One in four UK consumers even willing to share DNA with bank for secure authentication

One in four UK consumers would consider sharing their DNA with their bank to make authentication easier and their sensitive information more secure, according to new research.

With Smartphones having now emerged as the primary channel used by Gen X and Gen Y to access and manage their finances, the report looked at how expectations around how banks managed mobile identity had changed.

According to the research, the majority of UK citizens using mobile banking applications preferred biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and voiceprint, to passwords and usernames, the research found.

According to Rocky Scopelliti, global industry executive for banking, finance and insurance at Telstra, which carried out the report, what the research uncovered was that when it came to mobile banking applications, consumers no longer believed in just the safety of passwords and usernames. Rather, two-thirds of UK consumers thought that using biometrics - such as voice, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition - would be more secure and help cut the risks of fraud.

The research found that interest rates and ease of accessing funds, traditionally the most important considerations when selecting a financial institution, had now been overtaken by security.

In the report called "Mobile Identity - The fusion of financial services, mobility and identity", Telstra found more consumers than ever were being exposed to identify theft. A third of Generation X and Y respondents said they had been compromised, of which 40 per cent blamed their bank and, of those, 65 per cent said they would leave their bank as a result.

The Australian Payments Clearing Association yesterday said fraud on payment cards continued to rise in the online environment. In 2014, fraud on cards and cheques had risen from 16.2 to 20.8 per $1,000 spent.

According to Scopelliti, if banks employed biometrics and other "second-factor authentication", customers would feel a greater degree of security and become more "sticky", or less likely to switch banks.

The findings of the report, prepared with the assistance from Roy Morgan, Australia's leading consumer, industry and market research company, support the commercial offerings of Telstra, which had a security practice that worked with financial institutions at network and enterprise levels and also had a venture capital arm with small equity stakes in various authentication companies, including Kony Solutions, TeleSign, Zimperium, and DocuSign.