Study finds many Saudi banks considering biometric solutions

Gemalto has published the results of a recent study in which it found that 69 percent of Saudi Arabian respondents said that it is easier to use eBanking solutions than having to physically visit a branch, according to a report by Saudi Gazette.

The study arrives as several banks in the Kingdom are adopting digital banking solutions as a core strategy to cater to constantly evolving consumer behaviors.

After receiving the support of the government through its National Plan for Telecommunication and IT approved in 2007 and the National Transformation Program under Vision 2030, Saudi banks have been delivering ‘e-transactions’ to make banking seamless and convenient for clients..

As a result, the country has a high level of digital banking usage which is expected to increase over the years.

Marwan Elnakat, eBanking and eCommerce Director MEA at Gemalto, discussed the eBanking study, which surveyed 900 global IT and business decision-makers from the banking sector and 11,000 consumers across 14 markets, including Saudi Arabia.

The findings revealed that 66 percent of Saudi consumers currently use online and mobile banking.

Despite the fact that leading banks in Saudi Arabia are interested to invest in security, Gemalto’s study found that the traditional password remains the main security feature for eBanking solutions (81 percent) with more advanced security features, followed by encryption (25 percent) and biometrics (17 percent).

The study also found that 50 percent of Saudi consumers believe that there are security gaps in eBanking solutions, while 29 percent of respondents are concerned that using banking applications and websites place them and their personal data at risk.

In addition, 69 percent of Saudi consumers use the same password across multiple accounts.

Elnakat emphasized that Saudi banks need to find the right balance between security and convenience in order to ensure that digital banking continues to progress and achieves its full potential.

If they are unable to do so, banks risk losing their customers’ trust, with 51 percent of respondents stating that they would take their business to a bank with which they feel that their valuable personal information is more secure.

Fortunately, the study shows that many Saudi banks are considering implementing biometric solutions over the next five years.

The study found that 43 percent of Saudi consumers are interested in using biometric technology for mobile banking, of which 75 percent believe that it is more secure than usernames and passwords, while 41 percent believe that they are more convenient than traditional methods.

In May, Gemalto released its ‘Mobile Customer Experience’ report revealing that 48 percent of consumers expect a mobile device to become their primary form of identification by 2025 as a result of biometric technologies.

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