RaboPlus Releases Survey on Australian Online Banking Security

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Online banking service, RaboPlus announced results of the TNS/RaboPlus online survey showing bank customers are concerned their personal details will be stolen through online transactions and want banks to offer better security levels than user name and password.

As online banking is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia, there is an understandable groundswell amongst bank customers to find the best in online security to protect their investments and themselves against fraud and ID theft

Online banking service, RaboPlus announced results of the TNS/RaboPlus online survey showing bank customers are concerned their personal details will be stolen through online transactions and want banks to offer better security levels than user name and password.

The TNS/RaboPlus Online Banking Security survey of 1,043 Australia's retail banking customers, interviewed online this year, found that 76 per cent were concerned about personal details being stolen during online banking transactions.

The survey showed that approximately one in 10 households have been a victim of a form of online banking fraud and that 78 per cent of respondents want banks to upgrade their security beyond username and password. Currently, 59 per cent of customers have only user name, password and customer number with possibly one additional security question required to conduct transactions online.

RaboPlus Head of Financial Services, Bryan Inch said bank customers in Australia were well behind their European and US counterparts in online security.

"As online banking is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia, there is an understandable groundswell amongst bank customers to find the best in online security to protect their investments and themselves against fraud and ID theft," he said.

Less than 10 per cent of the respondents had two factor authentication.

This was backed up by US reports, as a global issue, with a new survey released in the USA, by the NCSA and McAfee demonstrating just how vulnerable most computer owners are, as the majority who believe themselves protected by security software actually discover they are instead woefully under-protected, reported ITWire.

Some banks in Australia offer SMS and one-time password tokens but only for high value and corporate customers or those making large transactions. RaboPlus - the DIY online banking division of AAA rated Rabobank - offers all its customers a free Vasco Digipass.

The Digipass is an easy to use handheld device which is activated by a PIN and is then used in conjunction with the customer's number and randomly generated number codes to access accounts and authorise transactions.

New codes are emitted by the Digipass for every login and each transaction when activated by the customer, thus online criminals do not have time to capture and replicate these codes.

Mr. Inch said the Digipass security device foils internet fraud by adding extra layers of security beyond that of a username and password, and even beyond the security level of a random number generating token.

Devices such as the Digipass provides greater protection against "man in the middle" attacks. These occur when the criminals position themselves between the customer and the bank and are able to read, insert and modify transactions without the customer knowing.

The survey found the majority of respondents - 76 per cent - considered a bank's online security system when deciding which online bank account to choose. Customers believe that the banks should take greater responsibility for online security with 63 per cent indicating that it is not sufficient for their bank to say that they will cover their investment losses without improving the online security system. Furthermore, 49 per cent of respondents felt that the banks should be liable for any losses despite security software not being kept up to date by customers.

When respondents were asked to rate the importance of factors preventing online fraud - 87 per cent said 'not writing down or telling anyone my password', 85 per cent said having up to date software and 80 per cent said not undertaking any online banking from an internet café.

Rabobank's direct banking arm in Europe has devised sophisticated measures aimed to protect customers from online fraud. Globally, the Rabobank Group has over AUD 75 billion in online savings (in call and term deposits), with over nine million account holders using the secure Vasco Digipass.

Mr. Inch said there had been no successful online attacks against the Rabobank Group's direct banking arm and that Australian RaboPlus customers and their cash investments would be equally protected against online criminals.

View the full research results (PDF 82KB)

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Fiona Bendall
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