Consumers 'cynical' about online shopping security


Consumers may think shopping and banking online is dangerous, but they're doing it anyway, according to a new survey from mobile technology company Entersekt.

Two-fifths expect to encounter credit card fraud
Entersekt questioned 1,000 people and found that most liked the convenience of doing their shopping and banking online and had no plans to discontinue doing so. However, 41% admitted that they expect to be victims of credit card fraud at some point, while 53% revealed they had already fallen foul of fraudsters or knew someone whose account had been

This concern is interesting, considering that consumers aren't doing much to ensure their online transactions are secure. Eighty-seven percent said they never let their physical credit cards out of their sight while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Yet just 69 said they check whether an online transaction is being conducted on a secure site before completing a purchase.

It appears that women are more worried about online security than men, with 51% expressing concerns about online banking and shopping, compared with 41% of men. Furthermore, 72% of women confirmed that they always check for security measures before completing a transaction, compared with 65% of men.

Banks' security measures are a bonus, not a bother
Banks' methods to improve security (multiple passwords and PINs) could easily be seen as a hassle - yet the Entersekt survey suggests that consumers are in fact in favour of such measures. The majority of respondents (78%) said they approved of security keys and passwords to boost the security of online banking, with just 18% saying they would rather not have the inconvenience. More than two-thirds of survey participants also said they would go to the trouble of switching banks if they thought their existing bank was not taking the issue of security seriously enough.

"In today's world, consumers are not only aware that fraud exists, but many have either experienced it personally or know someone that has, and this is verified by our survey," said Enteresekt spokesman Schalk Nolte in a news release. "... However, what I think is interesting and actually quite comforting is that people are happy to be inconvenienced if it means they're better protected."

Many not ready to go mobile
Despite the popularity of online banking and shopping, it seems consumers are less keen to take risks with their mobile phones. Just 48% of respondents said they were in favour of carrying out transactions on their smartphones, and just 18% feel secure enough to bank and shop from their mobile phones.

"Just as people are looking to banks and retailers offering strengthened security, I believe mobile banking applications and services critically should reflect this requirement," Nolte said. "Mobility and freedom to transact anywhere, anytime is no longer negotiable - it is the nature of the lives we live today."

See related: UK consumers ‘fearful of mobile payments', UK targeted by bank-robbing malware

Published: 20 April 2012