Study: Smartphones preferred for online financial activity

According to findings from research conducted by PYMNTS and Entersekt, smartphones have become the device of choice for conducting online financial activities, particularly among younger generations, with 71% of Gen Z, 68% of millennials and 66% of bridge millennials favoring smartphones for online finance.

Among Generation X, a majority (63%) prefer smartphones over computers. However, baby boomers and seniors still predominantly use computers for their online financial activities, with only 34% of this group opting for smartphones.

While most consumers perceive smartphones and computers equally safe for high-risk financial activities, trust in smartphones’ ability to provide greater security is growing. Nearly 60% believe both devices are equally secure for sending/receiving money and accessing bank accounts as well as accessing bank accounts, survey results showed. Yet, for bill payments or accessing bank accounts, there’s a slight preference for computers over smartphones among consumers.

But despite trusting the security of their favored devices, approximately half of banking customers want to play an active role in verifying their identities for online financial transactions. The study of more than 2,500 consumers revealed that 52% and 47% of participants, respectively, want to manually authenticate their identities every time they log into their bank accounts or for money transfers to and from family and friends. “Even with the ubiquity of online transactions for goods and services, 42% of banking customers still prefer to authenticate their identities each time they finalize purchases,” the study noted.

Similarly, when it comes to everyday transactions like bill payments or low-risk purchases, over half of consumers opt for multifactor authentication, while more than 80% want it when accessing a bank account from an unfamiliar device, modifying personal details in the account, or handling significant electronic money transfers.

Study authors recommended that financial institutions prioritize robust multichannel authentication strategies, including offering options for routine and infrequent online transactions. Banks should also consider implementing authentication methods that align with consumers’ device preferences, the study advised, as these preferences significantly influence their perceptions of digital security.