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Survey shows one in 11 Thais suspect their identity was stolen, one in 12 know it was

The most recent FICO survey on identity proofing and digital banking shows that identity theft is a tangible threat for people in Thailand. Of the respondents, 8.5 per cent said they know their identity has been stolen and used by a fraudster to open an account, while 9 per cent believe it is likely to have happened.

The acknowledged level of risk from identity theft means there is a good understanding of why identity proofing is key to banking.

Need for ID proofing

Just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of respondents recognised that identity proofing happens for their protection. However, in Thailand, some consumers are cynical about the reasons their identity is confirmed. While a large number (64 per cent) recognise there is an element of regulation driving providers to carry out more checks, 27 per cent think this is done to enable financial institutions to sell more.

A majority (62 per cent) of Thai respondents did see identity proofing as a way for banks to protect themselves, while 44 per cent regard it as a tool to prevent money laundering.

Most Thais are open to providing their bank with a biometric such as a facial scan, fingerprint, or voiceprint to secure their accounts. The survey revealed that once they understand why it's necessary, 41 per cent are happy to provide their biometrics. Only 7 per cent said banks should never capture biometrics, while 8 per cent are willing but unhappy to provide them.

"In a lot of Asian countries, fingerprinting, identity cards and authentication apps have been commonplace for some time," said Subhashish Bose, lead for fraud, security and compliance in the Asia Pacific. “There is less concern around privacy and the survey shows there is broad acceptance of the benefits that biometrics deliver when it comes to securing bank accounts and stopping money laundering.”

Asia is all about smartphones … and branches

In Thailand, 44 per cent of consumers prefer to open bank accounts digitally and 44 per cent prefer branches. However, over the last year, thanks to the pandemic, 66 per cent of Thais are more likely to open an account digitally than a year ago; while those who attend branches often do so for social and technical reasons.

"Digital account opening has been available in Thailand for some time, it just remained unused by some segments of the market who either hadn't discovered it or weren't willing to trust it," said Bose. "This has created a belief that accessing a branch offers a more informed and secure account opening process."

As attitudes change and more people experience the benefits of digital banking there will be further opportunity for banks who adopt multichannel strategies and can engender trust in new channels.

Don't ask me to jump through hoops

Thais who open an account digitally, prefer to carry out the process entirely in their chosen channel whether it be smartphone or website. If customers are asked to move out of channel to prove their identities, many of them will abandon the application, either giving up on opening an account completely (4-5 per cent) or by going to a competitor (7-9 per cent). Of those who don't immediately abandon, up to an additional 21 per cent will delay the process.

The survey found that any disruption matters. Asking people to scan and email documents or use a separate identity portal causes almost as much application abandonment as asking them to visit branches or mail in documents.

This survey was conducted in January 2021 by an independent research company adhering to research industry standards. Of the respondents, 1,000 were Thai adults, along with 13,000 consumers in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

FICO will discuss the results at its free virtual event – Success Realised: Digital Transformation Delivered (APAC) – which runs from April 27 to 29.

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Published : April 26, 2021