Seventy-four per cent of Australian consumers claim their confidence in a brand’s data security influences how they spend money with that brand, according to new global research.
More than 2,000 consumers participated in the PCI Pal and Natterbox-conducted ‘This is Australia’ research. It investigated the sentiment towards data security and the impact on consumer behaviour.
Security breaches and hacks
The research revealed that 34 per cent of respondents have been a victim of a security breach or hack. The statistics are even greater (40 per cent) for baby boomers and high-income earners.
“The way companies safeguard their customers’ personal data is impacting which brands are trusted and how much consumers spend with those brands,” PCI Pal CEO James Barham said.
“The combination of high-profile breaches and personal data loss experiences has made data security top-of-mind for Australians when they reach for their wallets.”
Forty-nine per cent of respondents are not comfortable giving their credit card details over the phone while 56 per cent would opt for an alternative payment method.
One third of young consumers (aged 18-24 years old) claimed to “absolutely refuse” to share their payment information over the phone.
Retail least trusted
The retail sector was the least trusted industry for protecting the customer’s personal data security.
“At a time when Australian retailers are experiencing challenging times, these findings indicate businesses must take data security seriously to ensure, and in some cases win back, consumer confidence and brand loyalty,” Mr Barham said.
With 43 per cent of consumers saying they would never return to a brand post-breach, and a further 43 per cent reporting they would suspend purchasing in the aftermath of a breach,
The research indicates that many Australian consumers are unwilling to forgive a company that compromises their personal data. Forty-three per cent of respondents say they would never return to a brand post-breach. A further 43 per cent report they would suspend purchasing in the aftermath of a breach.
Small vs large businesses
The small business sector in Australia is also perceived to be in the low-trust category.
Over half of the consumers surveyed trusted large national companies over small local businesses, based largely on the belief that larger organisations invest more in security.
Charles Heunemann, Managing Director, VP Asia Pacific of Natterbox Limited Australia believes the solution for business is to stay one step ahead of the hackers to protect themselves and their customers.
“Contrary to popular belief, pausing call recording during a Cardholder Not Present (CNP) transaction is not PCI DSS compliant,” he said.
“Any consumer-facing business, large or small, should be prepared for the increasing likelihood of an attempted hack and invest in technology that does not require customers verbally give their credit card details over the phone.
“Consumer confidence has been eroded by increasingly common data breaches, so businesses must intensify their efforts to reassure consumers that their data is safe.”