South African consumers prioritise security above all else when it comes to using smartphones, with 78% claiming that security is the top feature they look want from mobile.
This is according to a survey conducted by Gemalto, which polled consumers in South Africa about their mobile preferences. The report found that convenience is another priority, with almost half of the consumers surveyed (48%) additionally citing speed and convenience as very important factors in their mobile usage.
When it comes to security, South African consumers expect an easy seamless experience from their app providers, be they banks, governments or any other large enterprises. Furthermore, users would consider not one, but multiple methods to protect their apps, working alongside each other (standard login/password, anti-virus, encryption, biometric authentication etc).
Consumers demonstrated the critical role of “the psychology of security”, with 85% wanting to see a security symbol displayed while an app is in use. In addition, 36% would even be prepared to pay a premium to get the level of security they want on their mobile phone.
When asked what they would do if their smartphone was 100% protected, the consumers polled claimed they would be willing to use their phones for more personal functions, 76% would like to have digital identity documents on their smartphones such as mobile ID or passports; 78% would perform more digital transactions; and 29% would use their phone to access their home (instead of physical keys).
While consumers are open to the idea of their devices helping to improve everyday tasks, they are not as comfortable with their social media credentials being used to authenticate important services, such as online banking. 83% of those surveyed wouldn’t log into their bank account using their Facebook log in details, or use their Facebook account as a component for two-factor authentication.
In fact, only 4% would use either of these authentication methods when accessing their bank account from a mobile device.
Despite consumers seeking comfort in security icons, there is still work to be done to raise awareness of some of the top threats. Only 5% of consumers are concerned about malware when connecting to public WiFi, and only 1% are worried about ransomware. They are more aware of phishing attacks however, with one in ten citing this type of cyber theft as a concern.
“To build consumer trust and encourage mobile app usage, app providers must secure their apps whilst making this visible to users, so that they feel safe,” says Sherry Zameer, senior vice-president for Africa at Gemalto. “Whether this is achieved through security notifications to users, biometric means such as facial recognition, or the display of security symbols, providing this opens up considerable opportunities for growth.
“Consumers will gain a lot more from their devices once they are sure they can transact safely with their apps.”