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Consumers suspicious of retailers’ ability to secure their payment details

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Consumers are suspicious of retailers’ ability to hold their personal payment details securely, a new study has found.

A survey of 1,000 consumers by information security company Integralis found that less than a quarter (24%) would trust supermarkets to hold their financial data securely, even though more than half shop online from a supermarket, and only 36% would put their trust online retailers such as Amazon and eBay.

That contrasts with the banking sector where, the study found, 63% of consumers trust their bank when it comes to doing financial transactions online.

However one in four (25%) of all respondents in the nationwide survey of 1,000 consumers said that they do not trust anyone to hold their personal details securely online. And social networks topped the list of ‘least trusted organisations’ (32%) followed by online gaming sites and loan companies.

Consumers’ lack of trust also extends to mobile devices, with nearly half concerned that smartphones and tablets are less secure than PCs and laptops. About one in ten believe they are more secure.

Mick Ebsworth, information security consulting practice director at Integralis, said: “While UK consumers love going online to do their banking, shopping and social networking, there’s an intrinsic lack of trust in the sites they’re using.”

Integralis advises consumers to use different passwords across different websites and change them regularly. It also advises them to: “Entrust as little as possible to online retailers – if you get the option do not store credit/debit card details on their sites.”

Our view: This study should be a useful reality check when it comes to the faith consumers’ have in retailers’ ability to keep their financial information safe. It’s the job of retailers now to make sure their systems are solid and secure and to communicate that fact to their customers.

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