Security Risk Receding: More and more consumers happy to give out credit card details online

Bricks and mortar retailers banking on customers being wary of shopping online will be disappointed to learn that more and more Australians are happy to give out their credit card details over the web, either on a computer or a mobile device, new Roy Morgan research reveals.

Thirty-four (34) per cent of Australians surveyed said they felt comfortable giving out their 16 precious digits (along with an expiry date and that 3-digit code on the reverse) when online, and that figure goes up to just under 50 per cent for respondents that use the internet more than once a day. The more you use the internet, the more comfortable you become with purchasing goods and services online. It’s safe to say the internet isn’t becoming less popular so, over time, the number of Australians prepared to trust online credit card forms will become more pronounced.

Here is Roy Morgan Research GM Tim Martin:

“As well as frequency of use and familiarity, age plays a big part in our attitudes to privacy. Generation X and Baby Boomers are more concerned about privacy than average, while Generation Y is the most comfortable giving credit card and personal information over the internet with only around average concern for privacy.”

Australians spent a whopping $15.6 billion online in the 12 months to July 2014, according to the NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index, released earlier this month. This was up 8.6 per cent on the previous year, which is solid increase during a time of depressed consumer confidence, and equates to 6.6 per cent of  traditional retail spending. (For more on this Index, see the graphic below.)

The security of online shopping, and specifically the lack thereof, has been a subtle marketing ploy used by traditional bricks and mortar retailers to encourage face-to-face in-store transactions. Over the past 12 months Harvey Norman has run saturation advertising of its ‘Shop with Confidence’ campaign, which seems to imply that consumers should have reduced confidence in online trading, even though Harvey Norman has a dedicated online franchisee.

The key take-out from this research is that consumers are less and less worried about the threat of having their credit card details stolen. That creates a problem for retailers relying on that fear for continued traditional retailing but a big opportunity for those retailers focused on delivering a true omnichannel approach. For every retailer sweating these results, there would be another rubbing their hands together.

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