Mixed Bag: #Millennials are Lax on Security but Big on Mobile Payments

Millennials are all-in when it comes to using their devices for banking but aren’t necessarily all-in when it comes to proactively securing those devices from potential fraudsters. By educating consumers about the importance of cybersecurity, community FIs can help mitigate the risk of identity theft.

Having grown up with technology, Millennials should arguably be the demographic most aware of the need to protect their personal information on desktops and mobile devices. However, TransUnion, one of the nation’s major credit reporting agencies, found this is not the case. In fact, TransUnion concluded Millennials are at a significantly higher risk for identity theft than older generations.

At the heart of Millennials’ increased risk of identity theft is their often careless use of technology. TransUnion found 86 percent of Millennials save bank account details on their smartphones. In addition, 84 percent of Millennials surveyed admitted to using public Wi-Fi to perform online banking transactions or check accounts with sensitive financial information. Interestingly, despite their seemingly relaxed approach to cybersecurity, 49 percent of Millennials say they are worried about identity theft.

By comparison, 36 percent of Baby Boomers cited cybercrime as a concern, and 50 percent store sensitive financial information on their devices. What’s more, 54 percent of Baby Boomers access their bank accounts via public Wi-Fi.

To help consumers (especially Millennials) keep security top of mind when using mobile banking, there are a few simple steps community financial institutions (FIs) can take:

  • Remind consumers to password-protect their devices
  • Advise consumers to only use mobile banking and payment apps from trusted sources
  • Warn consumers against accessing accounts and other sensitive financial information over public Wi-Fi