Banks Fintech Intelligence

New Royal Bank Report Reveals Loss of Personal Data a Major Concern for Scots

The majority of Scots are concerned that their data may be used for illicit purposes according to a new study released today (Wednesday, 28 November).

Whilst Scots are a nation of tuned-in tech fans with more than two-thirds (68%) believing that technology makes life run more smoothly and 60% excited by instant access to information, more than half (54%) of the nation are scared of their personal information falling into the wrong hands. This increases to 66% for those aged 55+.

Despite the nation’s enthusiasm for innovation, with (47%) comfortable with our increasing reliance on new technology and embracing apps,  digital and mobile tech in their day-to-day lives, there is still fear around their data being compromised. 

The new study, Scotland’s Tech Future Report, from the Royal Bank of Scotland, looks at how Scots perceive new technologies and their attitudes toward innovation in our ‘always-on’ society.

Key findings:

  • 60% of people are excited by instant access to information, speed and efficiency of new technology (47%) and how modern tech innovations can save them time (45%) 
  • More than half (54%) of Scots are scared of personal information falling into the wrong hands, and that new technology will lead us to losing our social skills (40%)
  • 37% of Scots have used online playlists, smart appliances (33%), virtual assistants (28%) and fitness trackers (24%)
  • When quizzed on their tech knowledge, 71% of Scots said that they have at least a fair knowledge of the Internet of Things (objects that can send or receive data), 63% understand Artificial Intelligence, only 38% indicate knowledge of cryptocurrency and 25% understand Blockchain

Scotland is an ‘appy’ nation with almost a quarter (23%) spending between 10-20% of their day on apps. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger generation are the most prolific app users, with a third (33%) of 16-34-year-old Scots spending more than half their day on apps. This falls to 17% for those aged 35-54 and 9% for those aged 55+.

Although Scots have made apps part of their daily life, 40% are scared that new technology will lead to us losing our social skills, and less than a third (31%) believe that too many aspects of life rely on technology.

In a world where new technological advances are being made every day, the findings revealed the inventions which have made the biggest difference to daily life; with a third (32%) saying instant messaging has had the biggest impact, followed by personal banking apps (29%) and smart home appliances such as smart thermostats or smart TV (8%).

Despite worries that Scots are losing their social skills due to apps, just 6% of 16-24-year-olds say that dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have made the biggest difference to their daily life. For those aged 65+, over a quarter (26%) said instant messaging has changed their life, proving that no matter what age, staying connected is important.

Royal Bank helps customers stay safe online and has a number of measures in place to keep customers safe and secure, these include

  • Digital TechXperts based in all branches across Scotland who can help customers with online banking
  • Royal Bank Community Bankers provide banking services, drop-in sessions, training for mobile and online banking in the heart of local communities across Scotland including the most remote areas.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland’s Little Book of Big Scams, a partnership with Police Scotland. This book highlights the most common scams that customers fall for and provides simple tips on how they can protect themselves. These booklets are now available online and in print.
  • Secure Banking Promise meaning the Royal Bank of Scotland will refund money paid out by a fraudster if the customers’ security information has been kept secret. Customers are protected with 24/7 account monitoring using the latest technology to keep customers safe.

Louise Smith, Head of Digitisation, Personal and Business Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland said:

“The findings from Scotland’s Tech Future Report revealed that we are a nation of forward-thinking explorers with a keen eye for the latest trends, and while there is definitely enthusiasm for digital and tech, there are still apprehensions when it comes to keeping personal data safe.

“Our role at the Royal Bank is to consistently evolve to provide banking solutions which help our customers feel safe and to support businesses meet their ambitions.

“Scotland is currently riding the crest of a technological wave so we must continue to foster these attributes by ensuring our customers are equipped with what they need to help them feel safe and secure.”


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