Mumbai: Even as cases of financial fraud are dotting cyber space across the world, Indians seem more forthcoming in giving out their personal information for personalised services and simplification of finance management than their global counterparts, a study by Cisco has said.
According to the Cisco report, 72 percent of respondents from India said they would provide more personal information to simplify management of finances compared to 56 percent participants agreeing globally.
The study, conducted in early 2013, aimed at finding out how and when consumers want to engage with their banks across multiple channels for activities ranging from account monitoring to acquiring financial advice.
The survey included 1,514 consumers and 405 bank professionals across 10 countries -- Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US.
However, Indian respondents are also concerned about security of their accounts, as 92 percent of them indicated they wanted fool-proof security against identity theft as part of more personalised financial services.
About 95 per cent said they wanted advice to increase their savings, 89 percent requested more financial education, and 72 percent wanted an assessment of their financial status as compared to other clients as part of the personalised offerings.
"Technology is driving all sectors including banking and financial services. As indicated by our findings, consumers today are willing to exchange private information for more personalised services," Cisco Director (Business Development) Shashank Luthra told the agency.
However, the crucial factor here will be to offer these services in a secure environment to ensure that customer gets the best service without any of his personal data being compromised with, he added.
Recently, security breaches at two Indian payment card processing companies in a USD 45-million global ATM heist sent ripples through the IT security world.
Data from Reserve Bank of India indicate 8,322 cases of cyber frauds were reported in 2012 amounting to Rs 52.7 crore.
Although the number of cases reported has decreased from 15,018 cases reported in 2010, the amount involved in such cases has gone up to Rs 40.5 crore, implying that the average value per cyber fraud case has increased significantly.
According to the report, a majority (85 percent) of Indian respondents said they were comfortable communicating with their financial provider using technology (like texting, email or video) instead of seeing them in person.
Globally, seven in 10 consumers and 92 percent of bankers are comfortable communicating using virtual technology.
Also, users prefer computers over smart phones for video conversation with bankers while 54 per cent of Indian consumers favouring video conversations on laptop or desktops over smart phones.
About 55 percent of Indian consumers said they would not want their bank to share their personal information outside the bank, even if it improves quality of service in other areas, the report said.
Also, 63 percent Indian respondents felt their bank has enough information to offer them personal services, while 75 percent of bankers felt they have enough personal information on their customers.
Around 88 per cent of Indian consumers said they would provide their bank with a fingerprint or other biometrics to verify financial transactions to protect the consumer against dangers such as identity theft.
61 percent respondents from the surveyed nations are willing to share the biometric data, said the report.
While consumers in China are most likely to opt for biometric means of verification (94 percent), Japanese consumers are least likely at 33 percent to opt for such a method.
Indians also seem more comfortable in using technology for online transactions, said the report.
About 72 percent respondents from India said they would be comfortable entirely securing a loan or mortgage using technology like video to communicate with their bank compared to 57 percent global respondents.
Also, 71 percent Indian consumers are willing to open an account with a bank that is completely virtual if it offered the best and more secure services compared to 60 percent of consumers globally who would open accounts with virtual banks, the study revealed.
"Today, virtual channels are expanding beyond transactions to high-touch interactions and future banking will combine high-tech and high-touch across all delivery channels," Luthra said.
Banks need to invest in technology that will not only ease the process of transacting and delivering financial information online in a secure environment, he added.
First Published: Sunday, May 19, 2013, 11:17