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18 & 19 MARCH 2020


Payment Security: The Voice of Consumers

 Payment Security: The Voice of Consumers

While security breaches are not new, consumers’ attitudes towards them appear to be changing - with many consumers now reporting that trust in security practices, or lack thereof, influences not just where but also how, and how much they spend.

We conducted a survey in both the UK and United States to uncover payment security concerns when sharing information online and over the telephone. Over 4,000 people were questioned to determine sentiment and behaviour changes when it comes to data security, and we uncovered some interesting feedback.

The findings certainly suggest that the combination of high-profile breaches over the past 18-months and the headlines devoted to data privacy regulations such as the GDPR, combined with personal experience, have put security concerns at the forefront for consumers.

Interestingly, the cost of a data breach in the UK appears to be much higher than in the United States where 41% of British consumers said they will stop spending with a business or brand forever, compared to just 21% of US consumers, following a data security breach.  

In contrast, 62% of American consumers would instead stop spending for several months following a security breach or hack, with 44% of British consumers agreeing the same. 

Over half (56%) of all UK respondents were more reticent to give credit card details verbally over the phone than their American counterparts where it was found that four out of every ten (42%) of US respondents were uncomfortable reading out their details.

To add, US consumers were generally less accepting to provide payment details over the phone with only 15% saying they would “hand over their information, no questions asked”, compared to a quarter of UK consumers. Instead 38% of American’s would ask for an online alternative to complete a transaction, while 32% of Brits said they would “hang up and find an alternative supplier.”

Looking at trust in businesses and brands, 55% of UK respondents felt they could trust a local store with their data more than a national company. They felt a local store was more likely to care about their reputation (30%) and hackers were less likely to target a local store as it is smaller (25%) while only 22% felt a national company would be more secure as they follow more security protocols.

In contrast, the reverse was true in the US with only 47% of respondents feeling they could trust a local company more than a national chain. In fact, 28% felt a national company would be more secure as they follow more security protocols, while 25% felt they have more money to invest in security protocols.

The cumulative effect is that spending habits are starting to change as a result of data breaches. Almost a third (31%) of UK consumers stated that they would spend less with brands they perceive to have insecure data practices, compared to just 18% of US survey respondents.

What is very clear is that awareness of data security is something that is on everyone’s radar, yet our UK and US surveys have highlighted some real differences of opinions and traits, when comparing attitudes to data and payment security between the two countries.

Interestingly, 44% of US consumers said they have been a victim of a security breach, compared to just over one third (38%) of UK respondents.

In today’s modern world, sadly it is rare for a month to pass without a significant data breach being reported. Organisations across all sectors have security as a key priority to secure their data – and their customers – from the ever-growing threat of hackers.

Since the EU’s GDPR has been enforced, organisations’ overall focus on data protection practices has sharpened, yet breaches and attempted hacks are continuing to happen.

From the findings of our research, this is clearly starting to impact consumer sentiment; they are becoming increasingly concerned about their personal data. It is therefore the responsibility of organisations to ensure their data policies, protocols and standards are maintained throughout the year, to give consumers the assurances they need so they don’t take their loyalty - and spend - elsewhere.

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