FICO's latest consumer finance trend research has revealed that 44 percent of US consumers rate identity theft and banking fraud as their top concern. This was more than double those who said their top concern was being the victim of a terrorist attack (18 percent) and twice the number who thought their own death or that of a loved one was their primary worry (22 percent).
"Human beings hate to lose," said Bob Shiflet, vice president of FICO's fraud business line. "The survey confirms the psychology of loss aversion, especially when it comes to money and the likelihood of an event happening to us. The loss of your personal information or money from your account cuts deep, it is a violation, and people now know it's much more likely to happen to them."
Consumers were most concerned about the theft of their Social Security number (86 percent), followed by their bank account information (76 percent) and their credit card information (58 percent). The least concerning was medical records (15 percent) and biometric data (17 percent).
Luckily for the banking industry, 78 percent of consumers who said they experienced fraud were satisfied with their bank's response or handling of the incident. For some, it seems to have improved their relationship with the bank. 14 percent opened additional accounts while 20 percent recommended the bank to others. Conversely, out of those who were dissatisfied, 25 percent decided to close the affected account, while a further 12 percent closed all their accounts.
"Proactive and early communication as well as a speedy resolution are important to a satisfactory experience when it comes to fraud," said Shiflet. "Banks need to turn fraud incidents into responses that encourage customers to keep their accounts open. Understanding the concerns of fraud victims, and being able to counter their fear of further loss, encourages customers to stay."
In the event of a breach, banks stand lose significantly due to a poor response. In a separate survey FICO conducted with Ovum, only 52 percent of US senior IT execs said their firm has a tested data breach response plan.