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The Social Context of the Security of Internet Banking By Supriya Singh RMIT University/SITCRC Paper presented at the Human Factors Series, RNSA Workshop 29 May 2006, University of Wollongong Overview

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the social context of the security of internet banking

The Social Context of the Security of Internet Banking

By Supriya SinghRMIT University/

Paper presented at the Human Factors Series, RNSA Workshop 29 May 2006, University of Wollongong

  • Users’ perspective on the security of Internet banking in Australia within the social context supplements the technological and industrial approaches to security
  • Draws on user-centered research on banking in the Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre
  • The perception of Internet banking security has little to do with technology. It increases with ease of use, convenience, personalisation and trust.
  • Importance for Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Company Overview

imperfect security and networked transactions
Imperfect security and networked transactions
  • Banks want us to increasingly use the Internet for transactions. Australians also see Internet banking as an important channel for some banking transactions.
  • Yet there is imperfect security for networked transactions. Various technological approaches have been put forward.
  • There is a legislative grey area unlike credit cards. Customers believe the bank will do the right thing, as with credit cards.

Company Overview

the banking study
The Banking Study
  • Part of a wider project on Security, Trust, Identity and Privacy.
  • Reporting on the interim results of the qualitative user study.
  • Open ended interviews with 64 people in Melbourne and Brisbane between April 2005 and March 2006.

Company Overview

privacy and security
Privacy and security
  • From the technologists’ and policy perspective, both privacy and security are seen to keep data away from those unauthorised to use it.
  • Banks sees privacy in terms of compliance and restriction of access. Customers see privacy as controlling the sharing of information.
  • Banks see security as a technological issue. Customers deflect attention away from the technology. The perception of Internet banking security increases with ease of use, convenience, trust and personal strategies to reduce risk.

Company Overview

convenience and the use of internet banking
Convenience and the Use of Internet Banking
  • Forty-one of our 64 participants currently use Internet banking. They used internet banking because it was convenient, rather than because they were sure Internet banking was secure and private.
  • Four people in our sample were worried enough about the privacy and security of the Internet to not use Internet banking.
  • The other 19 people did not use Internet banking because of access issues or because they did not see it as useful.

Company Overview

usefulness convenience and security
Usefulness, convenience and security

Ellen, 35-44, an academic in part time work and a

household income of over $100,000 likes the convenience and the immediacy of Internet banking

…. at this stage I don't see it as a security problem

Laura, 25-34, has always banked using the Internet.

I don’t know that I think about it a lot, because I think

I don’t understand it enough. So I don’t think about it. …

It’s completely hiding your head in the sand.

Company Overview

trusting the bank
Trusting the bank
  • Anita, now a housewife, 55-64 with a household income between $55,000 and $74,000

……. I just hope that… nothing will happen. I just put .. full trust on.. the banks that.. they are doing their best…

  • Amber, 28, with a household income below $50,000 says her partner had money taken from his credit card. He rang the bank and they put the money back. They now trust the bank even more.

Company Overview

privacy personalisation and responsiveness in the bank
Privacy, personalisation and responsiveness in the bank
  • Ten of the 64 glance at the privacy policy. Other feel the bank cannot be held to account for privacy, and that the bank is unresponsive to customer needs.
  • Gillian 35-44, a PhD student, manages the joint account, though the bank sees her husband as the primary account holder. To change the contact details on the credit card, she had to call the bank, hand the phone to her husband who then authorised her to change the details.
  • The bank has not kept pace with privacy preferences no longer being expressed in the individual and joint account.

Company Overview

customer control life stage and personalization
Customer control, life stage, and personalization
  • Customer control and personalization is more important because there is a greater diversity in the form of partnerships;
  • The way the parents managed money is not always a suitable template;
  • People are working out their own mix of jointness and separateness in relationships;
  • Joint and separate accounts now come with their own preferences. A joint account may operate as a separate account. A separate account may be joint in the way it is managed;
  • Hence people define the boundaries of sharing in an individual manner.

Company Overview

banking and lifestage the traditional dream
Banking and Lifestage: The Traditional Dream…

Couple families are 60.6%

of family households

Company Overview

the de facto relationship an in between step
The de facto relationship – an in-between step

12% of couples

are in de facto


72% of people who

got married had

been de facto.

Company Overview

isn t always smooth
Isn’t always smooth…

Single parents are 11.3% of family households

5.5 per cent of couples with dependant

children are step families

4.4 per cent are blended families

Company Overview


Lone person households are 24% of all households (2001)

Company Overview

  • Convenience and ease of use are at the centre of customers’ positive experience of Internet banking.
  • The usefulness of Internet banking together with trust that the bank will look after customers’ interests, overcomes concerns about security and privacy.
  • The concerns with Internet banking rest more on customers’ perception of inadequate control over their personal information and personalisation of banking.

Company Overview