Nearly half of America’s youth would switch banks for security reasons

Last updated: 07 April 2015

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are quite a few similarities between American youth and their UK counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic. We all sing along to Frozen, enjoy a mutual love of McDonald’s fries and share Royalty (both Brangelina and the Duchess of Cambridge). They also share many of their feelings around mobile banking.

Like British youth, young Americans are a relatively trusting bunch. According to our mBanking research only 13.2% trust their mobile provider more than their bank. They’re also less likely to switch banks if they thought it wasn’t secure enough, with 45.9% prepared to move, compared to 50% of Singaporeans.

But this ratio still represents a huge number of people, and crucially almost half of the future generation of customers – many of whom will be high net worth individuals. Furthermore, given that North America has the highest rate of economic crime in the world, second only to Africa; there is a significant possibility that young people in America will be affected by a security breach further down the line and consequentially make the decision to move their money.

In actual fact, their actions may even prompt a breach.  According to our research almost a quarter (24%) of respondents are happy to access their account over public Wi-Fi. While this is an inherently insecure thing to do, without education and awareness campaigns from their bank, customers will no doubt blame any subsequent theft on their banks rather than themselves. For banks, this represents the worst case scenario. They already lose millions of dollars a year due to cyber-crime. Losing customers would represent an additional blow to their bottom line.

Launching initiatives to help the public help themselves would benefit all parties. It may also help accelerate mobile banking adoption – which is relatively low among young Americans; but if done well, can lead to a much better, secure customer experience.

Kim Wilde noted “New York to east California, there’s a new wave coming, I warn ya”. Mobile banking could be that new movement. It just needs a bit of encouragement.

For more on how the US ‘Generation mBanking’ measures up against those in Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and the UK, do download our report.