Concern about poor security is the biggest barrier to the greater adoption of online banking, according to research.
Analyst firm TowerGroup reported that public doubt about online security has changed little over the past year, even though online banking breaches are rare and financial institutions have continued to make significant investments in e-security infrastructures.
"Online banking adoption has stalled because consumers are still concerned about security, despite the fact that e-security measures in place at most financial institutions are really very good," said George Tubin, a senior analyst at the TowerGroup's delivery channels service.
"In order to gain the trust necessary for continued online banking adoption, banks must fully indemnify their customers from fraudulent activity and be significantly more assertive in educating consumers on how they are protected."
Although banks have implemented security measures against threats such as hackers, viruses and network sabotage, these are not the fraudulent activities that most concern consumers.
Most customers view these as attacks against the entire institution, and not their personal assets.
TowerGroup added that, while online banking websites tell consumers about security technologies like 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption, this kind of technical data does little to communicate the measures in place to protect consumers.
It also does nothing to help consumers understand what they can do to keep personal information from inadvertently falling into the wrong hands.
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