Two factor authentication

by Foolproof

Internet banking security is a hot topic and a primary concern for both the financial industry and consumer alike.

We’ve done a lot of user research recently and found that fears centre around potential loss of funds, the personal intrusion and the inconvenience of having to deal with the problem.

Consumers expect banks to cover any financial loss and the experience of our respondents has certainly reinforced that. Banks have therefore become obliged to cover losses to maintain good customer service. The cost of preventative security has become cheaper than compensation and additional measures are now being implemented.

Enter the Token / Card-reader / PINsentry / Defender / Secure key device AKA two factor authentication or 2FA. The point of the device is to generate codes on a device independent of the device accessing internet banking, making it almost impossible to hack.

So what are consumers saying about these devices? It essentially boils down to two things a) convenience vs. security, and b) behaviour. With internet banking, security always wins out. The inconvenience of using a device is perceived to outweigh the hassle and personal invasion if accounts are compromised.

The net effect of 2FA implementation is a shift in behaviour:

  • Frequent/confident users adapt – If the device is small and portable, it will be carried, if not, banking tasks will be restricted to the location of the device, typically home or work
  • Unconfident users welcome the additional security (a commonly cited reason not to bank online) so migrate online (although tentatively)

In conclusion, 2FA devices don’t drive customers away. Most, if not all, will adapt but make it easy for the frequent confident customers by providing a device that’s easy to carry i.e. it fits on a key ring or in a wallet.

Author: Roger Smithers

What do you think?