Consumers want retailers to use the latest in encryption technology

Customers want retailers to use the latest in encryption technology to protect any transaction made using debit or credit cards, so that even if the data itself is stolen, it cannot be used, according to a new survey.

As data breaches at major retailers have compromised the personal information of millions of customers over the past few years, a new consumer trust survey from Honeywell found that the security of credit and debit card information is a bigger concern for consumers (93 percent) than their health (84 percent), retirement savings (81 percent) or losing their mobile phone (63 percent).

The survey, conducted by KRC Research, polled more than 2,000 credit or debit card users over 18 years old in the United States about the impact of recent data breaches on consumer trust, actions and expectations.

“When consumers are more worried about the security of their credit and debit card information than their health or retirement savings, it shows an erosion of trust and a growing consumer fear when handing over their personal data to retailers,” said Bob Grabowski, vertical marketing leader for retail, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. “Consumers are clearly stating that there must be an immediate shift for retailers to proactively use the most advanced technologies available to ensure the safety of their information at all times.”

The findings from the Honeywell survey mirror sentiments of consumers in Asia Pacific, where 85.3 percent of the respondents from a MasterCard Online Shopping Survey1 indicated that security remains a key consideration for consumers when shopping online, with respondents from Indonesia (92 percent), Malaysia (91.2 percent), Singapore (89.8 percent), China (91.8 percent) and Australia (89.3 percent) citing it as a top concern.

Is My Data Truly Safe? The Honeywell survey also found that consumers have widespread awareness of and concern regarding recent data breaches at major retailers. Nearly all (90 percent) respondents have heard about recent credit or debit card breaches at major retailers. Additionally, more than one-fifth of respondents stated they do not feel secure when paying with debit cards at retail establishments.

The Impact of Breaking Consumer Trust Survey results reveal that consumers are wary of existing data security practices and think that retailers should be doing more to protect their data. In fact, consumers said they are willing to change their shopping behavior to safeguard their data if they personally suffered from a data breach. Seventy-six percent of consumers surveyed would forego credit and debit transactions and 38 percent said they would entirely avoid a particular retailer if they personally suffered from a data breach. Also, most respondents (81 percent) would be angry to learn that their favorite national retailer was not already using the best available technology to protect consumer information.