Nearly 60% of Consumers View Mobile Phones and Laptops as Equally Secure for Payments

Despite the growing perception that smartphones provide more security online, most banking consumers said they think smartphones and computers are equally secure for several select online financial activities.

In the “Consumer Behaviors and Perceived Security Across Devices” report, PYMNTS gathered insights from a survey of 2,584 individuals in the United States to assess how consumers prefer to authenticate online financial transactions and their perceptions of digital security when transacting online.

Perceived device security

Data from the joint PYMNTS-Entersekt research revealed that 57% of banking customers consider both smartphones and computers as offering the same level of security when sending and receiving money to and from family or friends.

Similarly, nearly 56% of individuals expressed an equal level of trust in these devices when it comes to accessing their bank accounts, while almost 60% of consumers equally trust these devices when paying for goods and services.

The report found, however, that smartphones had a slight lead in terms of perceived security for money transfers between friends and family, with 22.2% of respondents finding mobile devices to be more secure, compared to 20.5% expressing the same sentiment about computers. When it came to making purchases, 22% of participants also considered smartphones to be more secure, in contrast to 18.8% who favored computers.

On the flip side, computers edged out smartphones in three instances: accessing bank accounts; paying bills, rent or loans; and spending or sending large amounts of money. The widest gap was perceived in the latter, with nearly 27% of consumers leaning toward computers as their preferred choice for transferring huge funds compared to just 19% for smartphones.

Overall, the research found that consumers want to be in control of their digital security when engaged in online financial activities, and financial institutions (FIs) can play an important role in assuaging their concerns.

“To empower banking consumers and bolster their trust in digital financial services, FIs must prioritize robust multichannel authentication strategies,” the report noted.