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  • Writer's pictureRoy Urrico

Appdome Survey: Mobile Consumers Want Better Security More Than Features

Source: Appdome.

By Roy Urrico

Finopotamus aims to highlight white papers, surveys and reports that provide a glimpse as to what is taking place and/or impacting credit unions and other organizations in the financial services industry.

More than 93% of global consumers will promote a brand if the brand’s mobile app protects their data and use from threats. That is one of the findings in an Appdome survey of 25,000 consumers across 12 countries (United States, Argentina, Australia, Columbia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Spain and nited Kingdom) in the fall of 2022.

The report, Global Consumer Expectations of Mobile App Security, is the second global survey from Redwood City, Calif.-based Appdome, which provides a no-code mobile app security and fraud prevention platform. The study aims to help mobile developers, cybersecurity professionals and brands adapt their mobile security strategies to meet consumer protection expectations.

Approximately 62% of global consumers demand both the best features and security in their mobile experiences, equally. On top of that, approximately 24% say protection against on-device security, fraud and malware threats and attacks is more important than features. Only 13.7% prioritized features over security.

Tom Tovar, CEO and co-creator of Appdome.

"Mobile apps are now the most preferred way for consumers to interact with brands — including credit unions — and their highest expectations for security are for mobile banking, trading and investment apps," said Tom Tovar, CEO and co-creator of Appdome. "Given that 67.5% say they would abandon a mobile app that they suspect does not protect their data and 93.8% said they would recommend an app that they knew to be secure to others, the stakes are very high for credit unions to ensure that their mobile apps protect consumers from attacks and fraud."

Preferred Interaction Among Key Takeaways

The report also highlighted the rapid consumer movement towards using more mobile apps and an increasing sophistication of consumers regarding the mobile threat landscape. Consumers now expect a higher level of security compared to prior years, especially in the mobile apps they use the most.

Consumers made it clear that they will reward and promote brands that protect their mobile app data and use, more than they will punish brands that they perceive as not protecting the mobile apps.

The survey also found nearly 7 in 10 would abandon a mobile app if they thought it would not protect them against on-device threats; and 52% said that mobile is their preferred way to interact with global brands.

Other findings revealed:

· More than 70% demand mobile app protections, which go beyond the login screen and data protection, and include anti-fraud and anti-malware protection built into the mobile app.

· Some 44% say they would also tell their friends to abandon the brand if they perceived that the mobile app did not protect against on-device threats.

· Another 73% would abandon a brand if they experienced an unprotected hack or attack from an on-device threat, with 47.4% saying they would tell their friends to abandon the brand.

Source: Appdome.

Mobile Banking Expectations

Consumers picked the types of mobile apps used most often. Usage in nearly every category of mobile app increased compared to 2021.

For example, mobile banking, trading, and investment apps grew from 38.4% in 2021 to 41.8% in 2022. Use of e-wallet, payment and money transfer apps skyrocketed 65.7% from 17.5% in 2021 to 29% in 2022. Gig economy and “influencer” apps, like social media apps, also jumped 18% to 15%. Of note, 12.8% of consumers now rank travel and transportation in the top three apps used most often.

Appdome asked consumers “Which apps should have the highest security?” The short answer was all apps. “But consumers expect banking, trading, investment and purchasing apps to set the standard,” the report said. For apps with in-app purchases, financial services apps continue to lead with 32.7% of consumers saying “mobile banking, trading, and investment” apps, and 24.5% of consumers said “all apps” should have the highest level of security.” The number of consumers that said e-wallet, payment and money transfer apps should have the highest level of security jumped 30.3% to 20.2% in 2022 compared to 15.5% in 2021.

It is not enough to protect the mobile app code, mobile IP, or pass a penetration test for compliance purposes, according the Appdome report. “Now, every consumer is a mobile consumer first and the expectations about what protections are needed in every Android and iOS app experience are big, complex and real.”

Mobile in Full Swing, But…

From the consumer perspective, the threat landscape is not one dimensional and includes hacking, malware, and fraud on top of security risks like data breaches. Consumers also have their eye fixed on the brand itself, ranking the threat from a developer releasing an unprotected app as high as the risk of fraud, malware, and other threats.

In addition, the report suggested to meet the growing consumer expectations of security, anti-fraud, and malware protection in mobile apps, chief information security officers (CISOs) and mobile development operation (DevOps) teams will have to invest more heavily in client-side mobile app protection. “At the threshold of use for any mobile app, consumers no longer accept the tradeoff between security and new features, especially when it comes to the mobile apps, they use every day.”

“Mobile app growth continues to outpace web and online channels as the consumers’ preferred way to interact with brands, and they have made it clear what protections are needed in every app they use,” said Tovar. “Our goal is to provide mobile dev and cyber organizations with the data required to make informed, threat-aware decisions about the best way to protect their mobile apps and users, today and tomorrow.”

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