New research by Evolved Intelligence, the fraud and security solutions provider for mobile phone operators, shows that 80% of mobile owners would lose trust in their mobile operator if it was hacked or otherwise attacked by fraudsters.
At least a quarter of consumers said that they would swap operators for that reason.
More importantly, 33% of consumers actually have changed networks following such an attack in the past.
The results are based on a survey among 2,000 mobile customers in the UK and Germany, conducted by Mobilesquared.
Nick Lane, Founder and Chief insight analyst at Mobilesquared, explains:
“It’s clear that security is becoming a priority for consumers as their awareness of cyber-attacks increases. They believe their mobile device is secure. But the networks are a different matter and the research shows that trust in the mobile operator will become a major differentiator.”
He adds that in selecting a new network, protection is among the key considerations for many consumers.
A fraud attack is also likely to lead to 36% of consumers reducing their mobile services with an operator. Mobile banking and payment services would be the hardest hit, as consumers are expecting these services to be more secure.
“Frankly, the results are quite startling,” said Evolved Intelligence Product Director Steve Buck. “With knowledge of the threat, many consumers would rank network security second, only behind price, when choosing a mobile operator. What’s more, the numbers who would switch service providers, stop using services or cut back on usage after a network attack, make for very sober reading.
However, the research also demonstrates that almost half (49%) of consumers are loyal to their networks and have stayed with the same operator for over three years.
“However, that loyalty is severely damaged by any weakness in network security, and mobile operators need to act now to protect consumer trust in their brands,” Buck adds.