Fifty-two percent of millennial respondents in a Zogby Analytics survey sponsored by Mitek Systems, a mobile imaging tech provider, perceive native apps as a safer solution than mobile websites for purchasing and banking.
"The driving perception is that if you're logged into a native app in a controlled environment," it's more secure, said Scott Carter, chief marketing officer at Mitek. "But broadly whether you're in an app or mobile Web experience, from a security standpoint mobile is better."
This added security comes from a provider being able to view location data and a device ID. The survey defines millennials as those 34 years old and younger.
This data hasn't led Mitek to insist its clients build native apps for its mobile account opening, remote deposit capture and bill pay technologies. "We're somewhat agnostic to how that imaging technology is deployed," said Carter.
Usually imaging tech is used in mobile banking apps, but Mitek has had significant interest from banks in having the account-opening feature optimized for mobile Web, Carter said. If consumers are new to a bank they are less likely to download the mobile app, he said.
Of the millennials surveyed, 54% would be willing to use their mobile device to deposit checks with 34% saying they've already used remote deposit capture.
"There's a perception that millennials aren't using checks but whether they write them or not, they're receiving plenty of checks," said Carter.
But security has been a worry for consumers adopting mobile payment systems, although more people are becoming comfortable with the idea. Of smartphone users, 38% of those surveyed say they think their mobile device is safer than using a PC, although a majority, 51% disagree.
The rising comfort "is just normal adoption curves," said Carter. "Early adopters are more comfortable with technology and others will follow as they see those early adopters having a good experience."
Security has become a major priority for many consumers, likely because of the high-profile hacks of well-known companies, including Target and Home Depot.
"Anecdotally though, we believe that millennials are less concerned with privacy and security," Carter said, even though 42% of respondents said security outweighs convenience as a priority when using their mobile device.
Consumers, especially millennials, "might start saying they're very concerned with security but convenience tends to win out in the analysis when there's a trade-off," Carter said.
The survey suggests that companies must focus on mobile optimization of websites and designing a native mobile app. According to 86% of those surveyed, its a drawback that many websites don't have good mobile functionality. Seventy-one percent said it's a drawback if companies don't have their own mobile app.
And when it comes to purchasing, 81% said it's important for retailers to have high-quality mobile apps.
Mitek began promoting its technology as a way to deposit checks and pay bills, but has also touted its solution as a way to make retail payments. The company recently partnered with account-opening provider MeridianLink, which serves 20,000 customers, mostly middle-market financial institutions and credit unions.