new list of terrible password choices emerges, that’s easier said than done.

A separate study in the US and UK showed millennials are unenthused by mobile banking; this is despite the alternative being mind-numbingly painful for humanity.

It has been estimated that millennial buying power will reach $1.4trn by the end of the decade, so keeping the demographic happy should be a priority.

However, things like security uncertainty and even the general inability to remember logins and passwords are scuppering the experience for many.

In a survey of 700 people, 93pc confirmed that they have abandoned a banking transaction – applying for a credit card, opening a new account or simply accessing an existing account – on at least one occasion.

Millennials: Password woes

The primary challenge millennials cited in these transactions was a forgotten password.

“The digital transformation of banking and financial services creates enormous opportunity for both customers and businesses, but the insights from our research confirm a critical need to improve customer experience to meet the requirements of millennials,” said Jumio CEO Stephen Stuut.

“As concerns around data security reach new heights, the call to action for businesses is clear: protect customers from fraudulent account access, by creating new ways to validate identity that make the customer experience more seamless, not more complex.”

Jumio’s report is rather self-serving, in that it is a company operating in the digital ID verification sphere (which it cites as a way around this surprising obstruction), though the results of its survey are still interesting.

Indeed, as disruption throughout the banking system continues, those that streamline experiences will rise to the top.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic