Security Trumps Convenience for Online Shoppers, Study Finds

card_ecommerceOnline retailers prize a smooth checkout and one-click checkouts, but it turns out customers care more about security than convenience when shopping online. (We’ll leave aside Domino’s Pizza’s “zero-click ordering for now.)

Nearly half of e-commerce consumers — 48% — want more assurance that their transactions are secure, while only 20% “enjoy[ed] the convenience of one-click buttons,” according to a report released yesterday on the impact of card-not-present fraud on consumers. Fully two-thirds of consumers would modify their behavior in order to ensure a safer online shopping experience, according to the report from card security firm Tender Armor and Sparks Research, which surveyed more than 1,000 online shoppers.

When security fails and customers experience fraud, e-commerce suffers. More than half of consumers — 56% — say they would change their behavior in ways detrimental to merchants and issuers, from decreasing online shopping activity to closing card accounts, in the event of fraud.

With the advent of chip cards and mobile payments, fraud is expected to migrate from the point of sale (Target, Home Depot) to card-not-present transactions — e-commerce and m-commerce. Though consumer apathy is often assumed in the payments world, consumers do care, according to the Tender Armor report, and banks and merchants would do well to understand why.

E-commerce fraud has negative consequences beyond even the $6 billion to $14 billion projected for card-not-present fraud in 2016 — estimates vary widely on this score. That harm is consumer negativity toward e-commerce, which made up 10% of all commerce during the 2015 holiday season, up 20% over the prior year.

And as for that $6 billion to $14 billion, whichever number one lands on, it’s an underestimation, according to Madeline Aufseeser, Tender Armor’s CEO. “Numbers don’t tell the whole story,” she told Bank Innovation. The reason is small-ticket fraud, $100 and under, is often charged off, and the cost of support calls and card reissuance is also not included in that estimate.

Online shopping behavior is relatively similar across age groups, the study found. Card usage was split between credit and debit: 50% of those surveyed primarily used credit cards for shopping, while 41% used debit. Just 9% used prepaid cards.

It is no surprise that a card security firm would land on the security side of things. A company like Avoka or Bottomline, for example, would likely emphasize consumers’ need for speed in opening accounts, etc., and consider any friction the enemy. Regardless, the Tender Armor report is an important reminder that even as money moves ever faster, we can’t forget fraud, and all its collateral damage to consumer trust.

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