How Application Fraud Checks Affect European Applicants

It can be difficult to determine the impact that application fraud controls have on customers – so we asked 2,000 customers across four European countries.

When opening new online accounts, fraud professionals must protect their organization from fraud and keep legitimate customers happy. Application fraud controls must be strong enough to prevent significant losses, but at the same time the application processes shouldn’t be off-putting to customers.

It can be difficult to determine the impact that application fraud controls have on customers – so we asked 2,000 customers across four European countries and their responses can be seen in an e-book for each - United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Sweden.

But how do these countries compare with each other? Are people more forgiving of friction in the applications process in one country compared to another?

The Spanish Are More Patient

We asked respondents what they would do if they were opening an account online and were asked to take an action offline in order to complete the application. For Sweden, Germany and the UK, being asked to undertake tasks such as take a telephone call, post some documents or visit a branch would cause many people to abandon the application — in some cases, nearly half the people responding. In Spain, while the abandonment rate would still be significant, at 17% it was notably lower than for the other countries surveyed.

FICO chart Source: FICO Survey

The Swedish Will Open More Accounts Online

Across all nations surveyed, all respondents were prepared to open at least one type of account online. The most popular type of account for online applications were current accounts (or national equivalents) or credit card accounts. The least popular type of account to open online was a mortgage; in Germany and Spain only 39% of respondents would do this. Swedes were the most likely to open a range of accounts online.

FICO chart Source: FICO Survey

The British Are Most Worried About Account Takeover

Swedes are the most likely to think that their identity could be used by criminals. Only 36% of them say that they don’t think a criminal could steal their identity and use it to open an account, compared to 57% of Spaniards who believe their identities couldn’t be used in this way.

When presented with a range of potential financial crimes, people of all surveyed nationalities are most concerned about crime related to identity theft. However, it is the British who are most concerned that stolen information about their identities could be used to either open an account or for a criminal to take over one of their existing accounts.

FICO chart Source: FICO Survey

Do Application Fraud Checks Prevent Credit Applications?

While there is some variation across nations, in general people expect the applications process to be slick and fast, and when it isn’t they will abandon applications. To keep both their organizations, their customers and society safe, it is necessary for financial institutions to sometimes put barriers in the way as they check for application fraud and other financial crime.

The good news is that effective communications can offset the negative impact of fraud checks. When asked if they were prepared to wait longer to have accounts opened if it was for fraud protection, most respondents were. In all countries over 40% of respondents would even wait several extra days to have their accounts opened if it means better security and fraud checks.

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