How Safe is Consumer Data amid the Increased Use of FinTech Applications

How Safe is Consumer Data amid the Increased Use of FinTech Applications

A recent research study claims that nearly 42% of people at least one use FinTech application globally. However, most of the users are not sure of safeguarding their data from companies.

In this unprecedented time, digital transformations are all over the place. In it, consumer data and advanced analytics help companies across the globe drive effective marketing campaigns. As more companies adopting their technology initiatives, they are investing more in digitalization and cloud simultaneously – especially the FinTech firms.

In this evolving market condition, how can customers protect their data and personal information while using FinTech applications? According to an ESET research study, almost 42% of global users have at least one free FinTech application or platform installed.

Among them, nearly 50% of consumers are still not sure if the application they use takes advantage of or sells their data. The researchers of this study have explored the critical areas of data security in the global consumer segment for various financial technology firms worldwide.

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About 10,000 customers were surveyed spanning the UK, US, Australia, Japan, and Brazil to understand how cyber-security works around financial technology. Simply put, the researchers focused on how fintech users protect their information.

The surveyed respondents were also asked to rate their technology proficiency to gain detailed insights – as per basic, intermediate, or advanced level. Grippingly, a large number of users who have not been acquainted with the reality if their data is being sold, about 31% indicated reading about terms and conditions in an application before downloading.

Likewise, only 29% of the consumers read the privacy policy in an app thoroughly. Such findings shed light on the actions of the consumers – showing how the majority of users are taking or not taking such measures to protect themselves and their finances.

This is indeed making them highly vulnerable to cyber attacks and breaches in return. In fact, nearly 48% of the consumers do not use a VPN as well as another 42% log in to their financial applications via public Wi-Fi.

Moreover, the research highlights the fact that only 1 in 5 global consumers has rated themselves as ‘advanced’ in terms of technical proficiency. Besides, about 31% of the respondents do not even use a password management system.

According to the research data, only 22% of users can be classified as “FinTech adopters” – as they use four or more financial technology appication. In this context, almost 93% do have security software installed on their mobiles or systems.

At the same time, for the “FinTech non-adopters” consumers (users who are limited to using between one to three apps), this figure comes to 85%. This could be a critical point to the fact that the FinTech consumers who are more fascinated in using these apps are more conscious of taking the necessary cyber-security precautions.

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Certainly, this will support in securing their sensitive data and personal finances. In this matter, Ignacio Sbampato, Chief Business Officer of ESET explains in the company blog – “Protecting consumers’ sensitive and financial data has never been more important. Financial technology has a role to play on the journey to personal and societal economic recovery, and it is vital that FinTech solutions and their users are adequately protected.”

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