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​Australian Consumers the Most Frustrated Group in Asia Pacific When Accounts Frozen due to Suspected Fraud – Unisys Survey

Unisys Banking Insights research reveals Aussie consumers prefer online banking services but have not yet embraced mobile banking apps

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 14 September 2017 – New research from Unisys Corporation reveals Australian consumers are the most likely in Asia Pacific to be frustrated when their bank account is frozen due to suspected fraud.  

The Unisys APAC Banking Insights Survey provides insights into the attitudes of bank customers in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan. Research firm OmniPoll polled a nationally representative sample of 1,237 Australians.  

Security vs Convenience

The survey examined the balance between security and convenience in the customer experience for anti-fraud measures taken by banks. When asked how they would feel if their bank blocked their credit card because of a suspected fraudulent transaction that turned out to be genuine, almost half (48 percent) of Australians said that they would be frustrated by the inconvenience of having their account suspended even though they were glad action had been taken to protect them. A further 11 percent said they would be annoyed because they could not access their accounts – the highest of the seven countries surveyed. This finding suggests that banks need to improve the detection of fraud more accurately to prevent losses and unnecessarily inconveniencing customers. 

How Australians feel 

What annoys Aussie bank customers most?

Australians and New Zealanders both cited having to repeat themselves to different service consultants or channels as the most annoying thing when engaging with a bank (24 percent of Australians). However, nearly as many (23 percent) are annoyed by long queues in the branch – which was the top annoyance in the Asian markets in the survey. 

"Australian banks have focused on a successful multi-channel strategy and as a result, Australians value convenience when dealing with their financial institution. This expectation for convenience can lead to frustration if they have to wait in long queues, repeat or re-authenticate themselves or have their accounts frozen to protect them from suspected fraud," says Richard Parker, vice president, Financial Services, Unisys Asia Pacific. "Consumers expect their bank to know who they are, all of their relationships with the bank and what information has already been given to the bank. It is not enough to offer multiple channels – Aussie customers want the right experience at the right time regardless of the channel or device: an omnichannel experience." 

Transaction type impacts preferred channel

The survey reveals that the type of banking interaction impacts which channel customers prefer to use. Australians prefer online channels to access many services: research banking products (68 percent of respondents), check account balance (57 percent) make payments under $1,000 (54 percent) or make payments over $1,000 (49 percent). However, the majority of Australians still prefer to go into a bank branch to apply for a home loan (53 percent) or open a deposit account (47 percent). When applying for a credit card or personal loan, they are almost equally likely to go online (43 percent) or into a branch (42 percent).

"Branches still play a key role in educating customers on their financial future, but most bank transactions can be done via more convenient digital channels. This digital transformation reflects a global trend as banks respond to these issues. Providing a seamless, frictionless customer experience across all channels is key to delivering a positive customer experience," says Eric Crabtree, vice president and global head, Financial Services, Unisys. 

Mobile payments the first step to Aussies embracing mobile banking

While Australian consumers prefer online interactions with their bank for most services, they do not yet embrace mobile apps. New Zealanders are twice as likely as Aussies to use a mobile app to open a deposit account or apply for a credit card or personal loan. However, there is appetite for Australians to use mobile apps to check their account balance (25 percent) and make payments less than $1,000 (18 percent) – yet these levels are not as advanced as in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia or the Philippines.  

% of bank customers who prefer to use mobile apps by type of transaction

Australia New Zealand Singapore Malaysia Philippines Hong Kong Taiwan
Check account balance 25% 38% 33% 28% 34% 14% 7%
Payments under $1000 18% 32% 28% 23% 26% 10% 6%
Payments over $1000 12% 20% 17% 14% 15% 6% 4%
Research banking products 7% 7% 7% 11% 13% 5% 5%
Open a deposit account 5% 10% 5% 4% 5% 2% 2%
Apply for a credit card or personal loan 4% 8% 7% 5% 8% 4% 3%
Apply for a home loan 3% 3% 4% 4% 5% 2% 2%


Unisys' Parker explains: "It is interesting that while Australians value convenience, they are behind other Asia Pacific nations when it comes to using mobile banking – even though Australian banks have led the roll out of mobile banking apps. This reticence to adopt the more complex transactions is likely to be due to security concerns: the recent Unisys Security Index™ found that the top security concerns for Australians are identity theft and unauthorised access to personal data1. The same research found that the main barrier to using payment apps on smart watches is concern about data security. The perceived security concerns outweigh the potential benefit of convenience. To drive Aussie consumers to mobile banking channels Australian banks need to reassure their customers of the steps taken to protect their data in order to gain and keep customer trust." 

Download infographic here

1 – Unisys Security Index – media release

Research Methodology

Research firm OmniPoll conducted the online survey in September 2016, polling nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 people aged 18+ years in each of: Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.  

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specialises in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

About Unisys Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions to clients in more than 15 countries across the region. For more information visit: Follow us on twitter @UnisysAPAC, LinkedIn, and in China on: and WeChat Official Account: Unisys China. 


Candi Hindocha, Impact Communications
+61 2 9519 5411 or +61 459 104 978,

Claire Hosegood, Unisys Asia Pacific,
+61 411 253

Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.