Author: David Webber
Don’t pin your hopes on the survival of the PIN
Progressive security methods such as mobile authentication, biometric security and layered authentication offer more secure banking solutions
Cyber security is a recurring theme in the news, thanks to the high profile hacks on big brand companies such as Sony, Talk Talk, and controversial website Ashley Madison.
While people may be more aware of security thanks to these high profile attacks, it’s important to note that there’s actually a bigger problem closer to home – our personal financial security. It was both surprising and alarming to find, in our most recent study, that many UK banking customers are ignoring basic PIN security measures.
Basic PIN Security
Providing instant access to finances, the PIN is, or should be, a person’s most valuable password and should therefore be kept as secure as possible. However, almost a third (32 per cent) of people said they have never changed their PIN, while only 37 per cent say they are the only ones that know their PIN. This means that a huge 63 per cent of consumers have, at one time or another, shared their PIN with someone else, such as a friend or a relative.
Banking consumers look to innovative alternatives to the PIN
Our research also found that two thirds of Brits (67 per cent) believe the PIN will soon be obsolete. When those respondents were asked to predict how quickly this might happen, the average response was just under five years.
This indicates that banking customers may be losing faith in the PIN. As criminals continue to adopt new methods to commit fraud, people clearly don’t have confidence that the PIN is strong enough to protect them. In addition, many customers’ failure to observe basic PIN security demonstrates a dangerous ambivalence, which could be putting them at risk.
Digital banking apps and the rise of touch id
Innovative alternatives to the traditional password are growing in popularity, especially since Touch ID now comes as standard on all iPhone models. These alternatives not only make accounts more secure, but they enhance the banking experience for the customer. We’ve been working on new, innovative alternatives, and launched the world’s first emoji-only passcode earlier this year.
Whether or not the PIN does indeed die out, what’s clear is that banks need to act now to change the current security landscape. They need to begin preparing to phase out the PIN, and be ready to start replacing it with more progressive security methods such as mobile authentication, biometric security and layered authentication, which layers security as the value or complexity of the transaction being performed goes up.