BROOKFIELD, WI–According to the 2020 Fraud and Security Survey, released by Fiserv, 79 percent of U.S. consumers say that cybersecurity is equally or more concerning that it was for them a year ago.
Cybersecurity concerns remain as consumers increasingly adopt digital payment methods that facilitate touchless interactions, yet which often require consumers to input personally identifiable information (PII) within digital profiles, loyalty accounts, or for shipping information.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 33 percent of consumers surveyed have increased their use of digital, touchless payments, and 69 percent plan to use more touchless payments in the future. However, only 23 percent believe that their personal identifiable information (PII) is very or extremely secure.
The study, conducted in summer 2020, explores how the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how the growth of remote, digital, and touchless experiences influences cybersecurity and digital commerce concerns among American consumers.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform how consumers interact in their daily lives, the adoption of a wide range of digital payment options that minimize physical contact at the point of sale is accelerating, said Fiserv. These touchless payment capabilities include the use of mobile wallets, in-app purchases, QR Codes, buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS), curbside transactions, and other methods of digital payments.
Here are more details from the survey:
- While credit/debit cards (52 percent) and cash (43 percent) remain preferred payment types, 33 percent of consumers use mobile apps for payments and 15 percent use QR codes;
- 43 per cent of consumers recently used BOPIS. Meanwhile, 50 percent have taken advantage of curbside pickup; and
- The biggest adopters of mobile app payments are Gen Z (41 percent).
The growth of digital commerce comes at a time when consumer cybersecurity concerns remain high:
- Over 40 percent of both Gen Z and Millennial consumers have had their PII compromised. At the same time, Gen X (29 percent) and Baby Boomers (18 percent) report lower rates; and
- In some good news, 22 percent of consumers reported a credit card compromise in the last year: down from 57 percent in 2017.
While consumers have their preferred apps, social channels, and retailers, a data breach can quickly cause them to search for new alternatives. Nearly half of users surveyed said they would very likely delete a social media account if breached while another 55 percent noted they would do the same to a mobile app.
At the same time, consumers have shown increasing confidence in online shopping and online bill pay platforms. In 2017, 52 percent of respondents felt online shopping was the channel most vulnerable to a cyberattack compared to only 18 per cent in 2020. Similarly, 15 percent felt online bill pay was a prime target for attacks in 2018, compared to just 11 percent in 2020.
While advancements in technology are quelling some fears around cybersecurity, according to Fiserv, a consumer’s first line of defence often resides in their own password protection habits. The good news is many consumers are becoming more aware of the value that comes with regular password updates.
- 36 percent of consumers say they are changing their passwords more in 2020 than they did in 2019;
- For the second straight year, consumers identified their pet’s name as the most popular choice for a security password. 22 percent of consumers rely on furry friends to secure their accounts; and
- When asked what fictional character they would most trust to secure their home network, a resounding 33 percent of consumers felt Q, from the James Bond 007 series, was the perfect candidate for the job.
“Shifts in consumer behavior have driven rapid adoption of digital purchasing types that limit physical interactions,” said Alain Barbet, head of payments risk solutions at Fiserv. “As businesses begin shaping new eCommerce strategies to bring additional digital consumers in, it’s equally critical that businesses maintain consumer trust by securing the customer data they acquire through digital channels.”