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Consumers fret over fintech apps' security

Nearly one-third of U.S. banking consumers use online and mobile apps for money management, but many worry about the privacy of their data used in these apps and want more control over what can be accessed, according to a new survey conducted by The Clearing House.

Among 1,500 consumers polled in the study:

  • Two-thirds said they are very or extremely concerned about data privacy when using fintech apps.
  • About half are uncomfortable sharing payment and financial information with the apps.
  • Nearly one-quarter said they would not use an app that stores their bank account credentials (though that is what many fintech apps do to access information quickly and easily).
  • Less than 40 percent think fintech apps they use sell their data to third parties or use it to generate user insights.
  • Fifty-six percent would like to control which of their financial accounts and data types can be accessed by any third party.

After being told that many fintech app providers, as part of their terms and conditions, gain consent from consumers to use their data for purposes other than operating the app itself, nearly half of fintech users said they are now less likely to use these services.

"As consumers are increasingly using fintech apps, we need to make sure their financial information is being accessed safely," Dave Fortney, TCH executive vice president of product development and management, said in a press release. "Banks and fintechs need to work together to develop more secure methods for consumer-controlled data sharing."

Later this year, TCH will announce steps intended to promote the safety, security and transparency of consumer data sharing, the release said.

The survey, conducted in partnership with A.T. Kearney, polled 1,500 U.S. banking consumers who use fintech apps.

Download an interactive infographic of key survey findings.

Download a full report of the survey findings.