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More than half of consumers in APAC prioritise security over convenience in app experience

SINGAPORE (Aug 1): More than half (53%) of consumers will prioritise security features over the functionality and convenience of an app, according to a study commissioned by F5 Networks in partnership with YouGov.

The study, titled The Curve of Convenience – the trade-off between security and convenience surveyed more than 3,700 respondents across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.

It also showed that consumers in the region are unforgiving when it comes to security, with about three in five respondents choosing to stop using an app altogether if their data security is compromised.

The battle between security and convenience is constantly ongoing, and it is difficult to find the right balance between both elements.

Typically, a device or programme will not have both high security and convenience, it is usually an “either-or” situation. The user would end up needing to make a tough choice; does one sacrifice security, or convenience?

Debin Gao, Associate Professor, Information Systems, Singapore Management University says, “F5’s Curve of Convenience reflects this, as we see users across the region having differing preferences based on where they are in their journey. However, it is important to note that even as app usage increases, users still have a limit to the number of apps that they will own. Businesses will have to recognise user priorities, and design their apps with those intentions in mind.”

In fact, the survey showed that about 46% of respondents said that a more secured experience would be the biggest factor in enhancing their digital experience in the next five years.

In emerging markets that are seeing rapid digital adoption, such as Indonesia, India and Philippines, consumers then to prioritise convenience, while those from developed markets, such as Australia and Singapore, are more inclined to prioritise their security.

The study showed that users in Indonesia, India and Philippines are 14% more likely to prioritise convenience, as compared to Australia and Singapore, where 63% and 67%, respectively, would emphasise on security instead.

According to the study, millennials might also prove to be the best exploit for attackers. Despite this generation being born with technology, they seem to take security for granted as about 44% of millennials surveyed prioritised security features, compared to 53% for Gen X and 69% for baby boomers.

Millennials may also generally be aware of the potential data security risks, but are less likely to be concerned about them as 32% of them will still continue using an app, especially social media apps, even when data security is compromised.

Adam Judd, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, F5 Networks says, “Despite the diversity of the region, one key factor rings true: security remains the top consideration for Asia Pacific’s consumers. As apps continue to dominate Asia Pacific, it is critical that businesses understand where their customers stand on the Curve of Convenience to deliver the right user experiences, or risk losing them.”

F5 Networks also ran a social experiment on the streets of Singapore. Watch the video below to see what they found.


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