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​​Data Security Now the Top Australian Consumer Priority When Choosing a Bank - New Unisys Research Finds

Australians have the region's lowest level of trust in banks – Unisys Asia Pacific Banking Insights study

Sydney, 26 March 2019 – New research from Unisys Corporation reveals Australian bank customers rank data security as the issue that matters to them most about their bank. In a red flag for Australian banks preparing to work with third-parties to roll out new services in an Open Banking environment, Australians have the region's lowest level of trust for sharing personal data with banks.  

The 2019 Asia Pacific Banking Insights: Trusting in the Banking Experience is a study of the attitudes of banking customers in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines and Taiwan. This year's report identifies which bank attributes matter most to consumers and explores the delicate relationship between security, convenience and trust in financial institutions. 

The majority of Australians (60 percent) cite focusing on the security and safety of customer data as the thing that matters to them most when engaging with a bank. Almost half (49 percent) rank transparent services and easy to understand products as a priority – the highest in the region, and 45 percent cite efficient service and issue resolution. 

"The Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has put the spotlight on banking practices, and customers rank data security as a higher priority than transparency or efficiency," says Ian Selbie, industry director Financial Services, Unisys Asia Pacific. 

Of the five countries surveyed, Australian bank customers have the lowest level of trust in banks to protect customer data with only 16 percent of Australians citing that banks are the organisation they trust most to share their personal data with. Young people aged 18-24 have the highest trust in banks (27 percent), but trust rapidly falls with age and is half that level for those aged 35 years and over.  

"Australian banks rate themselves as more advanced than the rest of the region in Open Banking – where banks can digitally share data and processes with third parties to provide new services to customers. However this research shows that banks don't have the trust of the public. Australian banks need to act quickly to restore consumer trust by visibly enhancing their security, compliance and ethical standards. They can't treat Open Banking as a compliance issue – they have to see it as being key to customer trust and experience. Some good news for Australian banks is that trust is highest among young customers, providing a foundation on which to rebuild their customers' trust over time." 

Australians are experiencing a crisis of trust: 39 percent of Australians say they don't trust any organisation – the highest in the region. Australians also have the region's second lowest level of trust in government (19 percent). Even fewer trust card networks such as Visa or MasterCard (nine percent), online services such as eBay, Amazon or Alibaba (four percent) or telcos (one percent).  

Australians rank having to repeat themselves to different consultants or bank channels as the most annoying thing about their bank with 29 percent annoyed by this issue. And those aged 18-34 are twice as annoyed as older Australians by online services that require them to print a form to mail or take to a branch.  

"While Australian banks provide a good digital experience, they still fail to provide a true omnichannel experience across all touch points. And younger Australians, the growing segment of their customer base, expect online services to be a complete end-to-end service," Selbie says. 

Australians have the lowest level of comfort using biometrics to verify their identity to authorise financial transactions, of the five countries surveyed. Even so, the majority of Australians are comfortable using facial or fingerprint recognition at an ATM (59 percent) or voice, face or fingerprint to access mobile banking apps (57 percent). Slightly fewer (45 percent) are comfortable using voice recognition when calling the bank's call centre. However they are yet to embrace behavioural biometrics with only 27 percent comfortable with a bank tracking the unique way a person scrolls through websites, types on a phone or presses buttons, to verify identity.  

"Of those who don't support using biometrics in banking, most say they are 'just not comfortable' (57 percent), are concerned about data security (46 percent) or don't want the bank to have access to their identity data (46 percent). Therefore rebuilding customer trust is key to implementing this type of advanced security measure," says Selbie. 

More than 450 financial institutions worldwide rely on Unisys solutions. Elevate™ is an end-to-end, digital banking software platform and suite of applications designed to help financial institutions deliver an instantly secure, omnichannel banking experience to their customers. Elevate is secured with Unisys' Stealth®, an identity-based micro-segmentation security software that allows banks to microsegment and conceal critical assets and establish encrypted channels for secure user, application and system communication.

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments on Earth. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services; and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing. For more information on how Unisys builds better outcomes securely for its clients across the Government, Financial Services and Commercial markets, visit Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Claire Hosegood, Unisys APAC,
+61 411 253 663,

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