ASIA PACIFIC: Consumers in Asia Pacific may love the experiences and convenience offered by apps, but a recent study has found that a majority (53%) across the region now regard security as their most important consideration when it comes to using them.

Nearly half (46%) also believe that a more secure experience would be the biggest factor in enhancing their digital experience over the next five years, while almost three-in-five would choose to stop using an app altogether if data security is compromised.

These are some of the key findings published by tech firm F5 Networks, which worked with YouGov to poll more than 3,700 consumers across seven key markets in March 2018.

Based on responses from consumers in Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, F5’s The Curve of Convenience study argues that it is increasingly important for businesses in the region to balance app security with functionality and convenience.

“The results from our survey are pretty clear. Despite the diversity of the region, one key factor rings true: security remains the top consideration for Asia Pacific’s consumers,” said Adam Judd, SVP of Asia Pacific, China and Japan at F5 Networks.

“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,” he added.

However, while the importance of security is the core message of the F5 report, the research also uncovered differing attitudes within individual markets and across the generations.

Perhaps not surprisingly, consumers in more established digital markets, such as Australia (63%) and Singapore (67%) strongly emphasise security over convenience, whereas users in Indonesia, India and the Philippines are 14% more likely to prioritise convenience.

More surprising is the finding that millennials aged 18 to 34 are less likely to be concerned about security risks than older generations – even though tech-savvy millennials tend to be more knowledgeable about the potential risks.

According to the survey results, less than half (44%) of millennials prioritise security features, compared with 53% of Gen X users aged 35–54 and 69% of baby boomers aged 55 and above.

These attitudes matter because Asia Pacific is expected to account for 60% of the world’s millennial population by 2020, with this generation influencing the future development of apps that will need to cater to their preferences.

“As future leaders, millennials also need to understand the level of security risk they are under, as their nonchalance toward security could be detrimental and be the primary reason for security breaches,” the report warned.

Sourced from F5 Networks; additional content by WARC staff