PETALING JAYA: Global analytics software firm FICO, in its Consumer Digital Banking Survey, found that a notable percentage of Malaysians are not taking the necessary precautions to protect their passwords and logins when banking online, and would prefer to use biometrics as a security measure instead.

Of the respondents, only 46% are using separate passwords to access multiple accounts. 22% have between two to five passwords they reuse across accounts; and a staggering 14% use a single password across all accounts.

Additionally, 23% of respondents use an encrypted password manager – which many consider best practice – while 22% adopted risky approaches to recall passwords, such as writing them down in a notebook.

FICO’s lead for fraud, security and compliance in Asia Pacific Subhashish Bose said ss consumers’ reliance on online services grows in response to Covid-19, criminals are preying on this, targeting consumers with malicious activities such as phishing and social engineering.

“With Malaysia’s movement control order, many Malaysians are only able to access their finances digitally, so it’s essential to stay vigilant and take the time to adopt security best practices,” he said.

This is noteworthy as consumers are more willing than ever to bank online. At the same time, Malaysians have also become more accepting of biometrics, with the study revealing that 78% of respondents are happy to provide this information to their bank.

The use of fingerprints was the most widely accepted approach (79%), facial scans came second (38%) and eye scans last (27%). A more popular alternative with Malaysians was analysis of how they type their password (74%), a technique known as behavioural biometrics.

Bose sadi given that digital services are now an important part of everyday life,, it’s very important for consumers to protect themselves from online scams and fraud.

“Malaysians have the highest adoption of one-time passcodes by SMS out of all ten countries surveyed, but they are also willing to adopt additional biometrics to secure their accounts.

Financial institutions and Malaysian consumers have shown they are ready to adopt more secure authentication technologies in an effort to stay protected from fraudsters online.”

The survey also asked Malaysians about the current security used when logging into their mobile banking apps beyond traditional usernames and passwords.

The five most widely used security alternatives were: one-time passcode via SMS (63%), fingerprint scan (39%), one-time passcode via email (33%), one-time passcode generated by bank supplied device (30%), and facial scan (23%).

FICO’s Consumer Digital Banking Survey was produced using an online, quantitative poll of 5,000 adults across ten countries carried out on behalf of FICO by an independent research company. The countries surveyed were: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US.