One of every four people in the 27-37-year age group, the most prolific in using digital banking apps, reported a fraud in the past year
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
Indian consumers have taken to digital banking in a big way, but they are also among the biggest victims of banking frauds, shows a new report released by payments company FIS.
The report, surveying people across multiple countries, found that 18 per cent of Indian customers reported a fraud in the past year - more than any other country surveyed by the organisation.
These frauds occur across all ages and correlate with the frequency of usage of digital banking by different age groups, according to the report.
For instance, the age group most affected by frauds is 27-37 years. These people also happen to be the most prolific in using digital banking apps.
One of every four people in this age group reported a fraud.
By comparison, only 6 per cent consumers in Germany and 8 per cent in the UK reported banking frauds, while those in the US were twice as likely to switch their banks after a fraud as non-victims.
“This is higher than any other country included in this year’s PACE research. Fraud prevention and account security should be the top priority - yes, ahead of digital banking rollout – for banks in India.
"They must stem the tide of widespread security breaches and fraud, and protect their customers first and foremost,” the report stated.
The report highlighted another problem area that banks would do well to think - customer recognition.
Close to 40 per cent of customers surveyed said they were not entirely satisfied with the recognition received from their banking providers which could essentially lead to loss of customer loyalty over time.
“As digital banking continues to expand in India and the ability to change banks gets easier, banks may see customer loyalty erode unless they shore up recognition and rewards initiatives,” the report said.
However, there is some good news, too. Almost 58 per cent of all contacts with Indian banks by consumers are now digital and, interestingly, older consumers are far ahead of their younger counterparts in the digital race.
For instance, users above the age of 53 years used their laptops and smartphones the most for accessing banking services.
“Interestingly, it’s older consumers (age 53 and older) that use digital channels most frequently. This is a clear indicator of just how rapidly India is moving towards a digital-first economy and banking system,” the report noted.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, managing director (India), FIS, said that the report showed how fast digital access was improving but banks needed to improve customer satisfaction.
“Since the Indian economy is poised to transition into a less-cash economy, banks are providing their customers with digital capabilities that facilitate an extensive range of financial activities. With digitisation evolving, banks need to strategically prioritise individual customer needs and willingness in order to boost customer satisfaction,” he said.
The report also pointed out how financial advisors were currently in vogue in the country, with 60 per cent of respondents saying that they had at least one financial advisor and at least another 5 per cent saying that they had more than one advisor.
The use of financial advisor was observed in all age groups, even as it was a bit lower on the younger age side, with only 44 per cent of people in the 18-26-year age bracket reporting to be employing one.