Digital commerce has changed the way consumers interact with businesses, moving from face-to-face transactions to anonymous relationships built on trust. Difficult to achieve and earned over time, trusted online relationships are based on businesses providing a secure environment and a great customer experience. Released today, Experian’s Global Identity and Fraud Report found that 74 percent of consumers see security as the most important element of their online experience, followed by convenience.
While businesses often have invested in one at the expense of the other, consumers across the globe expect both. So much so that 70 percent of them are willing to share more personal data with the organisations they interact with online, particularly when they see a benefit such as greater online security and convenience.
“Security and convenience are the bedrocks of a dynamic digital marketplace that effectively manages risk and delivers a seamless experience,” said Steve Pulley, Experian’s executive vice president and general manager of Global Identity & Fraud Solutions. “The availability of information consumers share with businesses makes this possible, but it’s the same information that puts them at a greater risk for fraud, making trust more important than ever.”
Findings from the study also reveal that consumers and business leaders agree that security methods enabled by new technologies and advanced authentication solutions instill online trust. In fact, consumer confidence grew from 43 percent to 74 percent when physical biometrics was used to protect their accounts. Businesses also are beginning to embrace the changing technology. Half of organisations globally reported an increase in their fraud management budget over the past 12 months.
“With the digital marketplace in South Africa expanding, the risk of fraud remains a constant and growing threat in the digital landscape. While it is encouraging to see the industry responding to this as best as possible, we believe there is still a serious need for consumer education that involves helping consumers to feel more in control of their personal data,” says Mark Wells, Chief Customer Officer at Experian South Africa. He adds: “Through our fraud solutions, we remain committed to protecting consumers, and making significant investments to safeguard consumer data against a constant and evolving threat posed by today’s increasingly sophisticated criminals.”
The report went on to discuss how many businesses are proactively sharing with customers how they use their personal information. The report found that nearly 80 percent of consumers say the more transparent a business is about the use of their information, the greater trust they have in that business. Fifty-six percent of businesses plan to invest more in transparency-inspired programs such as educating consumers, communicating terms more concisely and helping consumers feel in control of their personal data.
Click here to read about the findings from the report.