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Global Consumer Fraud Survey Part II: Is there an unfair distrust of retailers?

The research report, Global Consumers: Concerned and Willing to Engage in the Battle Against Fraud, highlights the challenges retailers face when it comes to consumers trusting them to secure their data. According to the more than 6,100 consumers in 20 countries globally:

 • Nearly 3 in 10 global consumers (29%) do not trust retailers (e.g., stores, online shopping sites, restaurants, etc.) to protect stored personal and financial data against hacking attempts and data breaches.    

Only 55% feel stores where they shop use security systems that adequately protect their financial data against hackers and data breaches, compared to 62% who believe that online shopping websites adequately protect this information.  

58% think financial institutions do a better job of protecting their data than do retailers.

Although only moderately higher, the fact that consumers think shopping online is safer than shopping in a store is surprising to me. Have the recent high-profile cases of retailer data breaches permeated the consumer psyche to the point where they are more concerned with the security of their data from brick-and-mortar purchases than to the activities of ecommerce? The fact of the matter is there could be risk in either scenario, but I think the media coverage might be having more of an impact than I would have originally thought.

Interestingly enough, the U.S., where most of the high-profile retail data breaches occurred, had a trust ranking at 62% for in-store and 77% for online shopping. While this certainly supports the idea that publicized breaches are influencing consumer trust, I would have expected this group to be a little more pessimistic in their views given the proximity to the origin of the breaches. Only 4 other countries (U.K., Poland, Sweden and New Zealand) had higher trust in in-store retailers to protect their data. India shared the same 62% as the U.S., and the remaining 15 countries have lower trust scores.

Are we at an inflection point where consumer distrust is being replaced by consumer indifference? I would hate to think we’re being numbed by the news, as there is still work to be done by the payments community and consumers in the fight against fraud.

Up next: The mobility factor in fighting fraud. 

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.